How to Do Business with Chatham County

The mission of the Chatham County Purchasing and Contracting Department is to maintain a procurement system of the highest integrity which maximizes the value of tax dollars spent by the County.

How to Sell to Chatham County

The first step in selling goods or services to the County is to register online with the Purchasing Department. The registration process requires you to select general categories for which you wish to receive bid notifications. You should list all categories that you believe would apply to your business. When the County issues a bid using one of the categories listed for your firm, you will receive e-mail or fax notification depending on the method of notification you have selected. The notification will then provide you with instructions on how to download the particular bid. If you are unable to register online, please contact Purchasing for assistance.

How Does the County Buy?

Purchases Over $25,000
Purchases over $25,000 are bid through a formal sealed bid process. These bids are advertised a minimum of l0 days prior to bid opening and the contract award is subject to approval by the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. Bids are advertised in the Savannah Morning News, on the County's Government Channel, posted on the County's website and in the Purchasing Department. Bid tabulations are also posted on the County's website. A public bid opening is held for formal sealed bids at the time and place specified in the bid documents. Bids must be stamped in at the Purchasing Department prior to the deadline in order to be accepted. Facsimile bids may be accepted on procurements that do not have a bond requirement.

Annual contracts are used to purchase many goods and services which the County buys repetitively over the course of a year. Annual contracts are bid for estimated quantities of commodities, equipment, or services at firm price, for a specified period of time, usually one year with possible renewals. Awards are made to qualified single or multiple vendors who meet specifications and conditions. Estimated quantities are based on prior usage by County Departments but are not guaranteed.

Chatham County Purchasing Ordinance

 

Purchases Under $25,000
Purchases under $25,000 are considered small purchases. Small purchases are handled using telephone quotes or written quotations depending on the technical nature of the requested item. A minimum of three vendors are contacted.

A vendor may contact the Purchasing Department to request that your firm be included for items you are interested in furnishing to the County. A list of Purchasing personnel, phone numbers and their responsibilities are included in this brochure.

Departmental Purchase
County Departments have the authority to purchase up to $2500. If you sell small dollar items which are not covered under an annual contract, you may be able to sell directly to a County Department. Your first contact, however should be the County's Purchasing Department who can advise how the County buys the item you are selling and who to contact.

Construction Services
Construction services are processed under the competitive bid process described earlier for purchases of $25,000 or more.

Construction contractors are required to post performance and payment bonds in an amount equal to the contract award unless the contract is under $100,000 or if it is a paving project which is subject to Georgia DOT bonding requirements. Construction bidders are also required to post a 5% bid bond at the time of bid submission. Evidence of liability and workmen's compensation insurance are also required prior to bid award. Any waiver of bonds will be noted clearly in the solicitation.

Goals are established for construction projects for utilization of minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE). General Contractors must meet the project goal or provide Good Faith Effort documentation. An M/WBE Directory is maintained by the County's M/WBE office. The list may be obtained by contacting the M/WBE Coordinator, Connell C. Heyward, at (912) 652-7926.

Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Policy

It is the policy of Chatham County to provide minority and women-owned business enterprises with equal opportunity for participating in selling goods and services to Chatham County. Bidders are required to make "Good Faith Efforts" to subcontract, where applicable, or purchase supplies from these businesses. County bids require the bidder to submit certain documentation with their bid to ensure compliance with this policy.

The County has established a Local: Small, Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise program in which the mission is to increase Local: Small Minority and Women-Owned Business (M/WBE) participation in the County's procurement process. The program provides information, technical assistance, training opportunities and certification to M/WBEs. These businesses should first register online as a vendor.

For more information, contact the County's M/WBE Coordinator, Connell C. Heyward, at (912) 652-7926, email: cheyward@chathamcounty.org.

Local Vendor Preference

Chatham County has local vendor preference which allows the lowest local bidder (defined as located within Chatham County) to match the bid submitted by the non-local bidder and therefore be awarded the contract. Local Vendor Preference does not apply to construction projects.

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners welcomes the opportunity to do business with interested merchants and businesses in the County's communities. The County's Purchasing Division is interested in fostering participation by all qualified business persons offering commodities and services that may be used by the various County departments.

All bidders must be registered on VIMS to submit a bid.
Purchasing has now implemented an online registration application for all vendors to access by the following steps:

Step 1. Click on Register to Become a Vendor

Step 2. Register user name and password.

Step 3. Complete company information (all * items must be filled in).

Step 4. Your information will be reviewed and you will be notified via email of your status.

Register Now