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Homepage | Departments | Finance and Administrative Services  | Purchasing
Construction Bids
Bid Opportunities
Standards of Purchasing
Vendor Registration Form
Purchasing Code of Ethics
Bid Tabulations and Awards
Vendor Survey

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500 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Phone: (650) 903-6324 

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 7540
Mountain View, CA  94039-7540
Fax: (650) 968-5472

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Submit your questions, suggestions, compliments,concerns, or track your existing request online.

How to Do Business with the City of Mountain View

The City of Mountain View purchases a wide variety of materials and services through a centralized purchasing system administered by the Purchasing section. The Purchasing section is committed to providing the best service to our customers. We are proud to operate according to the Purchasing Code of Ethics And Standards of Purchasing Practice. To acquaint you with the City's purchasing policies and procedures and explain how you can do business with the City, please review the information provided in this guide thoroughly. If this guide does not answer all your questions, please email your questions or suggestions to purchasing@mountainview.gov or call (650) 903-6324.

Centralized Purchasing

Procurement of operating supplies, materials, equipment and services is centralized in the Finance and Administrative Services Department/Purchasing section under the Purchasing and Support Services Manager. Centralized purchasing standardizes bidding and evaluation procedures, achieves economy of scale benefits, provides consistency in dealing with vendors, and ensures an open, fair, and competitive procurement process.

Please be advised that funds for the acquisition of goods or services may not be committed by any other department of the City but Purchasing. Therefore, payments will not be made for goods or services delivered without an authorized Purchase Order number or City procurement card.

Professional Consultants
The acquisition of professional services is administered by each City Department, exclusive of the Purchasing section's involvement. Professional services are defined as those of an attorney, architect, engineer, accountant, or other professionals and specialized consultants. Typically, Liability Insurance and Errors and Omissions Insurance may be required for these types of agreements.

Capital Improvements Contracts
The acquisition of capital improvements is administered by the City's Public Works Department, exclusive of the Purchasing section's involvement. A capital improvement is new construction or remodeling that improves City fixed assets. In addition to the Liability and Errors and Omissions Insurance requirements, these types of contracts generally require bid bonds, performance bonds, progress payments and a retention schedule. Contractors may contact the Public Works Department at (650) 903-6311 for further information.

Sales Calls
To save time and ensure visitors receive adequate attention, it is highly recommended that an appointment is made before making unscheduled visits to the Purchasing section. Courtesy visits are not encouraged as they can disrupt the daily work flow and, in many cases, the person you want to see may be unavailable. Please contact the Purchasing section to request the Buyer's name and phone number for the product or service you provide and request an appointment.

Vendor Registration/Bid List
The Purchasing section maintains a list of vendors interested in doing business with the City. To be added to the City's bidders list, please complete the Vendor Registration Form. You may also send an email to purchasing@mountainview.gov or send a letter on company letterhead stating the products or services that you wish to sell to the City. Please also provide any references and detailed description of awarded items or contracts to your company from other governmental agencies.

Methods of Procurement

Procurement Cards and Petty Cash: City personnel are authorized to make small-dollar purchases of nonstandard supplies on an as-needed basis using petty cash and City-issued procurement cards.

Open Purchase Order (also called a Blanket Order): These types of purchase orders are established with a variety of vendors to allow City personnel to obtain supplies or services directly from pre-qualified vendors on an as-needed basis for a specific period of time not to exceed a specific dollar amount. Competitive price quotations may be solicited, and award may be to other than the lowest-priced vendor based on criteria such as location of the vendor to the requesting department and completeness of inventory.

Formal Bidding: Formal bidding procedures are utilized when the cost of supplies, materials or equipment required on a single purchase exceeds $40,000. The process requires advertising in a newspaper of general circulation (the City advertises in the San Jose Post Record), receiving sealed bids, publicly opening the bids and awarding the purchase to the lowest responsive bidder meeting specifications.

Informal Bidding: This informal process for a single purchase differs from formal bidding in that quotations are solicited from at least three (3) vendors when practicable. These quotes can be obtained either by telephone, fax, e-mail or mail and are not normally advertised. Award is made to the lowest responsive vendor meeting specifications.

Request for Proposal (RFP): This is used primarily for services and highly technical commodities. An RFP differs from a formal bid in that proposals may be solicited in a one- or two-step process. The award can be to other than the lowest-priced vendor. The following criteria are considered when evaluating which proposal is the most advantageous to the City:

    • Cost to the City
    • Quality of the proposed service
    • Capabilities and expertise of the vendor
    • Ability of the vendor to perform
    • Past service record/references
    • Proposal that best meets all the requirements of the City
    • Shipping
    • Warranty
    • Delivery Instructions
    • And other factors deemed to be in the City's best interest as determined solely by the City

All orders must be delivered to the address specified on the Purchase Order. Vendors should not deliver goods to an alternate address, unless authorized by Purchasing, as the processing of your payment will be delayed.

The acceptance of gifts by City employees is prohibited by City policy and the Purchasing Code of Ethics. Vendors are requested to cooperate in this regard by not making such offers to City employees.

Changes in Orders
The Purchase Order is the City's contract with you. The Purchasing section must approve any changes to the contract in writing with a Purchase Change Order.

Billing and Payment
The City requires invoices to be submitted in duplicate. The Purchase Order number MUST appear on all invoices, shipping tags and all documentation relevant to the order. Payment is made only upon delivery and acceptance of all material, equipment or services, as specified on the Purchase Order. Partial payments are not made by the City unless authorized by the Buyer and specified on the Purchase Order. Every attempt will be made by the City to process payments within thirty (30) days.

It is important for vendors to read the Purchase Order to obtain the correct address to submit invoices. Do not assume the invoice address is the same as noted on a previous Purchase Order. The Purchase Order will also give a contact name and telephone number to assist vendors with inquiries regarding payment of invoices. Invoices submitted to the City which are unclear or not in compliance with Billing instructions may be returned to the vendor for correction in order to facilitate payment from the City.

Business License
Vendors doing business with the City must have a City of Mountain View Business License. Business licenses may be obtained from: Finance and Administrative Services Department, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041.Please call (650) 903-6317 for questions relating to Business Licenses.

The City pays California State sales and use taxes when applicable and is exempt from Federal excise tax

Vendors who perform a general service for the City are required to submit proof of insurance coverage as specified by the bid specifications.

Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification must be on file with Purchasing prior to award of bid and issuance of purchase order.

Disposal of Surplus Goods
The City will determine if surplus goods and equipment from one department can be deployed for use internally by another department. Goods and equipment that are not redeployed for City use are sent to auction. The City's current auction provider is Property Room. Com. The website address is www.propertyroom.com.