Division IV. Management of County Funds and Property

Chapter 2.106
PURCHASING

Sections:

2.106.010    Purpose.

2.106.020    Definitions.

2.106.022    Application of E-Verify Requirements.

2.106.025    Enforcement of E-Verify Contract Terms.

2.106.030    Purchasing Agent Position Created.

2.106.035    Competitive Bidding for Public Works Projects.

2.106.040    Procedure for Purchase of Tangible Personal Property and Public Works.

2.106.045    Procedure for Purchases of Tangible Personal Property – Office of the Pierce County Council.

2.106.050    Procedure for Solicitation and Purchase of Service Contracts.

2.106.060    Exceptions to Competitive Formal Sealed Bid Procedures.

2.106.070    Emergency Purchases.

2.106.080    Time of Bid or Bid Withdrawal.

2.106.090    Amendment of Invitation to Bid.

2.106.100    Vendor Lists.

2.106.110    Criteria for Qualification.

2.106.120    Nonacceptance.

2.106.130    Removal or Suspension.

2.106.140    Appeal.

2.106.150    Reapplication or Reinstatement.

2.106.160    Bid Bonds.

2.106.170    Facsimile Invitation to Bid.

2.106.180    Telephone Bids.

2.106.190    Hand-Carried Bids.

2.106.200    Form of Bid.

2.106.210    Standard Specifications.

2.106.220    Interpretation of Specifications.

2.106.230    Request for Samples, Descriptive Literature.

2.106.240    Alternate Bid.

2.106.250    Pre-Bid Conferences.

2.106.260    Award.

2.106.270    Partial Award.

2.106.280    Standard Certificate of Award.

2.106.290    Rejection.

2.106.300    Acceptance of Terms.

2.106.310    Handling of Bids at Opening.

2.106.320    Mistakes in Bid Detected Prior to Bid Opening.

2.106.330    Mistakes in Bid Detected During or After Bid Opening.

2.106.340    Disclosure of Bid Information.

2.106.350    Cancellation of Invitation to Bid or Rejection of All Bids.

2.106.360    Notice of Cancellation or Rejection of Bids.

2.106.370    Performance Bond.

2.106.380    Product Fitness.

2.106.390    Price Escalation.

2.106.400    Change of Product Offered.

2.106.410    Intergovernmental Cooperative Purchasing.

2.106.420    Authorization to Implement Procedures.

2.106.425    Exemptions.

2.106.430    Severability.

2.106.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to set forth rules and regulations applicable to the purchase or lease of material, equipment, services, and supplies by, through, or under authority delegated by the Executive to the County Purchasing Agent or other designee. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.010)

2.106.020 Definitions.

As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

A.    "Alternate" means material, supplies, equipment, or services which deviate in respect to features, performance, or use from the brand, model, or specification designated as a standard, whether or not such deviation constitutes an improvement.

B.    "Annual Contract" means an agreement between the County and a vendor, entered into pursuant to the formal advertising and Invitation to Bid process, whereby the vendor agrees to supply specified items to the County for a fixed period of time in quantities to be determined by County requirements and at a bid unit price. The annual contract is used whenever historical data indicates a reasonable likelihood that the County will require a quantity of an item costing in excess of the amount required for Invitations to Bid.

C.    "Architectural/Engineering Services" mean services performed by any person, other than by an employee of Pierce County, which are within the scope of services regulated by Chapters 18.08, 18.43, and 18.96 RCW.

D.    "Bid" means an offer to perform a contract to purchase or supply material, equipment, services, or supplies in response to a formal solicitation.

E.    "Bidder" means one who submits a bid.

F.    "Blanket Contract" means an agreement between the County and a vendor that said vendor shall supply any and all goods or services merchandised by that vendor for a one-year period in quantities to be determined by County requirements and indicated on purchase requisitions. The cost of such goods or services shall be as set forth in a pricing policy submitted by the vendor at the time of contracting. Blanket Contracts entered into without formal advertising or bidding, are for the convenient purchase of low-cost items and no individual requisition shall exceed $2,499.99.

G.    "Business Entity" means any person or group of persons performing or engaging in any activity, enterprise, profession, or occupation for gain, benefit, advantage, or livelihood, whether for profit or not for profit with the County. The term business entity shall include, but not be limited to partnerships, corporations, contractors, and subcontractors doing business with the County.

H.    "Contractor", for purposes of PCC 2.106.022 and 2.106.025, means a person, employer, or business entity that enters into a contract or an agreement with the County to perform any service or work or to provide a certain product in exchange for valuable consideration. For purposes of PCC 2.106.022 and 2.106.025, the term "contractor" shall not include government agencies; legal, architectural and engineering service providers; those whose contracts would be exempt from competitive bidding under PCC 2.106.060 B.; those whose contracts issue under PCC 2.106.070; those whose supplies and services are purchased under PCC 2.106.410; regulated providers of insurance, bonding, banking, or investment services; or public utilities.

