How to Do Business With Us


Buying and Contracting | Records Management | General Services | Office Services


 The Procurement Division in the Department of Administration is responsible for providing the necessary equipment, services and supplies at the lowest possible cost consistent with the quality needed to meet the requirements of all offices and departments within St. Louis County Government. This information has been prepared to explain our procedures and responsibilities. You are always welcome to contact us.
Our goal is maximum value for each dollar expended, and to be accountable in providing innovative and high quality services in an economical, fair, professional, courteous manner, and to enhance and protect the safety of the County.

PROCUREMENT DIVISION

 The Procurement Division is organized into four sections: Buying, Contract Administration, Office Services, Records Management and General Services. A published list indicating the assigned member per function or buying commodity is available at the Procurement Division office.

Records Management

 The Records Center is managed by the Director of Procurement. County records are managed from their creation through their active use and inactive storage to their ultimate disposition. Records Management policies are set forth in Chapter 101.010 through 101.030 of the St. Louis County revised Ordinance. A secure, off-site storage facility is maintained for inactive and permanent historical records in a 30,000 square foot facility. A systematic transfer of inactive records is coordinated from offices to the Records Center. Records Retention Schedules are developed authorizing retention and disposition of all County records regardless of media or format. The Records Center also assists in the design, development and ongoing support for both digital and micrographic imaging systems. Imaging conversion services, both digital and micrographic is provided along with a climate controlled archival media vault. Records Management provides assistance with specifications for document storage and retrieval equipment and coordinates with the departments for the destruction and recycling of expired records.

General Services

 The General Services Section is managed by the Director of Procurement and provides receiving, shipping, mail services, courier services, and surplus inventory for the St. Louis County Clayton complex.

GENERAL INFORMATION

 St. Louis County government provides a wide variety of services to the 1,000,000 citizens who live in the 500-square mile area of Missouri's largest County and one of the largest counties in the United States.

All procurement for the County, except professional services and road and bridge construction, is administered by the Procurement Division in the Department of Administration. Procurement policies and procedures are set forth in Chapter 107 of the St. Louis County Revised Ordinances which has been designated as the County's Procurement Code.

All procurement is accomplished in the office of the Director of Procurement, 8th Floor, Lawrence K. Roos Building, St. Louis County Government Center, 41 South Central, Clayton, Missouri, 63105. Business hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Phone: 314-615-7067 or Fax: 314-615-0197.

Vendors are welcome to visit the Procurement office. We want to know about your product and services. To arrange for a meeting, contact the office service staff at: 314-615-7067.

How the County Buys

The Procurement Code, with few exceptions, requires that all requirements for goods, services and construction exceeding the cost of $25,000 shall be let by free and open competitive bidding after advertisement. This type of procurement is called "Formal Bidding."

If the amount of the purchase is less than $25,000 such purchase shall be let in the open market after soliciting quotes by e-procurement, telephone, or fax. This is called "Open Market."

Professional services contracts which, by their nature, are not adapted to award to the low, responsive bid are awarded by authorization of the County Council.

All quotes and bids are posted on the County's website under "Bidding Opportunities".

In cases of emergency, where the immediate procurement of supplies or services is essential to prevent delays in the work of any County operation, which may affect the life, health, welfare or convenience of citizens, and there is not sufficient time for the Formal Bid process or Open Market request for quotes, the Director of Procurement may authorize the head of a using department to purchase directly such supplies or services. This is called "Unforeseen Requirements." These requirements if in excess of $25,000 require County Council approval.

Electronic Bids and Quotes

St. Louis County is utilizing an electronic bid and quote system for its formal Invitations for Bid (estimated at $25,000.00 plus) and for open market Requests for Quotation (estimated at less than $25,000.00). Go to the “Importance Reference Documents for Bidders” located on the Procurements Home Page for information on how you may register for participation in St. Louis County's Invitations for Bid and Requests for Quotation.   

Specifications or Scope of Work of a Quote or Bid

 When you receive the detailed specification or scope of work for a requirement, read it carefully. A specification or scope of work is a formal statement of our needs. If you offer substitutions to a brand name cited in the specification, you must obtain an approval for the substitution prior to bidding otherwise your bid may be disqualified. The specification or scope of work communicates to the Bidder all the details of the product or service required, and it also regulates the execution of the work contracts. Prior to submitting your quote/bid, submit all question(s) regarding the specifications in writing to the Director prior to bid opening date.

Open Market Procedure

 Purchases may be conducted by an internal solicitation of quotes by e- procurement, telephone, fax, and electronically posted on the website. All open market purchases shall, whenever feasible, solicit at least three (3) competitive quotes and shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.

Bid Process

If you can supply the item or service requested in the specification or scope of work, the next step is to compute the bid and price the bid line items. You are invited to bid on those items in the bid specifications that you can furnish. If you cannot bid on all the items, unless specified to the contrary, award may be made on an item by item basis. Be sure your bid amount(s) is correct and that the bid is signed where indicated. You must also be sure that signatures have been sworn to in those types of bids where the Contractor's representation is merged with the bid. The bid must be electronically signed by a person authorized to submit bids on behalf of the company. Notification of the electronic award does not constitute an award. A purchase order or contract will be issued for all valid awards.

Submitting the Bid

 The entire bid packet that you receive is a part of your bid and will be incorporated as a part of your contract. The complete specification or scope of work with any or all addenda sheets and any or all drawings or blueprints, must be returned with your bid. The completed bid including applicable attachments must be received in the Procurement Division on or before 3:00 p.m. prevailing Eastern time (or other designated time specified in the specifications) on the day of the specified bid opening. Bids received after this designated time will be rejected. You are invited to attend the public opening of formal Invitations for Bid. The public opening commences promptly on the date, time and place specified.

