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Let's Do Business
This introductory guide has been created for any and all suppliers wanting to do business with the City of West Covina. Our joint interest in business will be greatly simplified by your reviewing, understanding and following the procedures set forth in this guide. Please contact Purchasing at 626-939-8443 if you require additional information.

WHAT WE BUY

The City of West Covina purchases supplies, equipment and services as required for various City operations. This includes the purchase of vehicles, asphalt, street lights, public safety equipment, office equipment and janitorial supplies. We do not procure for the West Covina School District, the Los Angeles County Library, or other independent governmental agencies.

HOW WE BUY

Our objective is to purchase materials, supplies, and service that are in the best interest of the City and the tax-paying public while maintaining good supplier and community relations. The City of West Covina makes its purchases under authority granted by the West Covina Municipal Code. Purchase orders are required for all procurements that exceed $1,000. Competitive prices are solicited, and awards are made to the lowest and most responsible bidder. In addition to price, the "lowest responsible bidder" is determined by the following:
  1. The quality, availability and suitability of the supplies, equipment or service to the use required.
  2. The ability, capacity and skill of the bidder to perform the service required.
  3. Whether the bidder has the financial resources and facilities to perform or provide the service/goods within the time specified without delay or interference.
  4. The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience and efficiency of the bidder.
  5. The bidder's performance record for previous contracts or services.
  6. The ability of the bidder to provide future maintenance and service for the use of the equipment or materials to be purchased.

SOURCES OF SUPPLY

Foremost among our policies is our concern that everyone who wants to sell to the City be given the opportunity to do so. The City establishes no preferential list of sources. We buy from both large and small suppliers. A conscientious effort is made to include small, minority-owned, and woman-owned businesses along with local suppliers in our bid process. In order to promote the economic health of the city and to encourage local participation in the procurement process, the City in determining the lowest responsible bidder, may take into consideration the sales tax that would be returned to the City as a result of the award.

SMALL AND MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES

The City is actively concerned with increasing small and minority business contracting opportunities whenever possible. We welcome your interest to contribute to the City's contracting requirements as we realize that there is substantial unused small and minority capacity and talent that could benefit the City.

BIDDERS LIST

The Purchasing Division maintains a "Bidders List" for commodities and services that are regularly purchase by the City. Suppliers who are on the City's Bidders List have a greater assurance of being notified of the City's needs. To be placed on our bidders list, simply fill out and return to Purchasing the attached "Bidders' Application."

In addition, all invoices paid by The City of West Covina must be accompanied by a W-9 Taxpayer Identification form. You can download a W-9 in Acrobat format here.

METHODS OF PROCUREMENT

The City of West Covina uses both informal and formal methods of procurement depending on the dollar value. Where a competitive market exists and time permits, a minimum of three (3) quotations is solicited for items that exceed $1,000. Price quotations are requested in writing or by telephone or fax for informal procurements that are greater than $1,000 but do not exceed $30,000. Formal bid procedures are used when the procurement is estimated to exceed $30,000. The Public Works Department handles all construction projects. Bids are posted on the City's web site here. See "Legal Notices" under the "Business" area of the site.

FORMAL BID PROCEDURE

The West Covina Municipal Code requires that the City advertise for formal sealed bids on competitive procurements over $30,000. Formal bids may require a bid or performance bond and must meet other special requirements detailed in the instructions to bidders included in the specifications and/or bid package. Any questions regarding formal bid specifications should be addressed to the buyer whose name and telephone number appears on the bid documents. Bids are publicly opened, and the pricing is read at the time and place stated in the bid documents on the date designated as the close of bid. Awards on formal bids are made by the City Council and implemented by the Purchasing Manager through a purchase order.

QUOTATIONS

Your quotation should reflect a firm price, realistic delivery date, F.O.B. point, and any cash terms that your company may offer. Suppliers wishing to remain on the Bidders List should return the "Request for Quotation" even if they are unable to quote. Failure to respond to a quotation request mailed to you may result in your removal from the bidders list. A response will consist of either the bid itself or a statement of "No Bid." Awards of purchase are public information, however, quotation results should be requested in writing.

PURCHASE ORDER

Please note that a City authorized purchase order is required for the procurement of all goods and/or services that exceed $1,000. The purchase order constitutes a contract between the buyer and seller, and it is not valid until you have made delivery of the material in accordance with the conditions of the order. A purchase order may be given to the supplier through the mail or by fax or phone. All packing slips, invoices and correspondence should reference the purchase order number.

DELIVERY AND SHIPMENTS

Please note that a City authorized purchase order is required for the procurement of all goods and/or services that exceed $1,000. The purchase order constitutes a contract between the buyer and seller, and it is not valid until you have made delivery of the material in accordance with the conditions of the order. A purchase order may be given to the supplier through the mail or by fax or phone. All packing slips, invoices and correspondence should reference the purchase order number.

INVOICE PAYMENTS

To expedite payment, it is important that invoices are properly identified with the proper purchase order number. Invoices that allow cash discounts may receive preferential handling, however, invoices are paid in accordance with the terms of the purchase order. The City's standard payment terms are Net 30. Invoices must be mailed directly to the City of West Covina, Attention: Accounts Payable, 1444 W. Garvey Ave. S., room 308, West Covina, CA 91790. To avoid payment delays, do not send invoices to any other address or department. If you wish any information concerning the payment of a particular invoice, you may contact Accounts Payable either by telephone, 626-939-8444, or in writing. Please supply the name of the company, invoice number with the date and amount of the invoice, and the purchase order if known.

PROBLEMS THAT DELAY PAYMENTS

Delays are costly. To assist you in recognizing and thereby preventing delays, some of the more common problems are presented below:
  • Sub-standard Product, Material or Workmanship - Despite the high standards you may have established, parts and services provided for government contracts often carry their own requirements regarding methods, materials, processes and their applicable specifications. Please adhere to all specifications.
  • Improper Packaging of Goods - All shipments should be packaged in a manner that will provide for efficient handling and preclude the possibility of damage. In addition, shipments delivered by common carrier must conform to the packaging requirements of the carrier.
  • Improperly Addressed Shipments - Our purchase order indicates the address where your shipment should be sent. The City of West Covina has many facilities with different addresses that differ from the City's mailing address. Confusion and possible loss of time can be prevented by shipping to the address designated on the purchase order. Place purchase orders number on all shipping documents and invoices.

WHOM TO SEE

It is suggested that you make Purchasing, Rm. 308, your first contact. We can acquaint you with City procedures and direct you to the various departments that may be in need of your goods and services.

In addition, to doing business with the City of West Covina, suppliers are also encouraged to contact the Southern California Gas Company for opportunities to provide them goods and services at http://www.sempra.com/supplierdiversity/supplier.htm