Purchasing and Contracts

Purchasing and Contracts  

Cabarrus County’s Purchasing and Contracting division strives to ensure the cost effective, efficient and timely procurement of necessary goods and services.

All purchasing activities are governed by NC General Statutes. The intent of the program is to ensure the taxpayer receives full value for each dollar of public funds spent. To that end, procedures conform to open, ethical and sound procurement policies and practices. Qualified suppliers are invited to compete for the County’s business, which consists of a variety of goods and services.

Cabarrus County uses both decentralized and centralized procurement operations, and obtains goods and services. The County primarily uses procurement cards and purchase orders (POs) for supplies, equipment and materials and contracts. The County uses contracts for construction and services (consultants, architects and engineers, security, medical services, etc.).

Purchasing Policies

In order to achieve fair and equitable competition and to maintain the integrity of the purchasing process, vendor discussions with County personnel concerning bids or quotes should be coordinated through the Purchasing Agent.

Responding to Invitations for Bid (IFB) or Requests for Proposal (RFP)

The Invitation for Bid (IFB), Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Qualifications (RFQ) provides all the necessary instructions and a complete description of the requirement, with specifications and terms and conditions, to enable appropriate preparation of a response. Each responding vendor is responsible for carefully reading and understanding the documents. Direct questions related to the bid documents go to the purchasing agent or their designee.

Bid Evaluation, Award, Performance and Payment

The County opens responses to IFB and RFP at the specific time and place cited in the instructions. Bids delivered after the specified time are not considered for evaluation. It is important to note that upon opening, bid documents and information are public record. The purchasing agent may contact vendors at his/her discretion for clarifications necessary for proper evaluation.

Generally, awards for purchases valued at less than $90,000 are made by the purchasing agent; awards for purchases valued at more than $90,000 are presented to the Board of Commissioners. Applicable sales and use tax should be added to invoices as a separate line item. Payment terms are normally “net 30 days.”

County departments are encouraged to contact the vendor directly to resolve any dissatisfaction with product, warranty or service performance. Vendors who do not act responsibly to quickly resolve legitimate complaints may be removed from contracts.

Address vendor protests regarding contract awards to the purchasing agent in writing.

Marketing Your Products and Services

Prospective vendors are encouraged to email the purchasing agent with specifications of items and services provided by their company. If a vendor feels the need to make personal contact, appointments are preferred. Sales contacts are normally scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday, between 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Late arrival for a scheduled appointment may result in a reschedule.

Gifts and Favors from Vendors

NCGS 133-32 addresses the legal implications of governmental employees accepting gifts and favors.

Briefly summarized, this statute states it is unlawful for any vendor who has a current contract with a governmental agency, has performed under such a contract within the past year or anticipates bidding on such a contract in the future to offer gifts or favors to any employee of a governmental agency who is charged with preparing plans, specifications or estimates for public contracts; awarding or administering such contracts; or inspecting or supervising construction. It is also unlawful for a governmental employee to willfully receive or accept such gifts or favors.

Environmentally Preferred Purchasing

The purchasing decisions of our employees and contractors can positively or negatively affect the environment. Cabarrus County’s goal is to reduce the adverse environmental impact of our purchasing decisions by buying goods and services from manufacturers and vendors who share our commitment to the environment.

By including environmental considerations in our purchasing decisions, along with our traditional concerns with price, performance and availability, we will remain fiscally responsible, while promoting practices that improve public health and safety, reduce pollution and conserve natural resources.

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