I.    "Contracts for Public Works" includes all contracts for work, construction, alteration, repair, or improvement to real property, other than ordinary maintenance, as defined by RCW 39.04.010.

J.    "County" means the offices of the Executive, the County Council, the Superior and District Courts, Prosecuting Attorney, the Assessor-Treasurer, the Auditor, and all other administrative and appointive offices serving under the supervision or at the pleasure of any of the above.

K.    "Council" means the Pierce County Council, the legislative body of Pierce County.

L.    "County Purchasing Agent" referred to in this Chapter as "Agent" is the designee of the Executive charged with procurement of all supplies, materials, equipment, and services for the County with the exception of contracts for public works for public roads.

M.    "Description" means identifying information distinctly and plainly set forth and sufficiently portrayed and explained to insure that the product or service under consideration is uniquely identified.

N.    "E-Verify" shall mean the electronic verification of work authorization program of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-208, Division C, Title IVY s. 403(a), as amended, and operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or a successor electronic verification of work authorization program designated by the United States Department of Homeland Security or other federal agency authorized to verify the work authorization status of newly hired employees pursuant to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-603.

O.    "Emergency Purchase" means a purchase made in response to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the County which present a real, immediate, and material threat to the public interest or property of the County.

P.    An "Equal" is material, equipment, supplies, or services which are equal to or exceed the quality, performance, and use of the brand, model, or specifications designated as the standard.

Q.    "Executive" is the County Executive.

R.    An "Informality" or "Irregularity" is one which is merely a matter of form or is some immaterial variation from the exact requirements of the Invitation for Bids, having no effect or merely a trivial or negligible effect on quality, quantity, or delivery of the supplies or performance of the services being procured, and the correction or waiver of which would not affect the relative standing of, or be otherwise prejudicial to bidders.

S.    "Invitation to Bid" means the procedure used in the formal sealed bid procedure.

T.    "Legal Newspaper" means the official County Newspaper as required by RCW 36.72.075.

U.    "Project" means a task sufficiently specific to limit the services to only those services required to accomplish the specific task. Pricing agreements which require that each future request for specific services shall be approved under PCC 2.106.070 as an emergency shall be exempt from this limitation.

V.    "Purchase" includes leasing or renting.

W.    "Purchaser" means the County of Pierce and the department or agencies using the material, equipment, supplies, or services purchased.

X.    "Request for Quotation" means the procedure used when purchases are solicited in accordance with RCW 36.32.245. The request and the quote in response may be either written or oral as specified by the Agent.

Y.    "Single source purchase" means a purchase of goods or services which can be obtained from only one known vendor.

Z.    "Specifications" means the explicit requirements furnished with an Invitation to Bid or Request for Quotation upon which a purchase order or contract is to be based. Specifications set forth the characteristics of the equipment, material, supplies, or services to be purchased or sold to enable the bidder or vendor to determine and understand that which is to be supplied or sold. This information may be either in terms of physical characteristics or performance requirements or both.

AA.    "Unauthorized Alien" means a person who is unauthorized to be lawfully employed in the United States, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(h)(3). The County shall not conclude that a person is an unauthorized alien unless and until an authorized representative of the County has verified with the Federal government, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c), that the person is an unauthorized alien.

AB.    "Vendor" means supplier of goods and/or services.

(Ord. 2009-74s § 1 (part), 2009; Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.020)

2.106.022 Application of E-Verify Requirements.

A.    As a condition for the award of any County contract for public works in excess of $100,000.00 or any other County contract in excess of $25,000.00, the contractor shall enroll in the E Verify program, or its successor, and thereafter shall provide the County documentation affirming its enrollment and participation in the program. The conditions of this Section shall not apply to contracts that:

1.    Are only for work that will be performed outside the United States;

2.    Are for a period of performance of less than 120 days; or

3.    Are only for:

a.    Commercially available off-the-shelf items (COTS) as defined by federal law;

b.    Items that would be COTS items, but for minor modifications;

c.    Items that would be COTS items if they were not bulk cargo; or

4.    Provide commercial services that are:

a.    Part of the purchase of a COTS item (or an item that would be a COTS item, but for minor modifications);

b.    Performed by the COTS provider; and

c.    Are normally provided for that COTS item.

B.    Contractors shall be required to continue participation in the E-Verify program throughout the course of their business relationship with the County.

C.    If a contractor described in subsection A. uses a subcontractor whose work in connection with the performance of the contract would be subject to the requirements of subsection A. were the contract to be with Pierce County, the subcontractor shall, as a condition of contract, certify to the contractor in a manner that does not violate federal law that the subcontractor has registered and is participating in the E-Verify program and will not knowingly employ or contract with an unauthorized alien.

D.    The County shall include specific written notice in all requests for bids or proposals subject to this Section that contractors may be required to enroll in the E-Verify program pursuant to subsection A. as a condition of award. Contractors are exempt from this Section if they received requests for bids or proposals not containing such notice.

E.    Nothing provided in this Section or PCC 2.106.025 shall relieve contractors otherwise subject to federal E-Verify requirements from complying with the requirements of federal law.

