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Purchasing - Primary Functions and Responsibilities

The Purchasing Division of the General Services Department of the County of Santa Cruz serves the purchasing requirements of all County departments and agencies. This division is responsible for purchasing, leasing, lease/purchasing or renting all equipment, materials, supplies, and all other personal property for the County. Purchasing shall engage independent contractors for personal services where the cost does not exceed the amount set forth in Section 25502.5 of the Government Code. Purchasing employs independent contractors for construction and repair work where the estimated aggregate cost does not exceed the amount set forth in Sections 20121 & 20132 of the Public Contracts Code.

Purchasing Agents work with requesting departments and vendors during the evaluation of proposals to find the right combination of cost, quality, and service that best meet the County's needs.

By law, many County purchases must be made by competitive bid. In these cases, suppliers, who are on a bid list for a particular commodity or service, are notified of the upcoming bidding opportunity.

In the case of informal requests, specifications detailing the product or service needed are also sent to potential vendors who have expressed an interest.

Capital improvement public works projects, such as the County building construction or repairs which exceed an estimated cost of $10,000, are awarded through a formal bid process and usually include detailed plans and specifications.

These projects are always advertised in the newspaper. Your firm can be placed on a bidders list and will be directly notified of any projects which fit the category of work your firm performs.

Plans and specifications are normally available for purchase at the General Services Department, or for public review at the Clerk of the Board of Supervisor's Office or at local builder's exchanges. Bids are awarded to the lowest responsive bidder.