The Contracts and Procurement Division of the City of Topeka, Kansas is responsible for the acquisition of goods and services used by all City Departments. It is the objective of the City to procure the necessary supplies, equipment, and services at the lowest possible cost consistent with the quality needed to meet its requirements and to ensure that its citizens receive the maximum value for each dollar expended.
Contracts and Procurement office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office is located in the lower lever of City Hall, 215 SE 7th Street, Room 60, Topeka, Kansas, 66603. Visits by sales representatives are welcomed and encouraged and it is recommended that visits be scheduled in advance by telephoning the office for appointments in order to more productively use the time of both buyers and salespersons.
Contracts and Procurement Division telephone number is 785-368-3749.
How to Become Eligible to Sell to the City
All vendors who are interested in doing business with the City of Topeka should register with the Contracts and Procurement Division by completing the self service registration process online at the City’s e-Procurement Supplier’s Portal.
The key to your supplier registration is assigning the appropriate commodity codes so that you are notified of upcoming bid events that match the goods or services sold by your firm. There is a Supplier Registration Guide and a Supplier Response Guide located at the City’s e-Procurement Supplier Portal homepage. The guides will assist you with the registration process and with responding to bid events.
The Procurement Process
The City of Topeka has a centralized purchasing function. The Contracts and Procurement Division is the authority for all purchases. Vendors shall not make sales to City employees without a properly authorized purchase order, except as described below. The Contracts and Procurement Division uses five basic types of procurement methods for the purchase of material, equipment, and services.
E-Procurement – Supplier Portal
The Contracts and Procurement Division of the City of Topeka solicits all competitive bids and requests for proposal (RFP), which collectively are called Bid Events, through the City’s e-Procurement website. Solicitations are e-mailed to registered suppliers for Bid Events that have commodity code assignments that match the commodity codes selected by the suppler. Bid Events will contain all terms, conditions, specifications, scope of work/services, plans, drawings and all required forms that need to be submitted Interested suppliers will likewise respond to Bid Events electronically.
Small Dollar Purchases
The Contracts and Procurement Division has delegated the authority to all City departments to make direct purchases with a value of $2,000.00 or less. This is accomplished by the use of a City of Topeka Procurement Card.
Open Market Purchcases
Purchases of less than $5,000.00 are obtained on the open market following the informal solicitation of competitive bids by the requesting department. A purchase order will be issued as the City’s validation to the vendor to provide a product or service.
Informal, Formal & RFP bid reviews
All purchases that exceed $5,000.00 but not more than $50,000.00 are considered Informal Bid Events. Informal bids shall be posted for a minimum of three (3) days on the City’s e-Procurement website and on the public bulletin board located at the entrance of the Contracts and Procurement Division office. Purchases estimated to be in excess of $50,000 are considered Formal Bid Events or RFP Bid Events. Formal and RFP Bid Events shall be posted for a minimum of ten (10) days on the City’s e-Procurement website and on the public bulletin board located at the entrance of the Contracts and Procurement Division office following publication in the City’s designated official legal newspaper. All competitive sealed bids are read aloud at the appointed date and time of closing. For RFP’s, the names of the individuals or firms will be read aloud, but no additional information will be provided at the appointed date and time of closing.
Certain circumstances exist which require purchases to be accomplished by waiving competitive and sealed bid procedures. In such cases, the Contracts and Procurement Division shall negotiate price, delivery, and other contractual terms and conditions. Emergency and Sole Source acquisitions are the most common situations requiring non-competitive purchases. An emergency exists when circumstances occur which create a threat to public health or safety, pose a risk to the preservation or protection of property, or cause severe interference with the provision of City services. In some instances, there may be only one vendor able to furnish a certain item or service. The Contracts and Procurement Division is responsible for making all such sole source determinations.