(Ord. 2009-74s § 1 (part), 2009)

2.106.025 Enforcement of E-Verify Contract Terms.

A.    The Executive or their designee shall develop contracting protocols facilitating enforcement of the requirements of PCC 2.106.022. These procedures shall ensure that no business engages in discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, age, disability, national origin, religion, or other status protected by law. The County shall suspend a contract with any business entity or contractor that the United States Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security has found to have been in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a should the business entity or contractor fail to correct the violation within 30 business days of receiving notice of the violation from the United States Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security.

B.    The County shall not suspend the contract of any business entity or contractor per subsection A. of this Section if, prior to the date of the violation, the business entity or contactor verifies the work authorization of any alleged unlawful workers using the E Verify program and demonstrates the same to the County.

C.    The Executive may waive the suspension mandated by subsection A. or a disqualification mandated by PCC 2.106.022 after making a determination that a suspension or disqualification would substantially disrupt the operations of the County. The Executive shall provide notice to the Council within ten days of waiving a suspension or disqualification under this subsection.

D.    Every contract entered into by the County shall provide that any suspension for E Verify noncompliance shall terminate one business day after a legal representative of the business entity or contractor submits, at a County office designated by the Executive, a declaration signed under penalty of perjury of the laws of the state, in the form provided by the County, stating with specificity that the violation has ended.

(Ord. 2009-74s § 1 (part), 2009)

2.106.030 Purchasing Agent Position Created.

A.    There is created the post of Pierce County Purchasing Agent (Agent), through whom all heads of County departments and departments of elected County officials shall make their purchases of every kind and character for and on account of Pierce County. The Agent shall prepare, award, and execute contracts and finally accept upon completion of work, with the exception of contracts for public works for public roads, which shall be prepared, awarded, executed, and finally accepted upon completion of work by the Director of Planning and Public Works Department, in accordance with procedures set forth in this Chapter.

B.    Within the limits of available technology and personnel capabilities:

1.    The Agent shall develop a system to collect information concerning the type, cost, quality, and annually consumed quantity of commonly used supplies, materials, and equipment and shall purchase such items in quantities for a period of time as determined by County-wide demand, volume purchase cost savings, storage costs, unique market conditions and other available information clearly indicating a continuing need for such items.

2.    The Agent shall develop a system to maintain current records of the amounts purchased off of each annual and blanket contract.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2015-25s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-70 § 1 (part), 1981; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.030)

2.106.035 Competitive Bidding for Public Works Projects.

All Public Works construction shall be performed following competitive bidding by independent contractors when the projected value of a project exceeds $25,000.00. (Pierce County Charter Section 9.15 as amended November 28, 1987.) (Ord. 88-18 § 1, 1988)

2.106.040 Procedure for Purchases of Tangible Personal Property and Public Works.

For all purchases of tangible personal property in excess of $25,000.00, and public works purchases of $10,000.00 or more, or such future limits as may be set by State Law, the Agent or designee shall prepare bid specifications and advertise for bids as required by State law. In addition, the Agent shall mail Invitations to Bid to a sufficient number of prospective bidders to elicit adequate competition, such vendors being drawn from established vendor lists and from any other source thought to be of advantage to the County.

The Agent shall have the authority to extend contracts entered into under the provisions of this Section upon the same terms, conditions, and consideration for a period of up to five years, when the Agent shall deem such extensions to be in the best interest of Pierce County.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 88-20 § 1, 1988; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.040)

2.106.045 Procedure for Purchases of Tangible Personal Property – Office of the Pierce County Council.

The Chair of the Council or designee shall be the authorizing authority for purchases of tangible personal property to support the duties and functions of the Office of the Pierce County Council; provided, that purchases of tangible personal property in excess of $5,000 shall also require approval by the Rules and Operations Committee. Such purchases shall be funded from the appropriation for the Office of the Pierce County Council except as otherwise designated by Ordinance and shall otherwise meet the requirements of this Chapter.

For all purchases of tangible property by the Office of the Pierce County Council in excess of $25,000, or such future limits as may be set by State law, the Agent or designee shall prepare bid specifications and advertise for bids as required by State law. In addition, the Agent shall mail Invitations to Bid to a sufficient number of prospective bidders to elicit adequate competition, such vendors being drawn from established vendor lists and from any other source thought to be of advantage to the County. (Ord. 2017-61s2 § 5 (part), 2017)

2.106.050 Procedure for Solicitation and Purchase of Service Contracts.

A.    Annually, the Agent shall determine the County's anticipated requirements for any category or type of service and shall publish an announcement of these requirements. If the County later requires any further, previously unpublished services, it shall publish additional announcements on each occasion when such services are required. All such publications shall include a request that firms interested in providing those services to the County submit a statement of qualifications and performance data to be placed on file.

