Purchases $50,000 or less (Informal Procurements)
Purchases of goods and services for $50,000 or less are processed by an assigned buyer who will allow for as much competition as practical, consistent with the using department requirements, value of requirements, and purchasing directives. Typically, the buyer will solicit quotes, pricing and delivery terms by telephone or email.
Purchases $50,001 and over (Formal Procurements)
The County Purchasing Act (Texas Local Government Code, §262.021 et seq.), as amended, provides that notice of a proposed purchase exceeding $50,000 must be published at least once a week in a newspaper of general circulation with the first day of publication being at least 14 days before the date of bid opening. Generally, projects exceeding $50,000 are advertised in the Houston Chronicle, Friday edition, in the Classified Section under Bids and Proposals or posted on the Purchasing Department website.
A bid or RFP package may be obtained by one of the following methods:
1. Go to the Purchasing website, https://purchasing.harriscountytx.gov to register online with Bonfire. This site has the ability to notify vendors by commodity when an advertised bid/RFP/RFQ has been placed on the site. Once registered, a password will be assigned to the vendor and bid/RFP/RFQ documents may be downloaded. Using this system enables a timely review and receipt of bid/RFP documents. Since more than 90 percent of purchasing jobs are downloaded utilizing the purchasing website, vendors must keep their registration data, such as email addresses, current in order to receive timely updates concerning documents they have downloaded.
2. Visit the Purchasing Office and pick up the bid/RFP document.
3. Some bid, RFP and RFQ documents, generally for construction projects, may require pickup from an alternate location.
Opening of Bids
All bids, proposals and qualifications are due by 2:00 p.m. local time in Houston, Texas, on Mondays. Bids are opened shortly thereafter in the Purchasing Office Conference Room, Suite 670 on the 6th Floor of the County Administration Building, 1001 Preston, Houston, Texas 77002. Responses to RFP's or RFQ's are not publicly opened or read. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL LATE BIDS/PROPOSALS BE ACCEPTED.
Review of Bids
After bids are read and tabulated, they are analyzed to determine the lowest responsive and responsible bid that meets specifications. The Purchasing Agent will make the determination of the apparent lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Bids deemed responsive and responsible are then reviewed by the using department. To be responsive, a bidder must complete all applicable portions of the Bid as instructed, including any requested supporting documentation, and must meet specifications. The vendor must have the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirements. In addition, all goods or services must meet the minimum acceptance quality level as stated in the specifications. Failure to meet the specifications will result in disqualification of the bid.
Notice of Acceptance of Formal Procurements
After the review of the bids, proposals and qualifications, the using department will submit a recommendation for award to the Purchasing Agent for presentation to the Harris Health Board of Directors, as appropriate. Upon approval of the contract by Harris Health Board of Directors (if required), the Purchasing Agent will notify the successful bidder via issuance of a Notice of Award letter followed by a purchase order. The department for which the service and/or material is provided will then administer the performance of the contract to its completion.