Citywide Procurement - Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Where is OCP Located?

OCP is located in the David Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building, One Centre Street, 18th Floor So., New York, NY 10007-1614. Visitors must have a photo ID and enter through security at One Centre St. South Visitors' Entrance only.

2. Does OCP have a bidder's list, and if so, how may I get my company get on the list?

If you are a vendor and you would like to be notified of procurement opportunities with the City, please register with the Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort). Vendors no longer can enroll in commodities for NYC solicitations through the Payee Information Portal (PIP). New vendors may now enroll in commodities using PASSPort. Your self-assigned commodity code listing will determine which solicitations your firm should be contacted for. In addition, for those who wish to receive automatic notification of bid opportunities over $100,000 in value, you may enroll in The City Record Online (CROL). If you are thinking of becoming a new vendor for the City, we encourage you to begin your PASSPort submission as soon as possible, as it may take some time to complete and be approved.

3. Do I need to be pre-qualified to participate in OCP procurement solicitations?

OCP does not pre-qualify vendors for participation in its procurement solicitations. The requirements that a vendor must meet to be eligible for award of a contract are identified in each specific solicitation.

4. How do I find out about OCP Procurement Solicitations?

Solicitations for purchases valued over $100,000 are advertised in The City Record. Please contact the individual procurement manager identified in the solicitation for specific questions regarding the solicitation.

5. How do I obtain copies of OCP Solicitations?

OCP solicitations are available in electronic format via CROL. In order to download and view the documents, you must enroll with CROL. Printed copies can also be picked in person at 1 Centre St., Room 1860, New York, NY 10007. DCAS may impose a fee of $35 for this service. Payment may be remitted by company, bank check or money orders. In addition to CROL, DCAS has partnered with Empire State Purchasing Group, to post bids to the Empire State Bid System. This site is a centralized state-wide system providing access to public bid opportunities at no cost. To register, please visit Empire State Bid System.

6. What is the difference between a bid and a proposal?

Bids, formally known as Competitive Sealed Bids (CSB), refer to a contracting method in which sealed bids are publicly solicited, opened and a contract is awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. Proposals, formally known as Competitively Sealed Proposals (CSP), refer to a contracting method in which a solicitation is made through a Request for Proposal (RFP). RFPs are solicitations for services to be performed where price is not solely the consideration for award, and between receipt of proposals and award, discussions with vendors may take place, which may result in price changes.

7. How do I become a registered vendor?

If you are a vendor and you would like to be notified of procurement opportunities with the City, please register with the Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal (PASSPort). Vendors no longer can enroll in commodities for NYC solicitations through the Payee Information Portal (PIP). New vendors may now enroll in commodities using PASSPort. Your self-assigned commodity code listing will determine which solicitations your firm should be contacted for. In addition, for those who wish to receive automatic notification of bid opportunities over $100,000 in value, you may enroll in CROL. If you are thinking of becoming a new vendor for the City, we encourage you to begin your PASSPort submission as soon as possible, as it may take some time to complete and be approved.

8. What are the Procurement Policy Board (PPB) Rules and how do I obtain a copy of those rules?

Procurements by New York City mayoral agencies are governed by the Procurement Policy Board (PPB). The PPB is authorized to promulgate rules governing the procurement of goods, services, and construction by the City of New York under Chapter 13 of the Charter of the City of New York. For an electronic version of the Rules, proposed and final rule amendments since the publication date, please visit the PPB website.

9. Who oversees OCP's procurement processes?

Aside from being governed by the Rules of the Procurement Policy Board (PPB),OCP's procurement processes are overseen by the Mayor's Office of Contract Services (MOCS). MOCS is the City's compliance and oversight agency for procurement, which assists City agencies to comply with procurement rules and achieve their programmatic missions and to improve contract management practices; MOCS also provides technical assistance to agencies and vendors.

10. How do I find information about previous pricing?

For information and contract pricing and awards in the last 30 days, please refer to OCP's Recent Bid Results and Recent Awards. If you do not see the information you are looking for, you may request contract information under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).To submit a FOIL request please follow instructions outlined in the Contact DCAS section.

