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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Vendors/Contractors

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  How do I register as a prospective bidder or proposer?
   What is the difference between a bid and proposal?
   What if my bid or proposal is late?
   Is there a charge for bid or proposal documents?
   Can I obtain bid or proposal documents on-line?
   When is bid security required for a bid?
   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?
   Who selects the winning proposal?
   My firm proposed on an RFP where our price was very competitive, yet we were not selected. How can that be?
   My firm's proposal was not selected as a winner. Can we meet to review how we were evaluated? Can we review the proposal of the winning firm?
   How long does it take for a contract to be awarded?
   Why so long?
   Our proposal was selected for award / We were selected as the winning proposers. When can we start working?
   What kind of insurance do I need to maintain?
   I'm a small contractor, do I need to go through the formal bidding process to do work with HPD?
   Once my firm is Pre-qualified, do we have to provide any other information to HPD?
   I have heard about a contracting opportunity at HPD but have not seen it advertised. Why is that?
   I am registered with the Citywide Bidders List but haven't received any solicitations?
   What is VENDEX and how can I obtain the forms?
   What is the Procurement Policy Board and how can I obtain the current Rules?
   What is backup withholding?


 

How do I register as a prospective bidder or proposer?
HPD, like all City agencies, uses the Citywide Bidders list, maintained by the Mayor's Office of Contracts Services (MOCS), to obtain the names of vendors to whom solicitation notices will be mailed. You may go to the Vendor Enrollment Center to obtain the application and learn where to send your completed form. Once you register with the Vendor Enrollment Center (VEC), you will receive a card in the mail when HPD (or any other City agency) is publicly soliciting for bids or proposals for the type of work your company does. You will also be eligible to participate in solicitations that are not publicly advertised.

In addition, HPD maintains Pre-qualified Lists (PQL) for certain construction/service trades. Prequalification allows an agency to evaluate the qualifications of vendors for particular categories of work before issuing a solicitation. Only those firms that meet the pre-qualification standards can participate in solicitations for that category of work. Applications may be obtained by calling HPD's Contractor Compliance Unit at (212)-863-7815.

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What is the difference between a bid and proposal?
Bids, formally known as Competitively 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, formally known as Competitively Sealed Proposals (CSP), refer to a contracting method in which a solicitation is made through a Request for Proposal (RFP), and between receipt of proposals and award, discussions with vendors may take place, which may result in price changes.

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What if my bid or proposal is late?
It is your responsibility to ensure that your bid is delivered by the due date and time. Late bids are not accepted. A late bid will be returned to the bidder unopened and will not be considered for award.

Late Proposals will not be accepted by HPD, except as provided under New York City's Procurement Policy Board Rules (PPBR).

  

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Is there a charge for bid or proposal documents?
Yes, there is a fee for bid packages in some cases. The solicitation card notice and City Record advertisement will indicate the fee, if any. We do not charge a fee for Request for Proposal documents.

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Can I obtain bid or proposal documents on-line?
HPD currently posts only Requests for Proposals through on-line City Record notices.

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When is bid security required for a bid?
Bid security (in the form of a Bid Bond or a certified check) is required for construction contracts and is usually required to be 5% of the total price bid for the Contract. The bid security requirement is always specified in the 'Information for Bidders' package. If Bid security is required, then performance security in the form of Payment and Performance Bonds will also be required. For construction related services or service contracts, bid security is sometimes, although rarely, required.

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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.

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Who selects the winning proposal?
All proposals are reviewed by an Evaluation Committee comprised of at least three (3) HPD employees with knowledge, expertise and experience sufficient to conduct fair and reasonable evaluations. Proposals are evaluated numerically based on 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, a recommendation is then made to HPD's Agency Chief Contracting Officer (ACCO), who makes the final selection.

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My firm proposed on an RFP where our price was very competitive, yet we were not selected. How can that be?
Cost is just one factor in selecting a consultant for HPD work. Pursuant to the basis for award set forth in RFPs, a contract may be awarded to the qualified proposer whose proposal will be the most advantageous to the City, based on the evaluation factors set forth in the RFP and taking price into consideration. RFPs differ from Competitive Sealed Bids in that proposals are not necessarily awarded to the proposer with the lowest cost.

