The Executive Office/Central Services Division (Purchasing) adheres to the fundamental principles of public sector procurement, which strives to: (1) foster maximum open and free competition for County purchases and contracts; (2) promote the greatest economy and efficiency in County procurement; (3) ensure adherence to proper standards of conduct by County officers and employees; (4) maintain procurement policies and procedures that guarantee compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations; (5) establish and maintain a professional, business-like, ethical relationship with all contractors; and (6) treat all prospective contractors, consultants, and vendors in an equal and equitable manner.
It is the responsibility of the Purchasing Agent to coordinate, monitor and record all phases of County procurement of supplies, equipment, materials, services, and public projects bids. Purchasing is also responsible for the sale of County surplus personal property, and leasing of real and personal property.
In the course of performing its responsibilities, the Purchasing Agent is guided by certain policy objectives, broadly stated as follows:
- Conserving public funds through reduction in cost and improvement in the quality of supplies, equipment, materials, contractual services, and reducing the overhead cost of contracting, buying, leasing, renting and selling;
- Analyzing alternative approaches for each procurement, such as direct purchasing, timesharing, leasing, and intergovernmental/inter-agency agreements (cooperative purchasing);
- Structuring each procurement through consolidation of similar products and separation of dissimilar ones;
- Eliminating purchase of unnecessary or duplicate items and services;
- Encouraging price and quality competition among suppliers, vendors, contractors and consultants;
- Reducing volume, streamlining the flow of paperwork and simultaneously maintaining accurate documentation of procurement transactions;
- Utilizing competent technical expertise where needed in the initiation and administration of procurement and contracts;
- Performing all duties and responsibilities in compliance with local, state and federal law, and consistent with applicable standards of conduct and ethics;
- Requiring that vendors present acceptable documentation evidencing the quality of the product and the accuracy of representations relative to the product.
In the field of Materials Management, the Executive Office uses a number of professional purchasing tools, such as formal and informal requests for quotations, in-house and external supply contracts, bulk purchasing through the revolving Stores account and direct negotiation to provide County departments with the requisite materials at the lowest possible cost. Uniform specifications and centralized ordering help achieve this goal, while at the same time assuring vendors a maximum of fairness and opportunity with a minimum of costly confusion.
Specifically, the Executive Office/Central Services Division (Purchasing) provides the following services for County departments:
- Assists departments in developing specifications, contract requirements and terms and conditions;
- Recommends cost effective alternatives, when appropriate;
- Maintains vendor lists for internal use and for use of other departments on request;
- Prior to renewing agreements, reviews for pricing, item improvements and possible alternatives and informs departments of findings;
- Benchmarks prices for specific items on requests;
- Develops and distributes solicitation documents (bid, request for quotes and requests for proposals);
- Schedules and conducts bidders' conferences;
- Evaluates bids, develops vendor selection processes and participates with departments in evaluating proposals received from vendors;
- Negotiates discounted shipping rates, determines most cost effective shipping method (vendor delivery or common carrier), shipping/transportation issues;
- Awards, renews or extends purchase orders and agreements.
Executive Office - Purchasing
841 Low Gap Road, Ukiah CA 95482
(707) 234-6050; (707) 463-4673-fax