B.    Prior to entering into a service contract for an amount of $5,000.00 or greater, the requesting department or the Agent, when appropriate, shall evaluate all statements on file, together with those that may be submitted by other firms and shall conduct discussions with one or more firms regarding anticipated concepts and the relative utility of alternative methods of approach. Written criteria shall then be developed in consultation with the requesting department, which will be used to determine which firm to recommend for contract award. Such criteria may include the following:

1.    Quality of past performance;

2.    Known and documented expertise;

3.    Documentation, as required, and demonstration of financial capability to perform required work;

4.    Cost of performance, where appropriate.

C.    Prior to entering into service contracts between $5,000.00 and $25,000.00, at least three vendors, if possible, shall be contacted and provided with the scope of work, including the project description, with responses being submitted, either in writing or by phone. The requesting department or the Agent, when appropriate, shall rank the proposals submitted based on the criteria set forth in subsection B. of this Section and shall award to the vendor best meeting the needs of the County. In the event that a satisfactory contract cannot be negotiated with the highest ranked contractor, the requesting Department or Agent shall then begin negotiations with the next highest ranked contractor.

D.    Prior to entering into service contracts exceeding $25,000.00, the Executive or designee, or Council as set forth in subsection G. of this Section, shall:

1.    Develop specifications with a project description in the form of a Request for Proposal in concert with the requesting County department;

2.    Publicly advertise the Request for Proposals and include the name of a contact person from whom the project specifications shall be available;

3.    Rank the proposals submitted based on the criteria set forth in subsection B. of this Section and award the contract in a manner that is in the best interest of the County; provided, that in the event the County fails to negotiate satisfactory terms with the highest ranked proposed contractor, the Executive shall then begin negotiations with the next highest ranked contractor;

E.    The selection of a Vendor for Architectural and Engineering services may be accomplished by following the procedures set forth by State law Chapter RCW 39.80 RCW.

F.    Exceptions to the competitive solicitation provisions of this Section:

1.    Services of Special Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys.

2.    Services of attorney(s) appointed pursuant to legal mandate by the Courts or the Department of Assigned Counsel.

3.    Services (e.g., professional, forensic, technical, consultant) deemed necessary by the Courts or the Department of Assigned Counsel to provide effective assistance of counsel and services deemed necessary by the Prosecuting Attorney to provide effective legal representation.

4.    Appointment of service providers whose selection is solely within the discretion of the Courts.

G.    Council Service Contracts. The Pierce County Council shall follow the procedures in this Chapter when contracting for services to support the duties and functions of the Office of the Pierce County Council. The Chair of the Council, or designee, shall be authorized to enter into contracts and contract modifications for such services when approved by the Rules and Operations Committee. Council service contracts shall be funded from appropriations for the Office of the Pierce County Council or Special Projects. Special Projects appropriations for Council service contracts shall be designated through an appropriation Ordinance.

The Executive or designee shall have the authority to modify service contracts to accomplish the original scope of services rendered to the County when it is deemed to be in the best interest of Pierce County; provided, the Executive or designee shall make a quarterly report to the Council's Rules and Operations Committee regarding all instances where additional compensation paid to the vendor exceeded 50 percent of the original contract amount and the original contract amount was $5,000.00 or greater.

(Ord. 2017-61s2 § 5 (part), 2017; Ord. 2008-65 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 88-20 § 2, 1988; Ord. 81-108 § 1, 1982; Ord. 81-70 § 1 (part), 1981; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.050)

2.106.060 Exceptions to Competitive Formal Sealed Bid Procedures.

A.    Small Purchases.

1.    In accordance with the provisions of RCW 36.32.245 and 36.32.250, the Agent is granted authority to let any contract, lease, or purchase of material, equipment, or services involving less than $25,000.00 and public works under $10,000.00, without advertisement and without formal competitive bidding; to prevent the artificial division of purchase requirements to constitute a small purchase under this Section, the Agent shall accumulate and consolidate purchase orders County wide, to the greatest extent possible, based on the ordering department's and the Agent's best knowledge of known quantity requirements at a known time. The Agent shall adopt procedures for purchases or leases of material, equipment, services, and supplies of less than $5,000.00, and for public works purchases less than $10,000.00.

2.    In the case of purchases, except services and public works, for an amount between $5,000.01 and $10,000.00, the following procedures shall be followed:

a.    Telephone and/or written quotations shall be obtained from at least three vendors, if possible, to assure establishment of a competitive price and to award such contract to the lowest responsible bidder.

b.    Immediately after the award is made, the bid quotations or proposals obtained shall be recorded and opened to public inspection.

3.    In the case of purchases, except services and public works from $10,001.00 to $25,000.00, the Agent shall follow the following procedures:

a.    Requests for Quotation will be prepared and mailed to three or more vendors, if possible, such vendors being drawn from established vendor lists and from any other source thought to be of advantage to the County.

b.    The Requests for Quotation shall be opened at a place and manner as specified by the Agent.

c.    Award will be made to the lowest responsible bidder.

d.    Immediately after the award is made, the bid quotations shall be recorded and opened to public inspection.

4.    In the case of public works purchases from $10,000.00 to $300,000.00 the procedures of RCW 39.04.155 for small works contract awards process may be used.

