Methods of Procurement

The County uses a variety of methods to acquire goods and services. Depending on the value and specification of the need, an appropriate method of procurement is selected.

  • Request for Proposals (RFP): The scope of services allows for the proposer to offer a solution that meets the County's technical and business requirements. More than one solution may be viable and there are varying levels of service to negotiate. Awards are made to the highest ranked, responsive (promise to provide the items and/or services called for by material terms of the solicitation), and responsible (whether the proposer can perform as provided for in the solicitation) proposer that is deemed to offer the best value. A qualitative evaluation is made based on weighted criteria such as experience and qualifications of proposer, the project management approach, and financial capabilities.
  • Invitation to Bid (ITB): ITB has stated specifications that are completely established. Awards are made to the lowest price, responsive, responsible bidder.​
  • Informal Competitive Procurement (ICP): Procurement of up to a total contract value of $100,000 in goods and related service and non-professional services, and up to a total contract value of $300,000 in professional services. 
  • Procurement Card (P-Card)/Direct Pay/Field Purchase Order (Field PO): County personnel are authorized to make small dollar purchases of nonstandard supplies on an as needed basis utilizing P-Card, Direct Pay and Field PO.  P-Card limits of $5,000 per transaction and $25,000 monthly limit per P-Card ,and $50,000 limit per vendor in a single year (but departments/agencies may select lower limits). 
  • Non-Competitive Procurement Although the County prefers a competitive process to acquire goods and services, in unusual circumstances, where the claim can be adequately justified, a non-competitive procurement process may be used.

​Construction and Public Works Contracts

Public Works and Construction contracts are awarded based on competitive bidding by the following departments:

Departments listed above conduct and solicit bids for their own Public works, Construction and Construction related Professional Services contracts (Architect and Engineer contracts). Depending on the contract value, a contract may be awarded by the department or the Board of Supervisors. For additional information click on each department's name to be routed to their website homepage.

Minor Public Works Projects:

  • Projects with Contract Value in the amount of $6,500 or less require the solicitation of quotes
  • Projects with Contract Value in the amount of $6,501 to $45,000 require an informal sealed bid process (Request for Quotes)
  • Projects with Contract Value in the amount of $45,001 to $175,000 require a formal sealed bid process (Invitation to Bid)

Professional Services and Community Based Organization Contracts

Professional service contracts and contracts with community based organizations are generally awarded by individual County Departments. There are over 26 separate County agencies/departments handling these types of service contracts - please contact individual Santa Clara County agencies and departments​ to learn more. 

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