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Keep up to date with the evolving world of government bidding with tips, best practices, trends, research and observations. Let BidNet's knowledge and experience work for you.

How to Begin Bidding on Government Contracts for the City of Wichita, Kansas


How to Begin Bidding on Government Contracts for the City of Wichita, Kansas

Vendors who would like to bid on city contracts for Wichita, Kansas must first register with the city through the Vendor Services portal, where they will be asked to provide company information (name, address and Tax ID number) as well as details about the products and services they sell. After registering, vendors will then begin to receive bid notices for contract opportunities. Vendors may also use the vendor services portal to view solicitations, download bid specifications, review bid results and awards and view contracts and blanket purchase orders established by the city.[i]

The Purchasing Office is responsible for procuring goods and services for Wichita’s city departments. The city solicits three types of bids:

Formal bids – Any contract that exceeds $50,000 requires a competitive bid process and must be advertised publicly in the city newspaper. These bids will also be posted on the city’s website where vendors can find contract specifications and any applicable forms or drawings. Any blue prints or plans that are required can be requested through the Purchasing Office.

Informal bids – Any contracts valued at or below $50,000 will be issued in the form of a Request for Quotation (RFQ), either by phone, fax, mail or online. Informal bids will be sent to selected vendors who declared an interest in bidding on these certain products or services.

Request for Proposal (RFP) – An RFP will be issued for professional, consulting, and design/build services, along with selected product purchases, that are required by the city. RFPs may be advertised in the city newspaper and will be posted on the city’s purchasing website. Vendors interested in bidding on a particular RFP will be required to submit proposals that include details about the vendor’s experience, skills, qualifications, references and the estimated cost of the project.

(Source: City of Wichita. How to do Business with the City of Wichita, Kansas. Types of Solicitations. Sept. 2015)

 The Bid Opening

The Purchasing Office conducts a “virtual” bid opening online every Friday morning at 10 a.m. Vendors may submit bids online or by mail. If a bid is submitted both online and by mail, the city considers the mailed copy to be the actual submission of the bid; if it comes in after the specified time, the proposal will be disqualified. Bids that are submitted by mail will be entered online during the bid opening. After the opening, a bid tabulation will be reviewed by the city’s Board of Bids and Contracts, where they will review the proposals and make sure each bid meets the contract specifications. The Board will then make their recommendations to the City Council. [ii]

Note that RFPs are not opened in public because of potential negotiations with the vendors.

The Contract Award

The contract is awarded to the lowest bidder as long as they can meet the minimum specifications of the bid. Evaluation factors of bid proposals may include unit price, installation and maintenance, and cost of operation. As with any bid, an award can be made to one vendor or multiple vendors. The winning vendor will receive written notice of an award and it will be issued in the form of a Purchase Order or contract. For formal bids, if the contract states a bid bond or insurance certificate is required, the award can be withheld until such requirements are met.[iii]

Types of Bonds

Bid Bonds – City departments require bonds for bid security. Checks or other security will not be accepted in place of the bond. The bond amount is equal to 5% of the total bid and there must be an annual bond on file, or an original must be submitted, before the bid opening.

Performance Bonds – City departments require performance bonds for all construction projects, service and equipment purchases, and major repairs to building equipment. The performance bond is a security measure to help protect the city from any situation where it could suffer a critical loss. The vendor who is awarded the contract must provide a performance bond at 100% of the total bid.

Labor and Material Payment Bond – According to Kansas State Statute, any contracts for public improvements and constructing or repairs on public buildings that exceed $100,000 require contractors to provide a payment bond. This bond guarantees that the contractor will take full responsibility of payment for labor furnished, materials, supplies and equipment used or consumed for the purpose of construction, repairs or improvement projects. The bond issued will be the sum total of the Purchase Order or Contract.

Note that construction services and projects for major repairs to building equipment require all three types of bonds. Any purchases of vehicles or major equipment with a total cost of over $100,000 may also require a bid bond.