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My firm's proposal was not selected as a winner. Can we meet to review how we were evaluated? Can we review the proposal of the winning firm?
It is possible to meet to discuss your proposal, but only after the contract has been awarded. The discussion can only focus on the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal; no other proposals can be reviewed.

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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 Competitively Sealed Bids, or, in the case of Competitively Sealed Proposals, 6 to 9 months, maybe more, from the time your proposal is selected until you can start work.

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Why so long?
As you might expect, there are many approvals that need to be received before finalizing a contract. While some, like Vendex and Department of Labor Services, can occur concurrently, others cannot and are outside the authority of the HPD.

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Our proposal was selected for award / We were selected as the winning proposers. When can we start working?
All contracts must be registered with the 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.

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What kind of insurance do I need to maintain?
Insurance in most cases is required as part of your contractual obligation or in order to maintain active status on an HPD PQL. In general, all required insurance policies are to be maintained with companies that may lawfully issue the required policy and have an A.M. Best rating of at least A-VII or a Standard and Poor's rating of at least AA. All insurance policies must be valid/maintained for at least one (1) year.

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I'm a small contractor, do I need to go through the formal bidding process to do work with HPD?
No. HPD uses the Citywide Bidders List for what is known as "Small Purchases" where a list of randomly selected vendors is generated and bid solicitations are sent directly to those vendors identified. In the case of certain construction and service trades where HPD maintains a Pre-Qualified List (PQL), vendors from the PQL are also randomly selected to participate. The City's Small Purchase limit is currently set at $100,000.

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Once my firm is Pre-qualified, do we have to provide any other information to HPD?
Yes, once annually you must affirm that there have been no changes in information included in your original Pre-qualification questionnaire. Additionally, if your firm fails to respond to three (3) consecutive solicitations, it will be deemed to have withdrawn from the PQL (a response of "no bid" shall be considered a response to the solicitation).

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I have heard about a contracting opportunity at HPD but have not seen it advertised. Why is that?
There are two circumstances under which HPD solicitations would not be advertised: if the work was solicited through a PQL; or if the solicitation is for work valued at $100,000 or less.

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I am registered with the Citywide Bidders List but haven't received any solicitations?
Registration with the Citywide Bidders List does not automatically qualify you for inclusion on any particular PQL. You must go through a specific application process to be eligible to participate in work solicited through a PQL. Additionally, for work valued at $100,000 or less, agencies use the Citywide Bidders List through a random solicitation process of a limited number of firms, in which case your firm may or may not be selected.

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What is VENDEX and how can 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 wish to bid on all contracts and subcontracts 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 here.

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What is the Procurement Policy Board and how can I obtain the current Rules?
The Procurement Policy Board is the body which sets procurement policy for all City agencies. Its members are appointed by the New York City Comptroller and the Mayor. The Rules of the Procurement Policy Board (PPBR) govern the procurement of goods, services and construction within the City. You may obtain a copy of the Rules here.

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What is Backup Withholding?

Under IRS regulations, the City of New York is required to withhold 28% Backup Withholding from vendors that have missing or incorrect names or Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) in the Financial Management System (FMS). In order to meet this mandate, a Backup Withholding process was developed for FMS that automatically withholds the required 28% from 1099 reportable payments and transmits the withheld amount directly to the IRS.

If vendors with whom HPD does business are subject to backup withholding, they will be receiving a "B" notice that will notify them of their status. If they fail to respond within 30 days, all future checks issued from the City will be issued in the reduced amount. The vendor will then have to work with the IRS directly to obtain information related to claiming the withheld amounts. Vendors can avoid the automatic reduction by completing and returning the "B" notice according to the instructions enclosed with the document. Please do not send the return document to HPD.

You should also be aware that HPD personnel will not be able to make any changes to a vendors status nor change the backup withholding effect on the payment process. The process is outside of HPD's control.

Vendors and agencies can contact the Comptroller's Backup Withholding Hot Line with questions about Backup Withholding at (212) 669-8233.

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