FAQ: Purchasing

Q: Are site visits and pre-bid conferences mandatory?

A: Site visits and Pre-bid Conferences are not mandatory. However, vendors are expected to attend. Not attending is to the bidder’s disadvantage as site visits and pre-bid conferences are offered to give the bidders a better understanding of the specifications and offer the opportunity to view the location and conditions of the project; make comments and ask questions

Q: How can a vendor obtain specifications and drawings for Capital Bid Packages?

A: Vendors should refer to the published Legal Notice or contact the Purchasing Department at 845-340-3400 for specific details. Bid Deposit Checks for plans should be made payable to the Ulster County Commissioner of Finance. Upon provision of a vendor’s shipping carrier account number, the County will ship plans and specifications to the vendor.

Q: Does Ulster County accept bids electronically?

A: At the current time the County does not accept bids electronically but is working to implement electronic bidding in the future.

Q: Are there any other sites which distribute Ulster County bidding documents?

A: Other sites, which often charge fees for bid information, will supply documents to companies. However, copies of bid documents obtained from any source other than directly from Ulster County are not considered official copies. Only those bidders who obtain bidding documents from Ulster County Purchasing or the Empire State Purchasing Group website are guaranteed to receive addendum information if issued. It is recommended vendors always obtain an official copy.

Q: How can bids documents be obtained?

A: Ulster County posts its bids and quotes on the Empire State Purchasing Group website. See Section 2.0 in the Suppliers Handbook for registration instructions.

Q: Are their exceptions to bidding?

A: Yes. The following are permitted by New York State law as exceptions to competitive bidding. Purchases from State Contract Purchases from contracts let by the United States of America or any agency thereof, any state or any other county if it is let in a manner that constitutes competitive bidding consistent with New York State law. Purchases through NYS designated Preferred Sources Emergencies as designated by the County Executive when and wherein the delay caused by soliciting bids or quotes would endanger the health, welfare or property of the County or its citizens. Sole Source: In cases where a reasonably exhaustive and documented search discloses that a good or service is available from only one vendor.

Q: What are the differences between a bid, quote and RFP?

A: Bids are formal documents governed by NYS municipal law. Quotes have lower dollar thresholds, are less formal and are regulated by County Purchasing Procedures. RFPs (Requests For Proposal) are a formal invitation from the County to provide a solution to a problem or need of the County. RFPs are used to obtain professional services. An award is made based on a committee determination using weighted criteria as stated in the specification document which usually includes experience, qualifications, proposed plan to provide service and price/fee.

Q: Where are legal notices published for Ulster County?

A: The 2015 newspapers are Saugerties Post Star and Ulster Publishing/Woodstock Times. Legal Notices are published on Thursday. Public Work projects may also be advertised in the NYS Contract Reporter.

Q: Can someone obtain past bid results?

A: Yes. Bid results can be obtained on this website or by contacting the Purchasing Office.

Q: Do municipalities have to purchase off State Contracts?

A: No. The County and other municipalities by law have the option to buy off State Contracts as well as other government or municipal bids if permitted by the originator’s specifications.