• Finance-content

Department of Finance

  • Doing Business with the City

    Introduce your product or service:
    Start with the Purchasing office staff.  Staff is available to explain the City’s purchasing policies and procedures, as well as to assist in adding your company to the City’s bid notification system. Your business commodity information will be used to potentially match you to specific goods or services advertised in the City’s bid notification system.

    Bid Opportunities:
    The Purchasing website lists current bids for contracts in excess of $25,000.  Go to our bid notification website, click on new vendor registration  to add your company to our data base.   Vendors that are registered will be notified automatically of bid opportunities in their product category.  When you register,  you may also indicate if you are able to provide assistance to the City in the event of an emergency.
    In addition,  the City  makes  purchases less than $25,000, the best way to find out about these purchases is to remain in contact with the Purchasing office and City departments.

    Office Visits:

    Office Visits are from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.  Monday  through Thursday and every other Friday .  For holidays and off Fridays please click on the following link, http://www.cityofpasadena.net/Closed_Friday_Schedule.

    The City's Purchasing has formal and informal procurement procedures. Informal procedures are used when the City makes purchases less than $25,000 and formal procedures are used when purchases are  $25,000 or more.

    There are two types of formal procedures:  Competitive Bidding and Competitive Selection.

    Competitive Bidding is used to procure labor, materials and supplies of $25,000 or more. The major components of Competitive Bidding include the following:

    • Use of Bid Specifications which include standard and technical requirements
    • Contract award based on lowest responsive and responsible bidder ;
    • Bid Security in the amount of 5% of the bid price; 
    • 1% Local vendor preference for material and supply purchases;
    • No negotiation of contract terms; 
    • Performance and/or Payment Bonds;
    • General Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance

    Competitive Selection is used for professional or unique service in excess of $25,000. The main  features of Competitive Selection include the following:

    • Use of Request for Proposals or /Request for Qualifications to select vendors
    • Contract award  based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to experience of firm, and project team, references, and price
    • 5% Local vendor preference
    • 5% Small/Micro business preference*
    • Professional Errors & Omissions Insurance as well as General Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance may be required.

    Vendors that have been certified by the State of California as a small or micro-business shall receive a 5% preference.  Vendors can apply for certification as a small/micro business by obtaining an application on the State of California, Department of General Service's website, www.dgs.ca.gov/pd. The City of Pasadena only accepts small business certifications from the State of California.  Small businesses must provide evidence of certification from the State if claiming such preference.

    Informal procedures are used whenever the City contracts for labor, materials, supplies or services less than $25,000.

    Informal  bids are obtained via phone, fax, e-mail or through our electronic bidding system. 

    • Selection may be based on criteria other than price
    • 5% Local Pasadena preference
    • General  Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance may be required

    The City has two methods for handling informal purchases, either through the issuance of a Purchase Order or with a City purchasing card.

    Purchase Orders are approved and issued by the Purchasing office.  Each Purchase Order indicates what is being purchased, the price and terms and conditions.

    • Standard payment terms are Net 30.
    • All deliveries shall be sent Freight on Board (F.O.B.) destination
    • Evidence of insurance will be required for services on City premises prior to the issuance of the Purchase Order.   

    Purchasing cards operate just like a MasterCard® credit card. However, certain dollar limits and merchant category restrictions apply.

    Unauthorized Work /Purchase Orders:
    Except for emergencies, or other authorized exemptions, no work shall be performed and no purchases shall be made prior to the issuance of an authorized Purchase Order number and receipt of a signed acknowledgement from the vendor.  Any unauthorized work/purchases will be void and will not be considered an obligation for payment by  the City.  Invoices without a valid Purchase Order may be returned to the vendor unpaid.  The City is not responsible for any unauthorized work or purchase that does not comply with the City’s purchasing policies and procedures.


    • (a) Prior to contract award and no more than ten working days (working days are Monday through Friday) after the bid opening, any responsive bidder who has submitted a bid may file a protest with the Purchasing Administrator.
    • (b) All protests must be in writing, dated, with the specific name of the bid, signed by an authorized representative of the company and must contain clear and complete statements of the reason(s) for the protest; including citing the law(s), regulations or procedures on which the protest is based.  It is the sole responsibility of the aggrieved bidder/vendor to provide all necessary facts and evidence to support the written protest.
    • (c) The Purchasing Administrator will review such protest and issue a written decision within ten working days of receipt of the written protest.  During this procedure the City shall not proceed with an award until such time that the decision is given in writing to the aggrieved bidder.
    • (d) Any appeal of the Purchasing Administrator’s decision shall be made to the Director of Finance prior to the final award.  The Director of Finance decision shall be binding and final.
    • (e) In circumstances of urgent need and when it is in the best interest of the City to do so, the City Manager may dispense with the protest procedure.
    • (f)  Protests are to be mailed or hand delivered in a form requiring proof of delivery to the attention of the Purchasing Administrator at the following address: 100 N. Garfield, Room S348, Pasadena, CA 91109
    • (g) In no event shall a protest be considered if all bids are rejected and/or after the award of a contract.
    • (h) Any bid protest that does not comply with the process provided for in this section shall not be reviewed.  
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