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    Purchasing Department - Hours and Contact Information

    The Purchasing Department is located at:

    City Hall, Room 720
    300 Monroe Avenue NW
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503
    (616) 456-3173

    Regular business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Ethical Code:

    The City of Grand Rapids personnel subscribe to and support a high level of ethical and moral conduct. Employees of the Purchasing Department, as well as all other City of Grand Rapids employees, are required to decline the offer of gifts or favors that might influence, or be construed to influence, any purchase of goods or services. Acceptance of gifts or gratuities of any kind is prohibited by governmental purchasing ethics.

    Doing Business With the City of Grand Rapids:

    The City of Grand Rapids provides a full range of municipal services for its residents and visitors.  A vast array of products and services are procured on behalf of City departments by the Purchasing Department.  The Purchasing Department solicits competitive bids for goods and services that are used by City departments.

    The Purchasing Department invites you to do business with the City of Grand Rapids.  We are pleased to present Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS), our online business opportunity tool, which you may access to register as a vendor, review current solicitations, repond to solicitations, and manage contracts and invoices.

    Important: Registering and navigating in VSS works best using Internet Explorer as the web browser. Using other web browsers (such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox) may result in error messages while registering. It is strongly recommended that you complete the registration process using Internet Explorer.

    Vendor Registration and Profile Updates:
    Please log on to Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS) , the City's Business Opportunity Tool to register as a vendor or to update your vendor profile.  The following is the link to the VSS:

    Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS)

    It is important that vendors keep their remittance address and other contact information up to date to ensure that they receive proper notifications.

    Additional Assistance: 

    If you are having difficulties accessing VSS, the City’s electronic procurement system, please contact Purchasing at or call Purchasing at 616-456-3173.  Purchasing staff can answer questions related to registration, login, maintaining your profile, and responding to any bids posted by the City. Please note, however, if you have questions regarding the specific content of a bid, those need to be directed to the appropriate buyer that is listed on the bid.


    Bidding Procedures:

    Specific Bidding procedures have been established by the City to conform with the requirements established by law and to provide for the equal treatment of all suppliers.

    Notice of Bid Opportunities:  Bid opportunities will be posted on the Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS) under the Business Opportunities tab.  

    Bid Evaluation and Award:

    The City seeks the best value in the procurement of the goods and services it uses. The factor of cost is of paramount importance to the City. Additional criterion is also used to evaluate the value and quality of the bid. These include experience, quality, service reliability, and availability. A composite of these factors will be used to determine the best value for the City.


    General Purchasing Policies:

    All purchases of goods and services, with costs exceeding $10,000 are purchased on the basis of formal, competitive, sealed bids or proposals.

    Selected City Department personnel have authority to make purchases under $2,500.00 for goods only. Price quotes will be solicited online; selection of vendors for these purchases are determined on the receipt and comparison of least three informal quotations.

    Suppliers shall not make purchase order sales to City employees without first obtaining a purchase order number.

    In case of emergency, and with the consent of the Purchasing Director, City Department Directors may purchase necessary supplies, materials or equipment. This may be done only when it is essential that such purchases are made in order to safeguard City property or to provide services that affect the health, welfare and/or safety of the citizens of Grand Rapids.

    Small or incidental purchases, those which do not exceed $100, may be made from petty cash. The City employee making such a purchase will pay the supplier in cash. The City employee shall obtain an original receipt marked "Paid" from the supplier.


    Master Agreements:

    These types of contracts are established through a competitive bid process to purchase goods or services at a fixed price for a specified period. Delivery Orders are utilized to acquire goods covered by a Master Agreement.


    Department Purchase Orders:

    Bids for delegated authority purchases are solicited by WebProcure or in writing by department personnel.. After quotes are received, they are evaluated and a purchase order is issued to the best bidder meeting specifications.

    A quote is a legal offering on that includes a detailed and itemized listing of description, quantity, unit price and extensions, complete with F.O.B. and freight terms.


    Emergency Purchase Order:

    Bids may be solicited if the nature of the emergency permits. However, in severe emergencies, affecting the health and welfare of the City these requirements are waived where necessary. Emergency purchase orders are issued by the Purchasing Department.

    Formal Bids: Solicitations for Goods or Services Valued at Over $10,000:

    Formal Solicitations are issued through the Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS).  Formal bids are electronically sealed bids and are open for a two week period. After the bids are opened , they are evaluated and purchase orders are issued by the Purchasing Department to the best bidder. Bids of over $10,000 require City Commission approval.


    Informal Bids: Solicitations Valued at $10,000 or Less For Goods and Services:

    The Purchasing Department makes informal solicitations through the Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS). After the bids are received, they are evaluated, and purchase orders are issued by the Purchasing Department to the best bidder.


