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Latest News

September 2017

On September 28, 2017, Procurement Director Cherri Branson was interviewed on the County Report This Week program. She discussed the 2nd annual Procurement Forum.

 
 
Procurement Director Cherri Branson was featured on “Montgomery al Día”. Lorna Virgilí hosts Montgomery County’s Spanish language live Radio Show. The show aired on Radio América 1540 AM, Tuesday September 26. 2017. at 2pm. 
 
The Power Conference was held on September 7, 2017 at the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center. Pam Jones, Division Chief, hosted a Power Talk
with local business owners.Her session is featured in the
 My MC Media coverage of the Power Conference below!

 
 
The Procurement team participated in the Exhibitor Showcase and provided information to local business owners.
 

August 2017

Montgomery County’s Office of Procurement has earned the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement (AEP) Award for 2017 from the National Procurement Institute (NPI) for the fifth consecutive year. The AEP Award honors public procurement organizations that achieve organizational excellence through innovation, professionalism, productivity and e-procurement. AEP also recognizes leaders in national, state and regional outreach in addition to participation in a public procurement association. Click to read the official Press Release.

January 2017

This year, the Office of Procurement is proud to welcome Jamal Maddox (West Virginia University) and Jose Ramirez-Zamora (Montgomery College) to it's first college intern program. This year-round opportunity offers college students the ability to gain knowledge and experience in the areas of public purchasing, contract management and local procurement regulations while providing administrative support to the organization.
 

2017 Procurement Interns
Jamal Maddox (left) and Jose Ramirez-Zamora (right)

My internship at the Office of Procurement has helped me broaden my career goals, familiarize myself with the professional workplace, and understand the importance of the procurement process.

Jose Ramirez-Zamora, Montgomery College Student/Procurement Intern

For more information, please contact the Office of Procurement at procure@montgomerycountymd.gov.

September 2016

Home
Montgomery County is working with developer StonebridgeCarras and general contractor Clark Construction to construct a below grade parking garage, town square and office building located as part of the Wheaton Town Center Redevelopment. A variety of construction-related trades, services and supplies will be needed over the course of the project. The most important first step is for interested small, local, minority, female and disabled owned firms to register as a vendor with BOTH Montgomery County AND Clark Construction. All potential subcontractors and suppliers who want to work with Clark Construction are required to complete the company's Subcontractor Qualification Application. Clark Construction is committed to working with small, disadvantaged, minority and women owned subcontractors and suppliers. For more information email Clark at: sdg@clarkconstruction.com or call Wesley Stith, Novelette Joseph or Tyler Coyle at 301-272-8100.
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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  1. How can I search for County Contracts?

    Please visit our contracts page for direct links to our contract search and open dataset engines. Both options allow you to view details of active County contracts.

  2. How can I do business with Montgomery County?

    The role of the Office of Procurement is to assist departments and agencies in acquiring goods, services, or construction. It is, in most cases, the place of initial contact for both agencies and contractors to acquire goods or services.

    In general terms, the objectives of the Office of Procurement are:

    To obtain the right products or services (meeting quality requirements)In the right quantity;For delivery at the right time to the right place;From the right source (a responsive and reliable supplier);At the right price.The Office of Procurement oversees a purchasing process that assures impartial and equitable evaluation of bids and proposals from vendors and helps agencies to establish fair and reasonable contracts. In the event of a contract dispute or claim resolution, the Office acts as mediator.Vendor Registration

    The first step to doing business with Montgomery County is becoming a Registered Vendor. Becoming a registered vendor will allow the County to contact your firm when procurement opportunities become available utilizing the commodities and/or services provided during registration. Montgomery County Government, in collaboration with Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools and the Housing Opportunities Commission, announces the release of its new Inter-Agency Central Vendor Registration System. This is a one-stop registration system for companies who are interested in providing goods and services to one or more of 4 county agencies' procurement offices. It allows potential vendors to create and maintain their registrations at no financial cost, ensuring county agencies always have up-to-date vendor information.

    Please visit Inter-Agency Central Vendor Registration System to register.

    If your firm is a Minority, Female or Disabled (MFD) owned business, please upload the proper documents as noted during registration. Please click here to learn more about the MFD program guidelines and instructions on obtaining MFD certification.

  3. How do I obtain solicitations issued by Montgomery County?

    Solicitations are published on Procurement's Solicitation Postings page. Electronic copies of formal solicitation document(s) can be obtained by selecting the desired solicitation number. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open/view solicitations - download it here.

  4. Does Montgomery County charge fees for solicitation documents?

    Solicitation documents are free of charge and can be downloaded from out Solicitation Postings page. Payment of non-refundable copy fees is required for paper copies of non-construction solicitations and for construction plans and specifications, if not downloadable. Solicitations are mailed upon receipt of a written request received with payment, or they may be picked up upon receipt of payment. Cash, checks, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, & Discover) are accepted. Make checks or money orders payable to MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND. Please do not send cash by mail.

