Depending on the year, the City of Frederick can have between $20 to 30 million in “controllable” spending in its budget. The resulting contracting opportunities extend beyond just construction, and include many professional services — such as engineering, consultants, graphic design — as well as general services — such as HVAC, cleaning, maintenance, and painting.
So, how does the City procurement process work and more importantly, how can local companies get involved?
Specific City procurement procedure is dependent upon the dollar-amount of the service/product being requested. The comprehensive policies can be found here. As a general overview, contracts are separated into three pricing brackets.
Over $50,000 — Services or products sought over this mark are required to go through a formal solicitation process. The opportunities are placed online on both the City’s website and on E-Maryland Marketplace. They are also placed in the local newspaper in the legal ads. Each individual announcement includes a link to the necessary attachments/forms to bid on the opportunity. There is some variability in the length the opportunity is posted, but typically the requests remain open for ~4 weeks.
$10,000 - $50,000 — Services or products sought within this price range require Departments to follow competitive pricing policies & obtain at least three written quotes prior to contract.
Under $10,000 — These ‘small dollar’ opportunities are made at the purchasing discretion of the interested Department.
The City is in the final stages of developing a new online supplier registration system. This new application, with will exist on the City’s website, will serve as an initial step for businesses that wish to work with the City of Frederick.
The new database will be particularly helpful to companies seeking opportunities under $50,000 — as it will provide a better way for departments to identify the best-suited vendors based on their submitted capabilities and quotes. Stay tuned for the upcoming release of this new registration system!
Is there a preference given to local businesses?
Yes! In general, in evaluating any competitive solicitation, the City will grant City and State businesses a preference in relation to the proposed quoted cost or bid amount. The preference is only used for computational purposes to determine the winning bid or proposal, and has no bearing on the actual purchase price or cost to the City.
The preference given to City businesses is 10% of the lowest quote or responsible bid, not to exceed $3,000; and the preference given to State businesses is 5% of the lowest quote or responsible bid, not to exceed $1,500. For details, including eligibility as a ‘City’ or ‘State’ business can be found here.
For more information on doing business with the City of Frederick, visit the Purchasing Department’s page of the City website.