How to do Business with the City

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This informative handbook has been prepared as a brief introduction to acquaint you with the business procedures of the City of Mesa, Arizona. Familiarity with these procedures will aid you in presenting your product or service to the City.

Should you have any questions that are not answered herein, please call Purchasing at (480) 644-2301 or visit our office at 20 E. Main Street, Suite 400, Mesa, Arizona 85201.

Responsibility for Purchases

Who Purchases

Business Hours

Introducing Your Products/Services

Cooperative Purchasing

Bidder's Registration

Types of Procurement

Procurement Methods

Supplier Selection

Future Direction


The City Manager has delegated responsibility and limited approval authority for certain types of purchases as follows:

Purchasing is responsible for review of any proposed purchase, rental, lease, lease/purchase, maintenance or repair of tangible personal property to insure that the transactions comply with the City Charter and Management Policy. For further information call 480-644-2301.

The Engineering Department is responsible for all public works construction and maintenance projects including the design, construction, remodeling, maintenance and repair of City buildings. Engineering is also responsible for the design, installation, improvement, repair and/or maintenance of streets, water and sewer systems, parkways, storm drains, etc. Awarding of contracts for such goods or professional services may be done without review by Purchasing.   For further information call 480-644-2251.


Under no circumstances will any City employee accept directly or indirectly, gifts or other items of value from individuals or firms seeking to do business with the City. Purchasing activities will be handled fairly, objectively, without discrimination, and in the best interest of the City of Mesa.


The City purchasing operations are decentralized. Although Purchasing reviews many purchases for compliance with established policies and procedures, each department has authority to obtain quotations and award contracts within the limits set forth in the City Charter and Management Policy. Generally speaking, this delegated authority is for  purchases and contracts up to $25,000. A complete copy of the City's purchasing policies are available from Purchasing.


The Purchasing office is open for business from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday with the exception of City-observed holidays. Potential vendors may visit during working hours.  However, appointments are strongly recommended to ensure availability of the appropriate buyer. Appointments are made by calling (480) 644-2301. The fax number is (480) 644-2655.


The City engages in varied activities while providing municipal services for its residents. A great variety of equipment, supplies and services must be purchased in support of these operations. Examples of city operations include: police and fire protection, water production and distribution, distribution of natural gas & electricity, airport operations, traffic engineering, street maintenance, wastewater treatment, operating libraries, museums, golf courses, parks facilities, recreation activities, planning & zoning, economic development and inspection services.

If you sell a commodity or provide a service that is needed by the City, and if your prices and services are competitive, we are interested in you. Contact Purchasing to determine the City's need for your particular product or service. They can direct you to a department who may be interested.


The State of Arizona institutes and administers cooperative purchasing agreements among governmental agencies and political subdivisions such as Arizona counties, cities and school districts. The City of Mesa actively participates in these agreements, as well as agreements through US Communities Government Purchasing Alliance, Western States Contracting Alliance and the National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance for many of its commonly used items. Where State or other cooperative contracts are used, the City does not conduct separate bidding. A list of State and cooperative contracts used by the City of Mesa is available from the Purchasing Office. If you are interested in obtaining more information about the State's contracts, contact the State of Arizona Procurement Office at (602) 542-5511.

The City is also a member of the Strategic Alliance for Volume Expenditures (SAVE), which includes local counties, cities and school districts, and may utilize SAVE contracts when appropriate.


The City of Mesa uses an electronic registration system where individuals or firms can select commodity codes and receive electronic notification of formal bids/proposals (value exceeding $25,000). Register with the City of Mesa.

In addition, some City departments maintain a separate registration list. For example, if you are interested in bidding on construction projects or providing construction related services, contact the Engineering Department at 480-644-2251. If you are interested in submitting quotations for procurements under $25,000, you must make direct contact with the department looking for the products or services you offer. If you are unsure which department might use your product or service, the Purchasing buyers can advise you whom to contact.


Single Requirement, Firm Price:
City departments often require goods and services on an "as needed" basis for a specific project or application. When this occurs, firm fixed price quotes (for purchases under $25,000) or formal bids/proposals (for purchases over $25,000) are obtained.