Addenda

 To change the Request for Quote (RFQ) or Invitation for Bid (IFB) prior to receipt/ opening of the quote or bid, an addendum will be issued against specifications or scope of work. Addenda are posted electronically and placed on the website as soon as the need for interpretation or modification is required. If you do not fully understand what is requested of the RFQ of IFB, please request in writing an interpretation from the Director of Procurement. A response will be provided by an addendum.

Trade Names

 There are times when it is difficult or impossible to determine an item or need. In such cases a trade or brand name may be used. If so used, an "or approved equal" according to County requirements or standard may be submitted. Approved Equals must be accepted by the County prior to Receipt/ Opening of a quote or bid.

Notice of Acceptance of Bid

 On Issuance of the formal bids/contracts, acceptance notice is in the form of a letter from the Procurement Director transmitting the contract documents for execution and return. On informal quotes, notice is given by Purchase Order signed by the Director of Procurement. Vendors are encouraged to provide an email address to allow the County to direct the Purchase Order to the Vendor. Email (preferred) and facsimile are alternate options for receipt of a Purchase Order.

Mistakes in Bidding

 If a bidder has made a mistake in the bid, the Bidder may correct the mistake before the specified time of bid opening. After the bid opening, all bids must stand as read. Unless the specifications or scope of work specifically indicate a lump sum price, unit prices will govern.

Rejection of Bids

 The Director of Procurement reserves the right to reject any or all bids. A bidder, whose performance on County contracts is unsatisfactory, is subject to suspension from the County's bidders list and may be refused the right to any County Purchase Order or Contract for a period of one year. The County reviews the debarred and suspension list on every award.

Contracts/Purchase Orders

 A signed official contract or purchase order containing a contract or purchase order number are the primary methods of obligating the County. The authority for administration of these contracts and purchase orders is vested in the Director of Procurement.

The Director of Procurement will execute all modifications to purchase orders and contracts affecting purchase, such as: prices, terms, delivery dates, quantity and quality. A verbal or written instruction issued by a County employee regarding orders without a County purchase order or contract are the responsibility of the person placing the order, not the County. The unauthorized action will not be recognized by the County and therefore payment will not be made by the County.

Unauthorized Orders

 Only the Director of Procurement is authorized to commit the County for goods or services, except as provided for under professional services procedures or as delegated by the Director of Procurement. Commitments by any other employees of St. Louis County Government are not binding on the County and Vendor's invoices covering such commitment may not be honored. Vendors are responsible to ensure they have an "authorized" purchase order or executed contract.
Inspection

All merchandise purchased by the County is subject to inspection. Some specifications may contain a clause stating where and when inspection will take place.
Payment of Invoices

The Department of Administration has several rules governing the payment of invoices. No invoice will be honored for payment until notice has been received in the Division of Fiscal Management that the goods or services have been received and that they have been inspected and found to be as ordered and that the payments are in accordance with Procurement, Budget, and the appropriate operating Department's policies and procedures. It is County policy that invoices will be paid in time to take advantage of discount terms offered by the vendor. For inquiry of invoices, contact Fiscal Management at 314-615-7062.

Buying from the County

 Scrap and obsolete equipment generated by the operation of any County department creates a source of income. The Procurement Code, in recognition of this fact, gives the Procurement Division the responsibility of collecting, classifying and the disposal of all scrap and surplus materials and equipment belonging to the County of St. Louis. The procedure for the sale of salvage material follows the same procedure as for the purchase of material. All sales are made after free and open competitive bidding among potential buyers or by public auction. Notice of the sale of salvage materials, when the value exceeds $25,000, is publicly advertised. Invitations for Bid are sent through the electronic bid system to firms that have expressed interest in the purchase of that type of commodity.
Any bid received after the hour of bid opening will be rejected. The Bidder is urged to inspect the item before the bid is submitted, as all sales are "as is, where is, without warranty or guarantee." The location and hours of the inspection are stipulated on each invitation for bid.

Cooperative Contracts and State Contracts/Maintenance Agreements

 Cooperative contracts are those contracts that have been executed by St. Louis County with vendors who have agreed to offer the same pricing to St. Louis County municipalities and other St. Louis county area government entities. Please see our link to cooperative contracts on the bidding opportunities webpage.

State contracts and other cooperative agreements may be utilized by the St. Louis County Division of Procurement when it is in the best interest of the County to purchase from these agreements.

Maintenance agreements must be accompanied by the vendor's agreement forms. Vendor agreement forms are reviewed by the St. Louis County Counselor's Office before the agreement is executed in the Procurement Division.

CONCLUSION

 We are committed to honesty, fairness, accountability and customer service. We conduct ourselves in such a way as to build trust. Your do not need to feel that you must pay some "privileged" person to secure our business. We are dedicated to open and competitive bidding as a means to obtain our requirements for all goods and services. It is important that you understand that we operate in accordance with the St. Louis County Code. Chapter 107, Section 110 of the Purchasing Code states: "The Agent and every officer and employee of the County are expressly prohibited from accepting, directly or indirectly, from any person, company, firm or corporation to which any purchase order or contract is or might be awarded, any rebate, gift, money, or anything of value whatsoever, except where given for the use and benefit of the County." Further, St. Louis County Ordinance 203.070 Inducement of Payment to interested Official is Prohibited states "It shall be unlawful for any person or business entity to pay or engage to pay, or to offer or attempt to pay, any officer or employee of the County, any member of his immediate family or any business entity in which said officer or employee or member of his immediate family shall own a substantial interest, any commission, gratuity or consideration, directly or indirectly, with respect to any matter in which said officer or employee has discretion to act."