For competitive sealed bid events, awards will be made to the lowest responsible bidder, taking into consideration conformity with the specifications, terms of delivery, and other conditions imposed in the Bid Event. In cases where tie bids occur, preference will be given to bidders located within the City limits. The City reserves the right to accept or reject any and all bids and to determine the best bid. For RFP’s, the qualification-based selection method will be used. The City shall determine which bidder is most qualified to perform, with price being a single component, but not controlling component of the evaluation process. The Contracts and Procurement Division may reject the bid of any bidder who has failed to perform satisfactorily on a previous contract with the City.
It is the intent of the City that acquisitions be made under conditions that allow for free and open competition. Bidders are encouraged to advise the Contracts and Procurement Division whenever specifications do not comply with standard trade practices or impose impractical or unreasonable requirements. It is the City’s policy to encourage the involvement of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE’s) (minority-owned and women-owned business) in the bidding process. DBEs are particularly invited to submit proposals to perform work for the City of Topeka, either as a prime contractor or as a part of a joint venture. Non-DBE firms are encouraged to seek and obtain quotes from qualified DBE firms when soliciting bids for subcontract work.
Alternate or Equivalent Bids
Whenever the specifications of an article or material are defined by trade name, brand name, or model and catalog number, the term “or equal,” if not written, is implied. Any such reference to a particular manufacturer’s product is for the purpose of item identification and to establish standards of performance, quality and features. Bids on equivalent items are invited. Alternate bids may be submitted and, if deemed to meet and/or exceed the specifications or scope of work set forth in the Bid Event, shall be given equal consideration during the evaluation process.
Intergovernmental Cooperative Purchasing
The City may “piggyback” on contracts established by other governmental jurisdictions when it is assured that competitive sealed bidding has been employed. Vendors willing to extend to the City existing price agreements with other governmental entities should notify the Contracts and Procurement Division.
Conflict of Interest and Gratuities
It is the policy of the City of Topeka that its employees, officers, or agents shall not have a financial or personal interest that would impair their proper discharge of official duties. Any employee who knows that he or she has an actual or potential conflict of interest shall disqualify himself or herself from involvement in the procurement process. Soliciting or accepting any gift, gratuity, favor, or kickback from any person who has or is seeking to do business with the City is also prohibited. Gratuities shall not mean pens, pencils, calendars, or other incidental novelty items used for advertising purposes, or meals or other meeting-related incidentals for the purpose of conducting or discussing official business.
In order to receive payment for goods or services furnished, the vendor must submit an original invoice. Invoices must show the properly authorized purchase order number; complete descriptions of the goods or services furnished; quantity delivered; unit prices and extensions; applicable taxes; and prompt payment discount terms, if any. Upon delivery, the City using department will inspect and accept the goods or services and prepare a receiving report acknowledging receipt for payment. All invoices shall be submitted to the City of Topeka, Accounts Payable section. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contracts and Procurement Division is responsible for the sale or disposal of scrap material and surplus property, normally through online auctions. See www.govdeals.com and enter Topeka in the search field. Questions concerning surplus property should be referred to the Procurement staff.
Contracting for Professional Services
All contracts for professional and consulting services are procured through a competitive selection process, except for contractual services where, in the opinion of the Contracts and Procurement Division, no competition exists. The following procedures are used for obtaining professional services:
Architects, Engineers, & Appraisers
The City of Topeka shall solicit proposals through the City’s e-Procurement Supplier Portal (see Informal, Formal and RFP Bid Events above) A committee consisting of the City Engineer, Procurement Officer, and the relevant department head shall conduct interviews of prospective consultants chosen on the basis of proposals submitted. At the conclusion of the interviews, the committee shall make a determination as to the best-qualified firm for the proposed project and negotiate the terms and conditions of a professional service contract.
Other Professional Services
Solicitations for professional services other than architects, engineers, and appraisers are accomplished through Requests for Proposals (RFP) through the City’s e-Procurement Supplier Portal (see Informal, Formal and RFP Bid Events above). The RFP is distributed to qualified persons interested in performing the services. It will include a statement of the work to be performed, performance requirements, and evaluation criteria.