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How to Do Business With the City

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We appreciate your interest in doing business with the City of Santa Clarita. The purpose of this section is to explain how a supplier may provide products and services to the City. The City is always interested in securing responsible suppliers who can meet its needs promptly, economically and in the desired quality and quantities. Our aim is to help you in your sales effort and to promote business relationships with the City of Santa Clarita. We hope this guide will benefit you as a new or present supplier.

Supplier Registration

The City utilizes a purchasing forum called "BidNet Direct.” The link below for vendor registration will take you to BidNet. You may register there and provide commodity codes related to the type of products and services your business provides (the system will help you decide which ones). Once you are registered, the system will automatically notify you via email of any solicitation the City issues relating to the commodity codes you selected during registration. 

Click on the link below, then click on the box for “Register Now” and follow the prompts to set up your log-in. For free access to the City’s solicitations, select the “Limited Access” option when asked to select a Subscription plan. If you need further assistance with the vendor registration process, please contact BidNet Direct Support Team at (800) 835-4603, option 2 for vendor support.

Methods of Procurement

The following methods of purchasing are used by City staff:

Purchases under $5,000

City employees are authorized to make purchases under $5,000.00 with a City issued Procurement Card or “Cal Card” as it is called. Vendors are expected to take all normal business precautions when asked to take a City credit card. 

Purchase Over $5,000 but Less Than $50,000

Purchases over $5,000 but less than $50,000 require a minimum of three competitive quotes. Quote responses may be submitted to the requesting staff in writing either in person or by email.

Purchases $50,000 and Over
Purchases over $50,000 usually require a formal bid. These bids are sealed (manually or electronically) and can be submitted electronically, in person or via mail, depending on the bid instructions. 

Request for Proposal

A Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitation is normally used for professional services or where detailed specifications are not available and the City seeks solutions in the form of proposals from experienced firms.  RFP solicitations are very specific to the situation.  Solicitations for proposals will be posted on PlanetBids.

Bid Results

Bid awards are a matter of public record. Bid results, showing prices and awarded vendors can be found at:

Basis for Award

It is the City's desire to maintain a competitive bid process for all purchases and to make awards for bids based on the lowest responsible and responsive bid received subject to the application of a multiple criteria award or Shop Santa Clarita procedures.

"Lowest responsible bidder" means the lowest bidder whose offer best responds in quality, fitness and capacity to the requirement of the proposed work or usage. Such factors as delivery time, quality, compatibility, references, experiences, parts and services, freight cost, etc., may play an important role in awarding a bid to the "lowest responsible bidder."

A "responsive" bid is one that is in substantial conformance with the requirements of the specifications, the invitation to bid and the City's contractual terms and conditions. This would also include such things as completeness of the quotation forms, inclusion of references and attachments and completion of required responses.

Purchase Orders and Change Orders

All purchases over $5,000 require a purchase order. If an individual contacts your company and attempts to place an order over $5,000, all vendors are cautioned to request an authorized purchase order and obtain both the name and department of the person calling. Invoices over $5,000 must cite a purchase order number. A purchase order is vendor assurance of payment.

All change orders MUST be approved by a City staff person in writing.

There may be times during an emergency when an order must be placed after hours or on the weekend. Be assured that true emergency purchases at such times without a purchase order number will be approved. You must obtain the staff’s name and department as well as request identification if the order is placed in person. Staff has been directed to obtain a purchase order number the following work day. The employee who places the order will then send an authorized purchase order as soon as possible.

Billing and Payment

The City requires invoices for payments on orders of $5,000.00 and over (under $5,000 may be paid with a credit card with the exception of any/all services). Invoices must have the Purchase Order (PO) number (again, required on orders of $5,000 and over) and must also be indicated on all shipping tags and correspondence relevant to the order.

Payment is made after receipt of invoice and delivery and acceptance of material, as specified on the PO. All invoices should be submitted to the requesting staff member with their designated department.

Questions regarding payment of invoices should be made to Accounts Payable at (661)255-4996. You will need to reference the PO and invoice numbers when calling with questions.

Delivery and Inspection

Shipment to the City of Santa Clarita must be made Delivery Duty Paid (DDP). Requirements for delivery are specified on all bids and purchase orders. Failure to meet the specified date may cause cancellation of the order and will adversely reflect on your firm’s overall performance rating. Also, variations from the specifications may make a shipment subject to rejection.


In all instances in which supplier personnel enter City property to repair, install, service, construct, consult, etc., the City requires a certificate of insurance verifying coverage per City insurance requirements. Whenever insurance is required, the supplier will be notified of the requirements for coverage. Contact Risk Management or Purchasing if you need further information on insurance requirements.


The City is exempt from Federal Excise Tax, but pays both sales and use taxes, when applicable. Certificates of Exemption form Excise Tax may be obtained from the Finance Department.

Gifts and Gratuities

The City of Santa Clarita maintains a strict policy prohibiting the acceptance by its employees of gifts and/or gratuities from any supplier or potential supplier.

Special Business Programs

At this time, the primary special business program operated by the City is the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program for contracts funded in whole or part by the Federal government. The DBE program is regulated by the United States Department of Transportation. Under this program, the State of California has established a Unified Certification Program to simplify the application process for businesses. A business must only be certified once to become qualified for any DBE contract awarded by any agency within the state. For the City of Santa Clarita, most contracts will be for public work related items. Learn more about the City’s Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise:

"Shop Local" Initiative

All bids and quotes, not using a multi-criteria award process or designated as a public project, are required to be reviewed on a local preference basis. “Local” refers to any business having a working address within City limits.  For any bid that would have been awarded to a non-local vendor, where a local vendor has come within 10% of the non-local bid, staff will contact the local vendor and offer them a chance to meet the low bid. If the closest local vendor (within 10%) is not able to meet the bid, the next lowest, local bid, within the 10% threshold will be contacted, and so on, and so on. This continues until a local bidder has accepted the chance to meet the low bid or, all local bidders within the 10% threshold have been contacted and none chose to meet the low bid. After that, the non-local bidder will be awarded the bid.

Environmental Policies

Purchasing supports City Council Resolution #09-101 by procuring and using environmentally sound products. This resolution supports the requirements of California Public Contract Code (PCC) Sections 22150-22154 which requires the City to purchase recycled products in specified categories when quality is comparable. The legislation also requires businesses to provide statements in writing as to the post-consumer content of their products. We encourage suppliers to help keep us informed of available recycled and environmentally sound products. In accordance with resolution #91-91 suppliers shall not provide any items to the City, in performance of a contract, which are tropical hardwoods or tropical hardwood products.

Americans with Disabilities Act

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you or someone in your firm needs special assistance to participate in a walk-through or attend a pre-bid meeting, you should contact Purchasing at (661) 286-4183. Notification 48 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting.

No supplier providing a service, program or activity to the public on behalf of the City shall discriminate against any person because of sex, race, color, creed, national origin or disability. Suppliers providing a service, program or activity to the public on behalf of the City shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and City policy pursuant thereto when providing said service, program or activity