5.    Pierce County may utilize any changes to bid limits set forth in State law.

B.    Single Source or Special Facilities, Services, or Market Conditions. Purchases which are clearly and legitimately limited to a single known source of supply, and purchases involving special facilities, services, or market conditions may be acquired through direct negotiation with a single vendor.

C.    Used Equipment.

1.    The purchase of used equipment from private vendors is generally considered to be a purchase falling within the exceptions set forth in subsection B. of this Section. A County department desiring to purchase used equipment shall be responsible to determine what used equipment is available on the market and properly record this search. The purchase request must fully justify the acquisition of used equipment.

2.    In the case of purchases in excess of $25,000.00, notice of the intention to purchase the used equipment, a description of the equipment, and a deadline for submitting bids to sell, shall be advertised by publishing a notice at least one week prior to said deadline in the legal newspaper or appropriate trade journal. The notice so published shall state that anyone desiring to sell to the County similar used equipment should contact the Agent for full requirements of the equipment, and then submit a bid in writing to the location specified by the Agent stating the equipment offered; the sale price; the owner's name, address, and phone number; and time and place where the equipment can be seen.

3.    The Agent, with the assistance of the requesting department, shall review all bids and make an award as best meets the needs of the County. On bids exceeding $50,000.00, the Executive shall make the award.

D.    Service contracts subject to the provisions of PCC 2.106.050.

E.    Credit Card Purchases. The Agent shall:

1.    Establish and maintain all credit arrangements with appropriate vendor(s) or credit card companies.

2.    Promulgate policies and procedures governing their use, including but not limited to:

a.    Authorization, distribution, and credit limits associated with credit cards;

b.    Revocation for misuse;

c.    System for control of payment process.

Personal use of official credit cards is prohibited. Cash advances on credit cards are prohibited. Cards must be surrendered to the Department of Finance if used in a manner which is inconsistent with County policy.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-57 § 1, 2013; Ord. 2008-65 § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 2002-2 § 1, 2002; Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-70 § 1 (part), 1981; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.060)

2.106.070 Emergency Purchases.

A.    For purposes of this Section, an "Emergency" shall exist when the public interest or property of Pierce County would suffer material injury or damage by delay, or when there exists a threat to public health, safety, or welfare by reason of the time required to follow Pierce County's regular contracting procedures, the Executive or designee may dispense with such procedures consistent with the provisions of this Section; provided that such contracting shall be made with such completion as is practicable under the circumstances. A written finding of the existence of such emergency must be made by the Executive or designee and duly entered of record.

B.    The provisions of this Section shall not apply to emergencies governed by Chapter 38.52 RCW as it now exists or is hereafter amended; provided, during the duration of such an emergency, the Executive shall report to the Council at least every seven days.

C.    In the event of an emergency and upon declaring its existence the Executive, or the official authorized by Chapter 2.118 PCC for declarations subject to that Chapter, in consultation with the Prosecuting Attorney, may waive the requirements of PCC 2.106.040 and 2.106.050.

D.    For all emergency purchases, the Executive or designee shall declare an emergency of and contact at least three vendors to the extent practicable under the circumstances and provide them with a scope of work. The Executive or designee shall award to the vendor who best meets the needs of the County as outlined in the scope of work. The Executive or designee shall make a quarterly report to the Council's Fiscal Management Committee setting forth for each emergency purchase the name of the vendor, a summary of the services performed or goods provided, the amount of the emergency purchase and a summary of the written finding made pursuant to subsection A. of this Section.

E.    In addition to the requirements of subsection D. of this Section, the Executive shall, for emergency purchases that have a value of $50,000.00 or more, report such emergency purchases to the Council within five days of declaring the emergency and provide a written report setting for the basis for declaring the emergency as well as an estimate of the time during which emergency contracting procedures will be used to provide relief from the emergency.

F.    All emergency purchase contracts executed under this Section shall contain a clause permitting Pierce County to terminate the contract for convenience without obligation to pay for work not actually performed.

G.    The Council may, by resolution, terminate a declaration of emergency, and require termination for convenience of contracts executed under this Section, if the Council determines that the interest of the public so requires.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-70 § 1 (part), 1981; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code 2.04.070)

2.106.080 Time of Bid or Bid Withdrawal.

A.    The bidding or quoting time shall be as determined by the Agent. All invitations to bid shall provide sufficient time to allow bidders an opportunity to prepare and submit their bid. The Agent shall have the discretion to lengthen or shorten bid or quote time should special circumstances or needs dictate a shorter or longer time frame. All bids and withdrawals must be received on or before the time specified on the bid, at the place designated in the bid document. No deviations will be allowed and late bids and timely withdrawals will be returned unopened.

