How To Do Business With the City of Riverside

The City of Riverside welcomes your interest in doing business with us. The City processes nearly $240 million ($90 million in goods and services and $150 million in Public Works projects) in orders and contracts annually.  The City operates under a centralized purchasing division established by our City Charter and is staffed with professional Procurement & Contract Specialists who are assigned specific City Departments.  To do business with the City, these are a few things you need to know.

Purchasing Resolution

What We Buy

Everything that is required to keep the City operating on a daily basis, from office supplies to equipment, computers and vehicles.  Services utilized, but not limited to, include janitorial services, security services, landscape maintenance, printing, temporary staff services and courier services.  Public projects (construction) vary from street repairs to construction of buildings.

How We Buy

Our objective is to purchase the required goods and services in a timely manner to meet City department's needs at a fair and reasonable price utilizing an open competitive bidding process.

Policies & Procedures

The City makes its purchases under the authority granted in the City Charter. Competitive bidding is the primary method for obtaining solicitations.  Competitive bids are not subject to negotiations. Awards are made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidders meeting City specifications. Remember, only the Purchasing Division is authorized to commit City funds for the purchase of goods and services. No payment will be made for any goods delivered or services provided without a purchase order number or contract.

Methods of Procurement

Purchases are made utilizing techniques such as telephone quotations for items of small value (under $10,000), or where time limitations, sole source or emergency conditions prevail.  Written informal quotations are used for items of greater value ($10,000 or more), but not exceeding $50,000 where a competitive market exists. Formal bid procedures are used when the procurement is estimated to exceed $50,000 for goods, services and Public Works construction projects. Bids submitted to the City are public information, therefore, you may access the City's website for bid results. 

Selecting Sources of Procurement

The City establishes no preferential list of sources. Procurement orders are awarded on the basis of the best price meeting City requirements, whether a large or small supplier. The City Council adopted a 5% local preference for those suppliers located within the City limits. Therefore, a 5% price preference may be applied to the total procurement price during evaluation of the supplier's response as long as it supports Local, State or Federal Law.

Potential Vendor/Contractor's List

The Purchasing Division Procurement & Contract Specialists maintain a "Potential Vendor/Contractor's List" for all classes of commodities and services which are regularly purchased and needed by City departments.  The Potential Vendor/Contractor's List is compiled of vendors and contractors who have expressed interest in being contacted when the City needs such items or services.  These lists are researched by the Procurement & Contract Specialist prior to soliciting bids. By being on our list, a vendor or contractor has a greater assurance of being notified of such needs.

How Do I Get on the Bidder's List?

Become a registered planholder on the City's electronic Current Planholder's list by registering at the PlanetBids portal (Google Chrome required). Registering as a planholder tells us about your company and will place you on our potential vendor/contractors list. It is best if you or your sales representative contact our Purchasing Division at City Hall. 951-826-5561. The Purchasing Receptionist will direct you to the Procurement & Contracts Specialist that would handle the commodity or service you provide. The Procurement & Contracts Specialist will interview you over the phone and may set up an appointment for you to meet in person or virtually. When attending this appointment, please provide additional information about your products or service. Our goal is to allow both parties to converse and help develop a business relationship.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program

The City of Riverside established a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program plan to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant funding obligations and the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 26.  The DBE Program plan ensures nondiscrimination in the administration and award of State and Federally funded contracts.

Hours for Sales Representatives

The City welcomes vendor visits by appointment in our Purchasing Division. Appointment hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. We actively encourage participation from all businesses, large and small as it is our policy that everyone who comes to sell to the City be given every opportunity to do so if the need arises. We place high value on friendly, personal contact with our suppliers and potential suppliers. It is our hope that a visit to our purchasing office will be both informative and mutually beneficial.

How We Do Business
Bidding for City Business
Doing Business With the City
General Information
3900 Main St.
Riverside, CA 92522

Phone: (951) 826-5454
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