  5. What is the Local Small Business Reserve Program (LSBRP)

    The Local Small Business Reserve Program (LSBRP) is operated by the Office of Business Relations and Compliance. Please visit DBRC's website for information regarding this program.

  6. Can I leave my bid package at the door after hours?

    The Office of Procurement cannot accept responsibility for packages left unattended outside of our office. We accept packages at our office during hours of operation, M-F, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EST; excluding County holidays or closings due to a weather event.

  7. How can I obtain solicitation amendments?

    To provide quick access through electronic communication the Office of Procurement will no longer routinely mail solicitation amendments. Solicitation amendments will be posted on the Solicitation Postings page and may occur anytime prior to the solicitation due date/time. As a courtesy the Office of Procurement intends to email solicitation amendments to holders of record with valid email addresses. However, it is still the responsibility of the bidder/offeror to frequently visit the Office of Procurement’s website to obtain solicitation amendments. Amendments to construction solicitations may be mailed if there are plans or other documents that can not be made available electronically.

  8. How can I obtain a list of bid holders?

    Bid holders (company and contact names) are available on the solicitation detail view on Procurement's Solicitation Postings page. Please click on the desired solicitation number to view this information.

  9. What if my bid is late?

    Any late bids will be rejected and returned to the bidder.

  10. How can I obtain bid results?

    Please visit our Bid Tabulations page for a list of the most recent published bid tabulations. This listing includes all bid tabulations of solicitations that have opened within the past 30 days. If the desired bid tab is not available, please contact Procurement to receive a copy.

  11. How long does it take to award a contract resulting from an IFB/RFP?

    The County generally has up to 120 days from the bid opening/proposal closing date, although this time may be extended due to various factors, which may include among others: complexity, number of bids/proposals, etc. RFPs may take longer.

  12. How do I obtain contact information of a contract awardee?

    You may contact the Procurement Specialist if you have questions relating to a contract awardee. If the awardee already has an executed contract, then the information is available through our website using the contract search feature.

  13. How can I register my business with the County?

    Montgomery County Government, in collaboration with Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools and the Housing Opportunities Commission, announces the release of the Inter-Agency Central Vendor Registration System (CVRS). This web-based registration system is available for companies who are interested in providing goods and services to one or more of 4 county agencies' procurement offices. It allows potential vendors to create and maintain their registrations at no financial cost, ensuring county agencies always have up-to-date vendor information.

    Please visit CVRS to register.

  14. How can I register my business as LSBRP?

    The Local Small Business Reserve Program (LSBRP) is operated by the Office of Business Relations and Compliance. Please visit OBRC's website for information regarding this program.

  15. Do I need to register my business with the County in order to submit a bid or proposal?

    With the exception of solicitations reserved for the Local Small Business Reserve Program, vendors do not have to be registered with the County in order to submit a bid or proposal. However, vendors must be registered before a contract can be issued, or a payment can be made.

    Please visit CVRS to register.

  16. Are there qualification requirements in order to submit a bid or proposal?

    Each County solicitation has its own unique qualifications and requirements, including compliance eligibility. Some require pre-eligibility (example: Local Small Business Reserve Program) and post-award requirements (example: Minority subcontracting requirements). You need to obtain and read a copy of the solicitation, in order to find out if there are any pre or post qualification requirements.

    Please visit CVRS to register.

  17. My vendor profile is incorrect. How do I update my information?

    Updates to your vendor profile can be done at anytime through the Central Vendor Registration Portal (CVRS). Please note that you will need your Vendor ID and VIN number to continue. Help is available on the CVRS website if you do not remember or cannot find a record of your CVRS Vendor ID / VIN combination.

  18. I've lost my CVRS Vendor Number and Password. How can I retrieve it?

    Help is available on the CVRS website if you do not remember or cannot find a record of your CVRS Vendor ID / VIN combination. Alternatively, you can contact CVRS technical support staff at 301-602-0500 or by email.

  19. What are the purchasing thresholds?
  20. When will my invoice be paid?

    Invoicing is managed by the County's Department of Finance. Please direct all questions regarding invoices to Accounts Payable directly at 240-777-8850. If the invoice has not reached Accounts Payable, please contact the contract administrator listed in the contract.

  21. Is parking available at the Office of Procurement?

    You must pay to park in the building parking garage at 255 Rockville Pike, in surrounding surface lots, or at metered parking on the streets adjacent to the building. Procurement does not validate parking.

  22. How do I request a sign language interpreter or other reasonable accommodation?

    Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations to participate in any program or service of the Department of General Services may request written materials in alternate formats, sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodations by contacting the ADA Compliance Team at 240-777-6197 (TTY 240-777-6196) or adacompliance@montgomerycountymd.gov. In order to ensure that we have sufficient time to arrange for these services, please make your request as early as possible, preferably with at least three business days notice in advance of the meeting or activity.
     

