How to Do Business

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Q: How do I get to the Procurement and Risk Management Office? Click here for DIRECTIONS.

Q:  What are your office hours?
A:  The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Vendors are requested to call for an appointment to visit with a member of the staff.

Q:  How do I get my company on the City's bidder list?
A:  Complete the on-line vendor registration process found on this Web site under "Vendor Registration" and select all commodity codes that describe the goods and/or services that your company provides.

Q.  What is the City's bidding process?
A:  The City of Charlottesville's purchasing process is a combination of centralized/decentralized system, with set thresholds for the process to be used.  The following is a synopsis of the procedure required at each designated threshold.  Please note: All transactions with the City require either a purchase order or credit card purchase.  Do not accept verbal orders--insist on a Purchase Order.

$5,000 and less for the City (excluding Charlottesville Area Transit)
Single transactions $5,000 and less do not require competition, though it's always advisable.  Agencies can purchase directly using either the Division credit card or a Purchase Order.  The law deals in aggregate amounts, so spending over $5,000 in separate transactions of less than $5,000 each is a violation of  City procedure.

The single transaction limit for Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) is $3,500 or less.

$5,000.01 to $50,000 GOODS & SERVICES for the City (excluding Charlottesville Area Transit)
Quotes generally solicited directly by using agency.  Four (4) quotes must be solicited in writing.  Agencies are required to submit quotes received to Procurement for review and approval before a purchase order is issued.

The informal competitive (Request for Quotation) limit for Charlottesville Area Transit is $3,500.00 to $50,000.

OVER $50,000
Goods require, by statute in both the Virginia Public Procurement Act and the City Procurement Ordinance, a competitive sealed bid which must be done through Procurement.  Non-Professional services require, again by law, a sealed bid or request for proposal.  Professional services, which are only those services specifically designated in the law, require use of a competitive negotiation process.

Q:  How do I contact City departments to introduce my company?
A:  The City's Web site includes a list of government offices.  We have also hyperlinked a Contact List  for City department contacts that includes the contact person's  name, contact information and goods/services most recently purchased.  For goods and/or services that are not expected to exceed $50,000 contact the Department Contact Person on this list. 


There is an additional Contact List that includes City departments and the name of the Procurement's Central Buyer that's assigned to the department.  If the goods/services are expected to exceed $50,000 contact the Central Procurement Buyer at purchasing@charlottesville.org from this list.  

Q:  How does the City advertise goods and services being bid?
A:  Formal bids and proposals are posted on the Bid Board in the Purchasing Office and are almost always posted on the Procurement "Bids & Proposals" page.  Quotes over $10,000 are posted on the bid board. All RFP's are required by law to be advertised in a local paper of general circulation, in the City's case, The Charlottesville Daily Progress or Cville Weekly.

Q:  What are the licensing requirements for the City of Charlottesville and the Commonwealth of Virginia?
A:  The City's licensing information is available on the Commissioner of the Revenue site.

Q:  What are the bonding requirements?
A:  Bonds are normally not required for projects estimated to cost less than $100,000.  The Purchasing Agent, however, may require a bond if s/he believes it is in the City's best interest.  Bonds may be issued by an approved surety firm, be in the form of a cashier's check, or, with the prior approval of the City Attorney, be in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit with an approved financial institution.

Q:  Does the City offer set-asides or preferences any class of business?
A:  In accordance with the Virginia Code, the City is unable to grant preferences or set-asides.  Please refer to the Disadvantaged Business Program.

Q.  How can I obtain a copy of the Vendor Appeal Procedures?
A:  Click on the City of Charlottesville's Vendor Appeal Procedures link.

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