11. How does my company set up a meeting to discuss a bid?

OCP does not meet with vendors individually, but any questions may be emailed to OCP. A determination will be made as to the necessity of posting an addendum to the bid or scheduling a Pre-Bid Conference to which all interested vendors are invited. The conference affords vendors the opportunity to meet buyers and agency staff, and to examine and discuss specifications, bid conditions and delivery information.

12. What happens if there is an error in my bid proposal?

Your bid is your firm offer to enter into a contract with the City. However, bids may be modified or withdrawn by written notice received in the office designated in the ‘invitation for bid' before the time and date set for opening. If you discover after the bid opening that you have made an honest mistake in your bid that you can substantiate, you should notify the Procurement Analyst in writing. The Procurement Analyst will bring the matter up with the ACCO who will make a determination in accordance with Section 3-02 (m) of the PPB Rules.

13. What kind of insurance do I need to maintain once I have a contract?

Insurance requirements will be included in the solicitation under appendix A and resulting agreement. Insurance is required as part of your contractual obligation and varies according to what type of contract you have. At a minimum the company must have a General Liability insurance policy of one million dollars ($1,000,000) and Workers Compensation insurance in accordance with the laws of the State of New York from a licensed insurance company. Additionally, you may be required to provide auto insurance, depending on your contract.

14. My firm responded to an RFP a few months ago, but we have not yet been notified if we have been selected. What does this mean?

The evaluation and selection process can take a number of months to complete. You can be assured that as soon as the process is completed, all firms will be notified. All proposals are reviewed by an Evaluation Committee comprised of at least three (3) members with knowledge, expertise and experience sufficient to conduct fair and reasonable evaluations. Generally, proposals are ranked numerically based on technical merit and criteria described in the RFP, and the scores are then compiled by the Committee Chair. Cost proposals are then opened and using the "Basis for Contract Award' criteria set out in the RFP, an award may be made.

15. How long does it take for a contract to be awarded?

The timeframe does vary, but generally the process takes 4 to 6 months from the bid opening date in the case of Competitive Sealed Bids; in the case of Competitive Sealed Proposals 6 to 9 months, or more, may be required from the time your proposal is selected until you can start work.

16. Why does the procurement process take so long?

As you might expect, there are many reviews that need to occur before finalizing a contract. Much of the delay is caused by reviews of pricing, required certifications, background check, payrolls, funding, etc.

17. Our company was the low bidder, when will we receive a purchase order?

It is difficult to predict a time frame because many steps must be completed before an award is finalized and a purchase order or notice of award can be issued.

18. Our proposal was selected for award. When can we start working?

All contracts must be registered with New York City's Comptroller's Office. Once registered, a Notice to Proceed (NTP) letter will be issued to your firm indicating when you can commence work.

19. How can the vendor withdraw a bid?

If a vendor wishes to withdraw a bid before the bid opening, a request should be made via email, regular mail or in person with a letter to OCP's Vendor Relations declaring the withdrawal. Include bid number, bid title, opening date and how and where to send back the bid (type of delivery; contact; address; phone). If it is after the bid opening, withdrawals can only occur in accordance with Section 3-02 of the PPB Rules.

20. My company needs more time than is stated in the terms and conditions for delivery. What can we do?

Your offer was accepted and you must abide by the contract. The City reserves a contractual right to buy against non-performing vendors. If a vendor fails to deliver in accordance with the contract, the City may obtain the product from another vendor. The non-performing vendor is then charged for any price difference and administrative costs.

21. Are there opportunities for Minority and Women-owned Businesses in OCP solicitations?

OCP seeks to buy products from businesses certified under the New York City Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program . Local Law 1 of 2013 has created more opportunities for certified M/WBEs to bid on public contracts. We strive to increase awards to certified M/WBEs and include M/WBEs in all solicitations for micro and small purchases. Call the Certification Helpline at (212) 513-6311 to request a "Fast Track" certification application or email. To download a standard certification application certify with the city.