B.    All bids shall be date stamped, prior to opening. Precautions will be taken to insure security in respect to the bids. Bids which are received but which do not identify the Invitation to Bid or the time for bid opening may be opened but solely for identification purposes, and only by officially designated personnel. All late bids or late withdrawal requests will be date and time recorded.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.080)

2.106.090 Amendment of Invitation to Bid.

An Invitation to Bid may be changed or amended by the Agent provided the change is issued in writing prior to the bid opening date. Such changes will be furnished to all interested vendors in the form of an addendum. Any material information provided to a prospective bidder with regard to an Invitation to Bid shall be furnished to all bidders on the vendor list receiving a copy of the original invitation. Oral interpretations of contract terms and conditions shall not be binding on the County unless confirmed in writing by the Agent and provided to all bidders at least 24 hours before bid opening. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.090)

2.106.100 Vendor Lists.

Vendor lists are categorized according to commodities and are maintained and updated by the Agent. Vendor lists are used by the Agent to determine vendors from which to solicit bids. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.100)

2.106.110 Criteria for Qualification.

A vendor's eligibility for inclusion on a vendor list shall be based upon the following factors:

A.    The financial standing and responsibility of the vendor;

B.    The vendor's facilities for production, distribution and service;

C.    The length of time the vendor has successfully been in business;

D.    The vendor's performance on previous contracts;

E.    The ready availability to the County of the vendor's sales and service capabilities;

F.    Such other information as may be secured concerning the vendor's ability to satisfactorily perform a contract for the County.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.110)

2.106.120 Nonacceptance.

If an application to be placed on the vendor list is refused, the applicant shall be advised in writing as to the reason for nonacceptance. (Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.120)

2.106.130 Removal or Suspension.

The Agent may remove or suspend a vendor from any vendor list for cause. Examples of reasons for removal or suspension include but are not limited to the following:

A.    Illegal act(s);

B.    Failure to respond, without good cause, to three consecutive Invitations to Bid or Requests for Quote for the same commodity description;

C.    Unreasonable number of "No Bid" responses;

D.    Any material failure to perform, e.g., delivery, quality;

E.    Any significant detrimental change in supplier status, e.g., financial condition, lines carried, service ability;

F.    Unauthorized product substitution, or representation of an alternate as an equal; or

G.    Discriminatory practices.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.130)

2.106.140 Appeal.

Any vendor removed from a vendor list or who is not placed on the vendor list after request, may appeal the decision to the Executive or designee. If such an appeal is to be made it must be submitted in writing within ten days of notification of the action taken. (Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.140)

2.106.150 Reapplication or Reinstatement.

If a vendor's application to be placed on a vendor list has been refused, or if the vendor has been removed from the vendor list, the vendor may reapply to be placed on a vendor list, or apply for reinstatement when the causes for removal have been corrected. (Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.150)

2.106.160 Bid Bonds.

The County shall demand a deposit by each bidder in the form of a certified or cashier's check or bid bond in an amount not less than 5 percent of the total bid, such amount to be specified in the call for bids for the following projects:

A.    construction projects issued subject to Invitations to Bid, and

B.    other contracts made subject to Invitations to Bid by the Agent, when he or she deems it is appropriate.

Failure to submit a bid deposit in one of the forms specified above will be a cause for rejection of the bid.

In instances where a bid is for an annual contract to supply an undetermined quantity of goods at a fixed price, quantity to be determined by the County's future requirements, the Agent shall determine the amount of the bid deposit, which amount shall be approximately 5 percent of the total contract price. In determining the total contract price, the Agent shall consider the County's prior purchasing history and its anticipated future requirements.

If the bidder to whom a contract is awarded fails to enter into the contract and furnish the contractor's bond, if required, within 20 days after notice of the award, exclusive of the day of notice, the amount of the bid deposit may be forfeited to the County and the contract awarded to the next lowest and best bidder. The Agent may, at his or her discretion, extend the time for furnishing of a bond for a reasonable length of time as determined by the Agent, when deemed appropriate. The Agent may, when deemed appropriate, return all bid bonds except the apparent three lowest bidders, at any time after bid opening. The bid deposit of all unsuccessful bidders shall be returned after the contract is awarded, and the required contractor's bond given by the successful bidder is accepted by the County.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 88-19 § 2, 1988; 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.160)

2.106.170 Facsimile Invitation to Bid.

Facsimile Invitation to Bid proposals will be accepted by the County if the original signed bid proposal is mailed to the location specified in the bid documents and postmarked prior to the time designated for the bid opening. Also, facsimile Invitations to Bid shall not be sent to the County's facsimile machine, but must be sent to the Bidder's agent and delivered to the location specified in the bid documents in a sealed envelope, as stated above, before the time stated in the Bid. Facsimile withdrawals will be accepted on all bids timely received at the location specified in the Invitation to Bid. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.170)

2.106.180 Telephone Bids.

Telephone responses to Invitations to Bid will not be accepted. Telephone withdrawals will not be accepted. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.180)

2.106.190 Hand-Carried Bids.

Hand-carried bids must be delivered to the location specified in the bid documents. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.190)

2.106.200 Form of Bid.

A.    To receive consideration, bids and quotes shall be made on the form provided by the Agent. If a letter is used to supplement the Agent bid form it must meet the satisfaction of the Agent, be properly headed and signed, properly marked on the outside of the envelope, and received by the time specified.