(Source: City of Wichita. How to do Business with the City of Wichita, Kansas.  Bid Bonds. Sept. 2015)

Emerging and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

The goal of the Emerging and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program is to help these types of entities compete for and win government contracts. The city establishes annual goals for participation, based on the availability of qualified businesses that are ready and able to provide the goods or services that the city requires. “Emerging and disadvantaged businesses participation and/or Subcontracting/Joint Ventures will receive a minimum of 5% of the scoring on all City RFP evaluation criteria.”[iv]

Certification and Eligibility

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

        • Business must meet the SBA small business size standards
        • Business does not exceed $23.98 million in gross annual receipts
        • Business must be owned at least 51% by an individual who is socially and economically disadvantaged
        • Business owner’s personal net worth must not exceed $1,320,000

A socially disadvantaged individual is one who is considered to be

        • A U.S. citizen or legal resident
        • Has been subjected to discrimination either in education or business and documented such discrimination, and is
              • Black American
              • Hispanic American
              • Native American
              • Asian-Pacific American
              • Subcontinent – Asian American
              • A female
              • Or other person decided by the state to be disadvantaged

An economically disadvantaged individual is someone who has a personal net worth less than $250,000 and belongs to one of the groups mentioned above.

(Source: Emerging and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Policy and Procedure. Certification and Program Definitions. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. Aug. 2016)

Emerging Business Enterprise

        • Must be a small business that is independently owned and operated
        • Is not dominant in the field of operation
        • Qualifies under the following criteria
              • Manufacturing firms – the average annual employment is no more than 500 employees.
              • Non-manufacturing Wholesalers firms - the average annual employment is no more than 100 employees.
              • Non-manufacturing Retail Trade firms and Service firms – the average annual receipts shall not exceed $7.5 million.
              • Construction and Contractor firms – the average annual receipts shall not exceed $15 million.

(Source: Emerging and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Policy and Procedure. Certification and Program Definitions. Emerging Business Enterprise. Aug. 2016)

Small Business

The City of Wichita will use the definitions and regulations established by the Small Business Association (SBA). The SBA size standards are as follows:

        • Manufacturing – cannot exceed 500 employees
        • Non-manufacturing and retail - cannot exceed $7.5 million in average annual receipts
        • Wholesale – cannot exceed 100 employees
        • General Building and Heavy Construction Contractors – the average annual receipts is limited to $36.5 million
        • Professional and Technical services – the average annual receipts is limited to:
              • Engineering: $15 million
              • Architectural: $7.5 million
              • Computer System Design and related services: $27.5 million

(Source: Emerging and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Policy and Procedure. Certification and Program Definitions. Small Business. Aug. 2016)

Wichita makes it easy for vendors to register with the city and receive notice of upcoming opportunities. For small businesses, MWBEs and DBEs, the city of Wichita is a great place to begin bidding on government contracts. The city is dedicated to making sure these types of entities are given the proper tools and resources to begin bidding on city contracts and have a successful chance at winning.

Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com


[i] N.p. City of Wichita. How to do Business with the City of Wichita, Kansas. Sept. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2017

[ii] N.p. City of Wichita. How to do Business with the City of Wichita, Kansas. The Bid Opening. Sept. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2017

[iii] N.p. City of Wichita. How to do Business with the City of Wichita, Kansas. Awards. Sept. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2017

[iv] N.p. City of Wichita. Emerging and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Policy and Procedure.  Aug. 2016. Web. 19 Jan. 2017

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Keep up to date with the evolving world of government bidding with tips, best practices, trends, research and observations. Let BidNet’s knowledge and experience work for you.

Bidding on Government Contracts in the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Bidding on Government Contracts in the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Vendors who would like to bid on city contracts for Grand Rapids, Michigan, must first register with the city’s Vendor Self Service portal. After registering, vendors will then begin to receive bid notifications for Invitations to Bid, Requests for Proposals and Request for Quotes.
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