DCAS Agency Procurement - Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information

1. Where is DCAS Agency Procurement Located?

DCAS Agency Procurement
David N. Dinkins Manhattan
Municipal Building
1 Centre Street, 18th Floor South
New York, NY 10007.
Visitors must have ID and enter through security using the 1 Centre St. South entrance only.

2. Does DCAS have Bidders' Lists, and, if so, how can my company get on a 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.

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.

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

DCAS 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 DCAS Procurement Solicitations?

This website contains all currently advertised solicitations. Solicitations over $100,000 are advertised in The City Record and some are advertised in Minority Commerce Weekly. Solicitations under $100,000 are conducted using the City’s Bidders’ Lists.  Please reference above question 2 for information regarding enrollment with the City’s Bidders’ Lists.  Please contact the individual procurement manager identified in the solicitation for specific questions regarding the solicitation.

5. How do I obtain copies of DCAS Procurement Solicitations?

Most solicitations are issued in electronic format and do not require a fee. You must register for the City Record Online in order to download and view DCAS solicitations, or you may find copies on our website. 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.

6. 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 City Record Online (CROL) and 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. Both systems will automatically notify vendors when a new procurement opportunity becomes available by City agencies. 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. Please note that the required method of communication for procurement opportunities is email.

7. What are the Procurement Policy Board Rules (PPB) and how can 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. 

8. How can I see who has been awarded a contract, and when that contract would expire?

DCAS regularly posts recent contract awards and contract expiration dates on its webpage.  The City Record Online (CROL) is also a good source.  Visit the City Record Online for public hearings, agency rule changes, court notices, procurement actions, contract awards, and other information. Solicitations and award notices will remain on CROL and can be accessed anytime through the search function. To subscribe to the full printed publication, go to the subscription form.
If you would like to view registered contracts, you may use Checkbook NYC. You may also request contract information under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) by emailing us. Please include the procurement identification number (PIN #) if you know it and a contract description.

BID/RFP Process

1. How does the procurement process work?

Most bids and proposals are solicited in one of five (5) ways. For a detailed description visit How We Buy.

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

Bids, formally known as Competitively 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.

3. When is a bid security or bonding required for a bid?

Generally, bid security and payment and performance bonds are required for construction contracts when the bid exceeds $500,000 however, there may be exceptions to this.  Any bid security requirements are always specified in either 'Attachment 1' or 'Attachment A' of the bid booklet. If a bid security is required, in most cases, performance security in the form of Payment and Performance Bonds will also be required. Attachment 1 or Attachment A will indicate the requirements

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. How is the winning proposal selected?

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 is made.

7. 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 Competitively Sealed Bids, or, in the case of Competitively Sealed Proposals, 6 to 9 months, or more before and award is made.

8. 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.

9. Our proposal was selected for award / We were selected as the winning proposers. When can we start working?

All contracts must be registered with the 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.

Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprise

1. Are there opportunities for Minority and Women Owned Businesses in DCAS' solicitations?

As a result of Local Law 129 of 2005, City agencies aim to buy more goods and services from certified Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE). This has created more opportunities for certified M/WBEs to bid on public contracts.  We strive to increase awards to M/WBEs and include M/WBEs in all solicitations for micro and small purchases. Additional details about the M/WBE certification process as well as a list of certified firms may be found at www.nyc.gov/getcertified.

2. I am a prime contractor and I would like to identify New York City Certified M/WBE subcontractors. Where can I find a listing?

The New York City Department of Small Business Services (DSBS) has a searchable online directory of certified vendors. You may also contact (212)-513-6356, or email DSBS for assistance in finding vendors or to verify a firm’s certification status.

3. I’m already certified with New York State as an MBE or WBE does this count?

In order for your certification to count towards meeting the City’s subcontracting requirements you will have to be certified with the City through the Department of Small Business Services (DSBS).  Companies who are already certified by one of the following government or private sector partners may be eligible to submit a "Fast Track" application:

  • New York City School Construction Authority
  • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Women President's Educational Organization
  • New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council Inc.
  • New York State Department of Economic Development, Division of Minority & Women's Business Development (DMWBD)

Call the Certification Helpline at (212)-513-6311 to request a "Fast Track" application or email DSBS.  You can also download a standard certification application.