B.    All bids and quotes must be filled out in ink or with typewriter and properly signed by an authorized representative of the vendor. All changes and/or erasures shall be initialed in ink. Unsigned bids or quotes will be rejected on opening.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.200)

2.106.210 Standard Specifications.

Specifications contained in the Invitation to Bid will, where practical, be nonrestrictive to provide an equal basis for competition and participation by an optimum number of qualified bidders. Unless otherwise specifically provided in the Invitation to Bid, reference to any equipment, material, or supplies by trade name, make, or catalog number, shall be regarded as establishing a standard of quality and shall not be construed as limiting competition. All bids which offer a different trade name, make, or catalog number must state whether the item offered is equal or an alternate, and literature which describes the item offered must be provided, when available. The final decision as to whether an item is an equal or a satisfactory alternate shall be the responsibility of the Agent. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.210)

2.106.220 Interpretation of Specifications.

In the event of discrepancies or omissions in the bid specifications, or doubt as to their meaning, the bidder shall immediately notify the Agent in writing. In response, written instructions and/or addenda as required shall be sent to all interested parties. The Agent will not be responsible for oral interpretations not confirmed in writing by the Agent giving the interpretation at least 24 hours before bid opening. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.220)

2.106.230 Request for Samples, Descriptive Literature.

The Agent reserves the right to ask for samples, competitive demonstrations, and/or descriptive literature at bidders' expense. If not destroyed in testing or required for quality control, bidders may request return of samples at the bidders' expense. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.230)

2.106.240 Alternate Bid.

The Agent shall have the discretion to accept an alternate bid if it can be shown that the alternate substantially conforms to the bid specifications. If a bidder represents an article as being "an equal" when in fact it is "an alternate" that bid may be disregarded. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.240)

2.106.250 Pre-Bid Conferences.

Pre-bid conferences may be scheduled by the Agent to answer any questions regarding the specifications; or, after interested vendors have reviewed the specifications, to discuss proposed changes. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.250)

2.106.260 Award.

A contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder (or bidders, where multiple awards are appropriate) based upon the price, including the effect of term discounts and taxes. Price may be determined by life cycle costing if so indicated in the Invitation to Bid; provided, the quality of the material or services proposed to be supplied conforms with specifications and the purposes for which they are required.

The responsibility of bidders shall be determined based upon the following criteria:

A.    The ability, capacity, and skill of the bidder to perform the contract and provide the services required;

B.    The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience, and efficiency of the bidder;

C.    Whether the bidder can perform the contract within the time specified;

D.    The quality of performance of previous contracts or services;

E.    The previous and existing compliance by the bidder with the laws relating to the contract or services;

F.    Servicing resources, capability, and capacity;

All things being equal, tie bids shall be resolved by a flip of the coin in the presence of a witness.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code 2.04.260)

2.106.270 Partial Award.

The Agent shall have the discretion to award on an "all or nothing" basis or to accept any portion of the items bid, excluding others, unless the bidder stipulates all or nothing on his or her bid. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.270)

2.106.280 Standard Certificate of Award.

A standard certificate of award, or in the case of a direct purchase, a purchase order will normally be mailed to the successful vendor. (Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.280)

2.106.290 Rejection.

No notice will be sent to unsuccessful bidders. (Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.290)

2.106.300 Acceptance of Terms.

Acceptance shall be expressly limited to the terms and conditions of the contract/bid prescribed by the Agent. All material alterations, additional or different terms proposed by the bidder shall be and are rejected unless otherwise provided for in writing by the Agent. (Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.300)

2.106.310 Handling of Bids at Opening.

The Agent or designee shall be present and function in the opening of all bids relating to the County's purchase of goods or services by the sealed bid procedure including public works contracts and to exercise surveillance over the bid opening. Invitations to Bid proposals shall be received at the location specified in the bid documents to be opened by the Agent at the advertised time, date and location. The Agent or designee shall personally and publicly open all bids and read them out loud for recording. The bid form may not be completed, signed, or amended after official opening time. The Clerk of the Council or designee shall electronically record and maintain written summaries of the bid openings. Bids must remain under the control of the Agent, designee, or the Director of Planning and Public Works or designee. The Agent or designee, or the Director of Planning and Public Works, shall award the lowest acceptable bid proposal by entering into a lawful agreement with the awardee unless all bids are rejected. In all awards where the Agent or Director of Planning and Public Works desires to waive a bid defect, award an alternative, declare a low bidder non-responsive, or award any bid in excess of $50,000.00, the award shall be referred to the Executive with a recommendation for award. Based upon the Executive's recommendation, the Director of Planning and Public Works shall execute public works contracts as set forth in PCC 2.106.030. All other contracts in excess of $50,000.00 shall be executed by the Executive or designee. Copies of all awards in excess of $50,000.00 and reasons for not accepting low bids shall be forwarded to the County Council and Executive within ten days of date of the award. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2015-25s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-70 § 1 (part), 1981; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.310)