    Bid Security - Bonding:

    In effort to protect the interests of Grand Rapids taxpayers, the City may require bonding security on bids and contracts in connection with a contract for the construction, alteration or repair of any public building or completion of any public work.

    Bid Bond: Bid security in the form of bid bond is mandatory for submission of all bids as required in an amount not less than five percent (5%) of the bid value. The City also may elect to require bid bonds for any contract.

    Performance Bond: The City may require the contractor, before beginning the work, to provide to a performance bond  to the City. The performance bond is solely for the protection of the City and in the amount of the contract; and conditioned on the faithful performance of the work in accordance with the plans, specifications, and contract documents. The City may elect to require performance bonds for any contract.



    The City requires that all vendors provide and maintain an insurance policy of at least $1 million for general liability coverage and lists the City of Grand Rapids as an additionally insured party.In addition, the City requires that all contracts include insurance coverages as stated in each bid document be provided and maintained by the contractor, lessee, etc. The requirements set coverage shall be reviewed and approved by the City prior to award of contract. Contractors who engage sub-contractors shall be responsible to ensure that subcontractors procure and maintain the same insurance's required by the contractor.

    Policies shall be written by companies licensed in the State of Michigan and rates B+ or better by A.M. Best.

    Specific insurance requirements are incorporated into the bid documents and specifications of each bid. The dollar values and coverage's vary according to the type of contract. Insurance requirements for the City of Grand Rapids are constantly under review to determine the appropriateness of coverage's and values.

    The certificate(s) of insurance shall contain the following information:

    • Name of insurance company;
    • Policy number;
    • Inception/expiration date;
    • Description of coverage;
    • Limits of insurer's liability;
    • City as additional insured (property and liability policies);
    • Include all required endoresments;
    • Notice of cancellation condition (i.e. notice to the City at least thirty (30) days prior to policy cancellation);
    • A waiver of subrogation in favor of the City on all liability policies.

    Supplier Performance:

    Purchasing will establish Supplier Performance Files for all suppliers doing business with the City. Suppliers should maintain their vendor profile via VSS including updates to contact information, commodities provided, and other pertinent information.  Maintaining your profile up to date will ensure that your firm receives the appropriate Invitation to Bid (ITB) or Request for Proposal (RFP), as well as ensuring that payments are made to proper addresses.



    Suppliers should always examine the Invitation to Bid to determine whether they are required to submit samples with a bid. When samples are requested, they will be held until after the award is made unless otherwise specified. If a supplier wishes to submit a sample of his product for trial and use, the product shall be presented at no cost or obligation to the City. Samples should not be given to any specific City employee unless it has been authorized in advance by the Purchasing Director.


    Recycled and Environmental Friendly Products:

    The City of Grand Rapids encourages businesses to offer products to the City that do not cause environmental harm.

    The City also considers products that contain a sufficient percentage of post consumer waste materials. Post consumer materials are defined as materials that come from products generated by a consumer which have served their intended end-users and have been diverted from solid waste for the purpose of collection, recycling, and disposition.

    Products offered shall perform in accordance with applicable specifications, shall be available within a reasonable length of time, and shall be suitable for the City's intended purpose. The City will be the sole judge of the suitability of any recycled product offered.



    The City expressly reserves the right to:

    • Waive any formality, including minor deviations from specifications.
    • Waive any defect, irregularity, or informality in any offer of solicitation procedures.
    • Reject any or all bids, or portions of a bid.
    • Reissue a bid request.
    • Extend the bid opening time and date.
    • Procure any item by other means.
    • Increase or decrease the quantity specified in the bid invitation, unless the bid specifies otherwise.

    Right to Reject Bids:

    The City of Grand Rapids reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to waive any informality in any bid. Any provision which if changed or waived would materially change the bid cannot be waived. The City reserves the right to accept or reject any specific item or group of items on a bid unless the supplier states that the entire bid or any subgroup shall be accepted in total. If a supplier finds that he has made a mistake in his bid, he may correct the error before the date and the time set for opening the bids. After the bids are opened, all bids shall stand as submitted for a minimum period or ninety (90) calendar days.

    Tax Exemption:

    The City is exempt from payment of federal excise and transportation taxes, as well as Michigan State or local sales and use taxes. If it is determined that the prices quoted and recorded on any order or invoice rendered include any such taxes, the amount of the taxes will be deducted from the total of the invoice. Upon request, the Purchasing Director will execute the Michigan Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption in connection with all orders when Federal Excise Tax would otherwise be due.