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Types of Purchases

It is the practice of the District to price all purchases whenever practical. This is accomplished by soliciting competitive quotations, bidding procedures, or by negotiated pricing arrangements. Decisions in awarding purchase orders are based upon a vendor's compliance with District specifications, price, delivery, service, terms and conditions, location, or other relevant factors. Different types of purchase awards are as follows:

Formal Bids and Contracts. Consistent with the California Public Contract Code, the District solicits Invitations to Bid, Requests for Proposals (RFP) or other formal methods of procurement for contracts exceeding $87,800 for equipment, goods or services, and exceeding $15,000 for public works projects. Formal bids utilize legal advertising, detailed specifications or statements of work, and a formal bid opening at a prescribed date and time. Formal bids are awarded by the Board of Trustees of the State Center Community College District. Contracts resulting from the formal bid process may be of several types:

Firm or Fixed Price Contracts. Awarded for a specified quantity of goods or services. According to the terms of the contract, delivery may be in one or several shipments.
Price Agreements. Awarded for anticipated amounts during a certain time period. These contracts are binding for the full time period regardless of quantity.
Construction Contracts. Awarded for a specific public works project. These contracts have additional requirements such as bid, performance and payment bonds, insurance requirements, and must be performed by a licensed contractor.
Service Contracts. Awarded for services such as maintenance of equipment or professional services. These contracts are awarded based upon the criteria set forth in the Request for Proposal.

Informal Quotations and Contracts. The informal quotation and bid process is used for purchases under the formal bid limits. Purchase orders and contracts resulting from the informal bid process are for a wide variety of goods and services. The award of informal purchases is made by the Director of Purchasing. There are two types of informal quotations normally used:

Written Quotations. Informal written quotations are solicited by mail or fax without the formalities of a public bid opening or advertising.
Telephone Quotations. In many situations, telephone quotations are used to purchase goods and services. You may be assured that any and all telephone quotations will merit the same integrity as a written quotation.

Open Purchase Orders. Occasionally, open or blanket purchase orders are set up to allow authorized individuals or departments to purchase low cost/emergency items on an as-needed basis. Open purchase orders are typically for a designated period of time and based upon annual fixed pricing or discount schedules offered to the District.