2.106.320 Mistakes in Bid Detected Prior to Bid Opening.

Mistakes in bids detected prior to bid opening may be corrected by bidder withdrawing the original bid and submitting a corrected bid to the delivery location specified in the bid documents before the bid opening. If there is not sufficient time prior to bid opening to withdraw the original bid and submit a corrected bid, the bidder or an authorized representative may correct the mistake on the face of the original bid; provided, the official opening time has not yet been reached. A corrected bid must be date stamped in upon resubmission. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.320)

2.106.330 Mistakes in Bid Detected During or After Bid Opening.

Bidder mistakes in a bid detected during or after bid opening may not be corrected. If the bidder submits evidence, in writing, satisfactory to the Agent or designee and to the Prosecuting Attorney that a mistake has been made by the bidder in the calculation of its bid, the Agent or designee may allow the bid to be withdrawn; provided, that the claim of mistake and the evidence in support thereof must be made and provided within three business days after the bid has been opened. Compliance with this Section within the specified time limit shall relieve the bidder of forfeiture of the bid bond. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.330)

2.106.340 Disclosure of Bid Information.

After award, the bids of all bidders shall be opened to public inspection at the offices of the Agent during normal office hours. The Agent assumes no responsibility for the confidentiality of submitted bids. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.340)

2.106.350 Cancellation of Invitation to Bid or Rejection of all Bids.

The Agent reserves the right to reject all bids, cancel an Invitation to Bid, Request for Quote, or Request for Proposals, and/or call for new bids. Examples of reasons for cancellation of an invitation, or request or rejection of all bids shall include but are not limited to the following:

A.    Inadequate or ambiguous specifications;

B.    Specifications have been revised;

C.    Supplies or services being processed are no longer required;

D.    Lowest responsible bid deemed not best price obtainable;

E.    Bids were not independently arrived at or were submitted in bad faith, i.e., price fixing;

F.    A determination is made that all the necessary requirements of the bid process have not been met;

G.    Insufficient competition;

H.    Other indications that cancellation or rejection of all bids is clearly in the best interest of the County.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.350)

2.106.360 Notice of Cancellation or Rejection of Bids.

In the event of a cancellation of an Invitation to Bid, a Request for Proposals, or a Request for Quote, or in the event all bids are rejected, all participating bidders will be notified by mail. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.360)

2.106.370 Performance Bond.

When required in the bid solicitation, the successful bidder shall be required by the Agent to post a performance bond or a performance/payment bond. The bond shall be in a form acceptable to the Agent. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.370)

2.106.380 Product Fitness.

Vendor shall warrant that the articles supplied under the contract shall conform to the specifications and are fit for the purpose for which such goods are ordinarily employed. (Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.380)

2.106.390 Price Escalation.

Vendor shall not be entitled to a price escalation except where specifically provided for in writing in the contract. (Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.390)

2.106.400 Change of Product Offered.

A vendor shall not be allowed to substitute material, supplies, equipment, or services from that offered; provided, however, if the material, supplies, equipment, or services offered are no longer available to the vendor for reasons beyond its control, the Agent may consider a request by the vendor for substitution. All such requests must be in writing, must set forth the reasons the product or service is no longer available, and if requested, must be accompanied by samples, record of performance, certified copies of tests by impartial and recognized laboratories, and such additional data as the Agent may request. Samples and data shall be furnished sufficiently in advance to allow for investigation before a decision is made. If the change is approved, the vendor shall warrant that the substitute article is equal to or better than the specified article. If the change results in any cost savings to the vendor, the cost savings shall be reflected in full and cause a reduction in price to the County. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.400)

2.106.410 Intergovernmental Cooperative Purchasing.

A.    The Agent is authorized to sell to, acquire from, or use any supplies, material, or equipment belonging to any agency, political subdivision, or unit of local government of this State including, but not limited to, special purpose and local service districts, any agency of the State government, and any agency of the United States independent from the requirements of PCC 2.106.040 and 2.106.060, to the fullest extent permitted by State law.

B.    The Agent or designee shall have authority to join with the above-described units of government in cooperative purchasing plans when the best interests of the County would be served thereby; provided, that each of the participating units shall be separately invoiced by the vendors for purchases made under such plans, and the County shall not be obligated for purchases other than those required for its own use.

(Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.410)

2.106.420 Authorization to Implement Procedures.

The Executive or designee is authorized to promulgate and adopt rules and procedures for purchasing, leasing, and contracting for all supplies, materials, services, and equipment for all departments of the County and the operation procedures of purchasing stores, supplies, and mail departments and to implement such forms, processes, and procedures as necessary to comply with the provisions of this Chapter. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995; Ord. 81-31 § 2 (part), 1981; prior Code § 2.04.420)

2.106.425 Exemptions.

Pierce County may utilize any other exemption from competitive bidding/solicitation provided by law. (Ord. 94-114S § 1 (part), 1995)

2.106.430 Severability.

If any provision of this Chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the Chapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. 89-155 § 2, 1989)