DCAS Office of Citywide Procurement - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is OCP Located?

OCP is located in the Manhattan Municipal Building on the 18th Floor South at One Centre Street, New York, NY 10007-1614. Visitors must have a photo ID and enter through security at One Centre St. South Visitors' Entrance only.

2. Does OCP have a bidder's list, and if so, how may my company get on the list?

Recent enhancements to the City's Payee Information Portal (PIP) allow online self-management of your contact information and commodity code listing and will enroll your firm in the City's Bidders' Lists. Your self-assigned commodity code listing will determine which solicitations your firm should be contacted for. Active City vendors can log in here to edit their existing contact and commodity selections in PIP.  New or prospective City vendors may create and manage a new PIP account. This can be completed by visiting the PIP webpage, clicking on the “Activate” button, then following the online direction. Completion of your vendor information and commodity code listing is all that is required to be included on the City's Bidders' Lists. Vendors who have questions or issues regarding online enrollment should contact the Vendor Enrollment Center at (212) 857-1680 or via email at vendorenrollment@cityhall.nyc.gov.   In addition, for those who wish to receive automatic notification of bid opportunities over $100,000 in value, you must enroll in The City Record Online (CROL) where they will indicate the specific goods and services they offer.

3. Do I need to be pre-qualified to participate in OCP procurement solicitations?

OCP does not pre-qualify vendors for participation in its procurement solicitations. The requirements that a vendor must meet to be eligible for award of a contract are identified in each specific solicitation.

4. How do I find out about OCP Procurement Solicitations?

Solicitations for purchases valued over $100,000 are advertised in The City Record www.nyc.gov/cityrecord. Please contact the individual procurement manager identified in the solicitation for specific questions regarding the solicitation. 

5. How do I obtain copies of OCP Solicitations?

OCP solicitations are available in electronic format via CROL at www.nyc.gov/cityrecord.  In order to download and view the documents, you must enroll with CROL. 

Alternatively, you can also request that a printed copy be mailed to you by contacting OCP's Vendor Relations unit via email or fax (212) 669-7603. You must include the following information in your fax or email request:  Bid Title; Bid Number; Bid Opening Date; Your Company Name,  Full Address, Contact Person, Email Address and Telephone and Fax Numbers; and, if you have one, your FMS and/or DMSS Vendor ID Number.  You can also request a package in person at OCP Vendor Relations, One Centre Street, 18th Floor South, New York, NY 10007. To be included on the City's Bidders' Lists, firms must enroll in the City's Payee Information Portal. The Vendor Enrollment Center can be contacted with questions regarding registration at (212) 857-1680 or via email at vendorenrollment@cityhall.nyc.gov.

6. What is the difference between a bid and a proposal?

Bids, also known as Competitive Sealed Bids (CSB), refer to a contracting method in which sealed bids are publicly solicited and opened and a contract is awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. Proposals, also known as Competitive Sealed Proposals (CSP), refer to a contracting method in which a solicitation is made through Requests for Proposals (RFP), and between receipt of proposals and award, discussions with vendors may take place, which may result in price and other changes.

7. What is VENDEX and how do I obtain the forms?

VENDEX is the City's automated 'Vendor Information Exchange System' and is one of the resources the City uses to make well-informed decisions when selecting a vendor. Prospective vendors are required to complete VENDEX Forms (Vendor and Principal Questionnaires), which elicit background information from vendors who are being considered for award of a contract valued at $100,000 or more, sole source contracts valued at $10,000 or more and/or whose aggregate business with the City in the preceding twelve (12) months totals $100,000 or more. You may obtain VENDEX forms and other vendor information here: 
http://home.nyc.gov/html/selltonyc/html/tocvendex.html

8. What are the Procurement Policy Board (PPB) Rules and how do I obtain a copy of those rules? 

Procurements by New York City mayoral agencies are governed by the Rules of the Procurement Policy Board (PPB). The PPB is authorized to promulgate rules governing the procurement of goods, services, and construction by the City under Chapter 13 of the Charter of the City of New York.  For an electronic version of the Rules, and proposed and final rule amendments since the publication date, please see the Procurement Policy Board's webpage on the New York City website at www.nyc.gov/ppb.

9. Who oversees OCP's procurement processes?

Aside from being governed by the Rules of the Procurement Policy Board (PPB), OCP's procurement processes are overseen by the Mayor's Office of Contract Services (MOCS).  MOCS is the City's compliance and oversight agency for procurement, which assists City agencies to comply with procurement rules and achieve their programmatic missions and to improve contract management practices; MOCS also provides technical assistance to agencies and vendors.    