Term Contracts/Supply Contracts:
Term contracts are created by Purchasing for the procurement of specific goods and services that are repetitively used by one or more City departments. Depending on the estimated annual dollar amount of these contracts, written Requests For Quotation or formal sealed bidding may be used to obtain the needed items. Blanket Purchase Orders (PO's) are generally issued to the selected supplier(s) for annual supply contracts for goods. A written contract is generally issued for annual supply contracts for services. City departments may purchase directly from the supplier or service provider by referencing the assigned Blanket PO or contract. For these agreements, suppliers are often required to have a local distributor who stocks the frequently used items for issuance on an "as needed" basis during the life of the contract. In most cases, the selected supplier will offer delivery to City departments as well as handling over the counter sales. Similarly, selected service providers usually maintain sufficient local staff and if applicable, service supplies to handle the City's identified service needs.


Petty Cash:
Purchases that do not exceed $100.00 may be made from petty cash which is reimbursed according to an established written policy. The City employee making such a purchase will pay in cash and obtain an original receipt.

Small Dollar Purchases:
Competitive quotations are not required for purchases of goods & services or repairs/maintenance under $5,000. The limit must include all labor, taxes, shipping, and miscellaneous costs. Except for services, purchases under $5,000 are made using a Limited Purchase Order or by a City procurement (credit) card. Each department is issued a numbered sequence for their Limited Purchase Orders by Purchasing. The purchase of services is made using a contract and payment is processed on an Invoice for Payment form.

Invoice For Payment:
Invoice for Payment forms are used to request payment for expenditures which are not related to the purchase, maintenance or repair of tangible personal property. Examples include payments for rentals, services, membership, travel related expenses & utilities.

Request For Quotation (RFQ):
Informal competitive solicitations are obtained for the purchase of goods and services or repairs/maintenance between $5,000 and $25,000 in value. Informal quotations do not require public advertising. Quotations will be solicited from at lease three sources, when available. Responses to a Request For Quotation must be in writing. It is important to respond to an RFQ by the deadline stated in the request.

A Request For Bid (RFB) is one option used for the purchase of goods and services or repair/maintenance exceeding $25,000. Notice of the RFB is generally mailed or faxed to all suppliers who have a current Bidder application on file for the specified commodity or service. The Notice is also published once in the Mesa Tribune on a pre-selected Saturday. The RFB contains specifications, contractual terms and conditions and the evaluation criteria for award. Bids are opened publicly at the time and place designated in the RFB; the amount of each bid and the name of each bidder is recorded on a bid tabulation. Award is generally made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. All bids and the bid tabulation are available for public inspection after the bid opening.
A Request For Proposal (RFP) is another option used for the purchase of goods and services or repair/maintenance when they exceed $25,000. This method may be used if the Procurement Services Director determines that the use of competitive sealed bidding is either not practical or not advantageous to the City. Notice of the RFP is generally mailed or faxed to all suppliers who have a current Bidders application on file for the specified commodity or service. The RFP contains specifications, contractual terms and conditions and the evaluation criteria for award. Proposals are opened publicly at the time and place designated in the RFP and the names of all companies offering proposals is recorded. Proposals are usually scored, or ranked, and the results are documented in an evaluation report. Award is made to the company whose proposal is most advantageous to the City. Information contained in the proposals is not generally disclosed until after the evaluation is completed.


The City of Mesa reserves the right to reject any or all bids, proposals or quotes, and to waive any informality in these documents. The City reserves the right to accept or reject any specific item or group of items within a bid, proposal or quote unless the supplier states it's an "All or Nothing" offer. The evaluation of bids and/or quotations and the determination of the supplies, materials or services offered, shall be the responsibility of the City and will be based on the needs and intended use, the quality/quantity of information furnished by the bidder, as well as other relevant factors.

The City is always looking for ways to continuously improve our operations and customer service.  If you have an idea or suggestion, please send it to:

                    Matt Bauer
                    Procurement Administrator
                    City of Mesa
                    P O Box 1466
                    Mesa AZ 85211-1466

The guidelines presented here have been prepared and provided for information purposes only. They do not supplant the laws, regulations, and procedures governing procurement by the City of Mesa. In the event of changes in the applicable laws, regulations or procedures, those laws, regulations and procedures take precedence.

For comments or questions:

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