Frequently Asked Procurement Questions

What are the steps to follow in order to do business with the city of Phoenix?

Answer: If you supply goods and/or general services, or professional services, follow the information under How to Become a Vendor on the previous page.

If you are interested in construction opportunities, follow the information listed under Consulting and Construction for Capital Improvement Projects.

How does the city procure goods and services?

Answer: The Procurement Division is the purchasing authority for most commodities and non-professional services made for the city.

Unless prior approval is given by the Procurement Division, vendors shall not make sales to city employees without first obtaining a written purchase order, a Contract Order Release (CR) number, or a Department Purchase Order (DPO) number.

All purchases of supplies, equipment and contractual services (except professional services) where the cost exceeds $50,000 are purchased on the basis of formal competitive sealed bids or proposals. These types of solicitations are called Invitation for Bid (IFB) or Request for Proposal(RFP).

Purchases of $50,000 and less are made on the open market and, whenever possible, these purchases are based on a minimum of three informal quotes.  Quotes may be solicited by mail, e-mail, fax, or telephone.

Some small purchases (under $1,000) are made directly by city departments using "Departmental Purchase Orders."

Specific bidding procedures have been established by the city to conform to the requirements established by law and to provide for uniform treatment of all vendors.

Can I contact departments directly to sell my products/services?

Answer: City department are responsible for purchasing goods and general services under $1,000.  They are also responsible for professional services.  You may contact the department's Business Liaison to find out what opportunities may be available.

How can I find out which buyer handles the goods or services I sell and how do I set up an office visit?

Answer: Contact Procurement at 602-262-7181.

How can I find out which services or commodities are currently available for formal bid or proposal?

Answer: Visit Goods/General Services Current Solicitations. For professional services and other types of solicitations, go to the Solicitations page.

How can I get a copy of the tabulation of bids on a particular bid?

Answer: Visit Goods/General Services Tabulations and Awards.

NOTE:  The Preliminary Tabulation contains information as read at the bid opening.  The city makes no guarantee as to the accuracy of that information.  For Citywide information, go to Award Recommendations.

What is a Pre-Bid/Pre-Proposal conference?

Answer: The pre-bid/pre-proposal conference is a meeting held prior to the bid/proposal due date to discuss the specific Invitation for Bid (IFB) or Request for Proposal (RFP) document.  This meeting gives vendors the chance to ask questions and to request clarification prior to submitting their response.  Pre-bid/pre-proposal conferences are held for most formal IFB's or RFP's solicited by the city.  While pre-bid/pre-proposal conferences are not mandatory, vendors are strongly urged to attend.

NOTE:  Vendors are responsible for bringing their own copy of the solicitation to the pre-bid/pre-proposal conference.  Copies are available for download under Current Solicitations.

What criteria is used to award bids and proposals?

Answer: Bids for goods and non-professional services are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder meeting specifications.  RFP award recommendations are based on other criteria in addition to price.  The document will specify the method of award.

Is there a bid preference for minority or women-owned businesses?

Answer: Not at this time.  The city of Phoenix has implemented an expanded Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program effective July 1, 2010.  As part of this program, certain solicitations may be designated for certified small business firms only.  For more information about this program, visit the Equal Opportunity Department's website.

What about bond, surety, and insurance requirements?

Answer: Bond, surety, and/or insurance may be required for various procurements.  If they are required, the specific requirements will be detailed in the bid or proposal.  Always review these requirements with your agent or broker prior to submitting your bid/proposal to ensure that you comply.

Unless specifically asked to do so in the solicitation document, do not submit insurance certificates or bonds with your solicitation response.

Will the city of Phoenix accept faxed or e-mailed Invitations for Bid or Requests for Proposals?

Answer: No.  The city of Phoenix Procurement Division can only accept sealed bids or proposals to maintain confidentiality until they are publicly recorded during bid or proposal opening.  

This does not apply to Requests for Quotation (purchases under $50,000).

Who in the city do I contact to get payment for my invoice?

Answer: All invoices should be mailed to the city of Phoenix Accounts Payable, 251 West Washington Street, 5th Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85003-2295.  Questions regarding payment of invoices should be directed to 602-262-4918.

What is BidSource?

Answer: A program of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, BidSource offers various services to assist small businesses in Maricopa County.  BidSource also provides access to government contracts through an electronic bid notification system.  Bid Source members can review open bid opportunities 24 hours a day by visiting the BidSource website.  If you are interested in learning more about BidSource, visit or call 602-495-6467.

Who do I call if I have a question and cannot find the answer?

Answer: For questions related to construction services, contact the Street Transportation Department at 602-534-5786.

For questions related to general goods and services, contact the Procurement Division at 602-262-7181.