DOING BUSINESS WITH WASHINGTON COUNTY - A SUPPLIER'S GUIDE
This information is intended to help you, the supplier, take advantage of opportunities available with Washington County.
Washington County government is one of the area's largest purchasers of goods and services. Most of these purchases are made by the individual Departments and Divisions within the County.
Suppliers are welcome to visit the Purchasing office Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. However, if you would like to speak with a buyer we ask that you call in advance for an appointment. The Purchasing Division office is located on the second floor of the Public Service Building, 155 N First Avenue, Suite 270, Hillsboro, Oregon.
You can contact us by:
- Telephone at 503 846-8737
- Fax at 503 846-8329
- E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
County solicitations are posted on the ORegon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN) website. To see our current listing of solicitations and bid opening results, go to the following website: http://orpin.oregon.gov
Washington County is actively seeking new COBID partners!
If you’ve never worked with a government agency before the contracts can seem overwhelming. At Washington County we understand, and we want to make sure you have the resources available to you to feel confident in applying for County contract opportunities.
One avenue a small business should pursue is becoming COBID Certified. COBID is Oregon’s Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity. There are 4 main certifications available to businesses and you may hold more than one certification at a time.
Emerging Small Business (ESB)
Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE)
Service Disabled Veteran (SDV)
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE and ACDBE)
Each one has their own criteria that need to be met to qualify. The certification process can take up to 1.5 hours if the applicant is prepared with all the appropriate documents at the time of application.
Washington County Purchasing is happy to provide assistance, but we are not the experts on certification and may not be the best resource to help you navigate the process. Below is a list of websites & resources you can use to become COBID certified. These resources not only provide certification assistance, but they also provide help in responding to government contracts and additional small business assistance
- State of Oregon COBID official site
- The complete breakdown of the eligibility requirements and all necessary application information
- Oregon Procurement Technical Assistance Center
- Free service for vendors to help them get certified, provides bid-matching services, and small business assistance
- Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs
- A variety of services and information to all minority entrepreneurs grow their business
Oregon Revised Statue: ORS Chapter 200
While most people don’t enjoy reading government legislation, it’s helpful for any first-time business owner to become familiar with the laws that regulate government procurement as they pertain to COBID and affirmative action.
PURCHASING DIVISION POLICIES
The Purchasing Division's goal is to obtain maximum value for each tax dollar spent. With this in mind we subscribe to the following policies:
- Washington County contracts are based upon fair and open competitive bidding methods.
- Contracts are awarded to the responsible bidder submitting the most responsive bid at the best price.
- Purchases are made in strict compliance with all applicable laws and rules.
- Purchasing Division staff members do not accept personal gifts from suppliers, nor do they conduct purchasing transactions for personal benefit.
Washington County will often use contracts established by other state or local governments, pursuant to the intent of Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 279A.200 through 279A.225.
In most of our solicitations we ask the suppliers to agree to extend identical pricing to other public entities for the same terms. Each contracting entity will execute a separate contract with the successful supplier for its requirements.
However, any supplier, by written notification at the time of the bid due date and time, may decline to extend the prices and terms of their bid to any, and/or all other public entities.
The successful supplier, in contracting with another public entity, may incur additional costs. All demonstrable costs (shipping, etc.) may be passed on to that public entity.
Informal Quote Solicitations
Informal quote solicitations may be obtained by telephone, e-mail, fax, or US mail. Purchases made in this manner are for goods or services valued under the current expenditure authority. The County obtains quotes from at least three suppliers for each purchase.
Formal Bid or Proposal Solicitations
Formal solicitation procedures apply to all purchases of materials, supplies, personal/ professional and trade services, and equipment that will exceed the expenditure authority, as determined by the Board of Commissioners, over a fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Invitation to Bid (ITB) and Request for Proposal (RFP) specifications and requirements are prepared jointly by Purchasing and the user departments. The ITB process is generally used for purchases where the specification and requirements can be clearly and completely defined. Award will be based on cost, delivery, and ability to meet the specifications. The RFP process is typically utilized when seeking personal/professional services or when the specifications cannot be clearly defined. Award will be based on a variety of evaluation factors, as listed in the respective RFP document.
A notice is placed in the Daily Journal of Commerce legal notice section, and the ITB or RFP is posted on the ORPIN website. Before submitting a response, be sure and check the website for any addendums to the solicitation.
Sealed bids are opened and read publicly at the designated time and location. Suppliers, while not required, are invited to attend the bid openings. RFP responses are opened and reviewed by Purchasing; then sent to committee for evaluation. ITB results and RFP respondents are posted to the ORPIN website.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A SUPPLIER
Register on ORPIN at http://orpin.oregon.gov/. Check the website frequently for any new solicitations.
Carefully read the complete ITB or RFP specifications packet. Include everything that is required in the response packet. For example, if descriptive literature or bid security is required, be sure to submit them with your response packet.
Prior to submitting a response to the ITB or RFP, check ORPIN for any addenda.
Mail or deliver your response packet sufficiently in advance of the closing time and date to ensure receipt by the Purchasing Division before the closing time. Response packets received after the closing time, as recorded by the official bid clock in the Purchasing office, will be returned to the supplier unopened. Late responses will not be considered.
If you are awarded a contract, be certain that you comply with all contract requirements. Suppliers who repeatedly breach public contracts may be disqualified from bidding on future County contracts.
Download a Printable Version of "A Supplier's Guide - Doing Business with Washington County."
Download a fillable W9 form here.