10. How do I find information about previous pricing?

For information and contract pricing and awards in the last 30 days, please refer to OCP's Recent Bid Results and Recent Awards.  If you do not see the information you are looking for, you may request contract information under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).  All FOIL requests must be in writing. We recommend that you email your request via the form. Please include the procurement identification number (PIN #) if you know it and a contract description. Alternatively, you may write to Jeri Dennis, Assistant Records Access Officer, Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Office of the General Counsel, One Centre Street, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10007, or fax your request to (212) 669-8558. If you have any questions, please call Ms. Dennis at (212) 669-7545.

11. How does my company set up a meeting to discuss a bid?

OCP does not meet with vendors individually, but any questions may be emailed to Vendor Relations via the form. A determination will be made as to the necessity of posting an addendum to the bid or scheduling a Pre-Bid Conference to which all interested vendors are invited. The conference affords vendors the opportunity to meet buyers and agency staff, and to examine and discuss specifications, bid conditions and delivery information.

12. What happens if there is an error in my bid proposal?

Your bid is your firm offer to enter into a contract with the City. However, bids may be modified or withdrawn by written notice received in the office designated in the ‘invitation for bid' before the time and date set for opening. If you discover after the bid opening that you have made an honest mistake in your bid that you can substantiate, you should notify the Procurement Analyst in writing.  The Procurement Analyst will bring the matter up with the ACCO who will make a determination in accordance with Section 3-02 (m) of the PPB Rules.

13. What kind of insurance do I need to maintain once I have a contract?

Insurance in most cases is required as part of your contractual obligation and varies according to what type of contract you have. At a minimum the company must have a General Liability insurance policy of one million dollars ($1,000,000) and Workers Compensation insurance in accordance with the laws of the State of New York from a licensed insurance company.  Additionally, you may be required to provide auto insurance.

14. My firm responded to an RFP a few months ago, but we have not yet been notified if we have been selected. What does this mean?

The evaluation and selection process can take a number of months to complete. You can be assured that as soon as the process is completed, all firms will be notified.

15. How is the winning proposal selected?

All proposals are reviewed by an Evaluation Committee comprised of at least three (3) members with knowledge, expertise and experience sufficient to conduct fair and reasonable evaluations. Generally, proposals are ranked numerically based on technical merit and criteria described in the RFP, and the scores are then compiled by the Committee Chair. Cost proposals are then opened and using the "Basis for Contract Award' criteria set out in the RFP, an award may be made.

16. How long does it take for a contract to be awarded?

The timeframe does vary, but generally the process takes 4 to 6 months from the bid opening date in the case of Competitive Sealed Bids; in the case of Competitive Sealed Proposals 6 to 9 months, or more, may be required from the time your proposal is selected until you can start work.

17. Why does the procurement process take so long?

As you might expect, there are many reviews that need to occur before finalizing a contract. Much of the delay is caused by reviews of pricing, required certifications, background check, payrolls, funding, etc.

18. Our company was the low bidder, when will we receive a purchase order?

It is difficult to predict a time frame because many steps must be completed before an award is finalized and a purchase order or notice of award can be issued.

19. Our proposal was selected for award. When can we start working?

All contracts must be registered with New York City's Comptroller's Office. Once registered, a Notice to Proceed (NTP) letter will be issued to your firm indicating when you can commence work.

20. How can the vendor withdraw a bid?

If a vendor wishes to withdraw a bid before the bid opening, a request should be made via fax, mail or in person with a letter to OCP's Vendor Relations declaring the withdrawal. Include bid number, bid title, opening date and how and where to send back the bid (type of delivery; contact; address; phone).  If it is after the bid opening, withdrawals can only occur in accordance with Section 3-02 of the PPB Rules.

21. My company needs more time than is stated in the terms and conditions for delivery. What can we do?

Your offer was accepted and you must abide by the contract. The City reserves a contractual right to buy against non-performing vendors.  If a vendor fails to deliver in accordance with the contract, the City may obtain the product from another vendor.  The non-performing vendor is then charged for any price difference and administrative costs.

22. Are there opportunities for Minority and Women-owned Businesses in OCP solicitations? 

OCP seeks to buy products from businesses certified under the New York City Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program. Local Law 1 of 2013 has created more opportunities for certified M/WBEs to bid on public contracts. We strive to increase awards to certified M/WBEs and include M/WBEs in all solicitations for micro and small purchases. Call the Certification Helpline at 212-513-6311 to request a "Fast Track" certification application or email: mwbe@sbs.nyc.govTo download a standard certification application visit: www.nyc.gov/getcertified
 

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