  23. Doing Business with Montgomery County as a Minority, Female, Disabled-owned Business

    The MFD program is responsible for ensuring that minority, female, disabled persons-owned businesses receive a fair share of the County's contracting opportunities. The goals of the program are to:

    • Encourage economic development for minority persons.
    • Increase business opportunities for minority persons.
    • Notify minority-owned businesses of procurement opportunities.
    • Provide information to minority business owners about the procurement system.
    • Provide referrals for technical assistance, sureties, and financing information.
    • Review procurement procedures to remove artificial barriers to competition.
  24. What is a Minority, Female, Disabled (MFD) Owned Business?

    A MFD owned business is a business that is at least 51% owned, controlled and managed daily by a minority person(s) as defined by state, county, and federal laws to include the following categories: African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American, Disabled Persons, and Women.

    You must be a certified MFD business to participate in the countys MFD program. The MFD program refers to the countys legal authority to provide a certain percentage of all contracts and procurement activity for participation by certified? MFD businesses. Once you have decided that the county is a potential customer, you will need to seek certification by using the following two steps:

    1. Step One - State of Maryland Minority Certification Process
      Apply for certification from:
      Maryland Department of Transportation
      Office of Minority Business Enterprise
      7201 Corporate Center Drive
      PO Box 548
      Hanover, Maryland 21076
      Phone: 800-544-6056
    2. Step Two

      Become a registered vendor with the County. Please visit the Inter-Agency Central Vendor Registration System to register. Please upload certification documents as noted during registration.

  25. How does a MFD business participate in Montgomery County's MFD Program?

    Do your market research. Determine if there is a market for your product or service.Identify the agencies and departments that may use your product or service. Obtain a copy of the current County Executive's Budget and Capital Improvements Program. Market your firm and yourself to your target department or agency. Identify the person(s) responsible for acquiring your product or service. Identify the procurement specialist responsible for purchasing the type of service or commodity you provide. Get on the vendor list and on the desk file of the person responsible for purchasing the product or service you provide.

  26. About the MFD Process

    As a certified MFD vendor, you are eligible to compete for contracts either as a prime or subcontractor. A minority owned business does not have to be certified to compete for contracts. All negotiated contracts valued at $50,000 or more are MFD designated. This means that the non-minority prime contractor is obligated to satisfy a predetermined percentage of the contract dollar value for subcontractor participation.

    MFD certification provides greater exposure throughout county procurement activity and may provide exposure to private industry as a result of being listed in the MFD electronic data base and the MDOT directory.

    You can do business with the county without being certified. However, if you are designated as a minority sub on a county MFD subcontractor workplan, the prime contractor cannot count you in its performance plan to meet the goals set for the particular project. It is to your and to the prime contractors benefit to be certified.

    Contracts valued less than $50,000 are potential fruitful markets for a minority vendor to pursue. For example, department heads have the authority to purchase up to $5,000 of goods or services on a purchase order transaction.

  27. What county resources are available to assist MFD businesses?

    The Office of Procurement provides:

    1. An automated user-friendly system, RAPID, that allows users to view procurement information, download files or receive weekly e-mail notifications.
    2. MFD procurement seminars designed to guide minority businesses through their early attempts to sell their product or service to Montgomery county.
    3. One-on-one counseling to both majority and minority businesses seeking to best use the MFD requirements.

    The Department of Economic Development also provides a mentoring program, small business fairs, network linkages to banks, state agencies, chambers of commerce and minority business associations.

  28. Effective Strategies for Marketing and Selling to the County:
    1. Make your first contact with the county through the MFD Program in the Office of Procurement.
    2. Get the required initial paper work completed and accepted by the Office of Procurement.
    3. Determine your target department/agency and begin to develop contacts.
    4. Find out when the department will have a pre-bid conference. This will provide you the opportunity to meet key department personnel and some of your competitors and prime contractors with whom you may wish to do business.
    5. Request a post award briefing if you submitted a bid on a solicitation and you were not the apparent awardee.
    6. Make sure you staff your presentation team for the selection committee with your best presenter if you are designated as one of the apparent awardees on a RFP.
    7. Follow the directions carefully when submitting a bid. If you have questions about any clause, phrase or requirement in the solicitation, contact one or both persons whose name appear on the cover sheet of the solicitation. One person is the technical representative and the other person is the procurement specialist. The technical questions should be addressed to the technical representative and the procurement questions to the procurement specialist.
    8. Submit your bid on time. If your bid is one minute late, it is disqualified.
    9. Keep abreast of local media coverage about county initiatives and projects. Inquire about possible contracting opportunities with appropriate county personnel.
    10. Pursue various outreach efforts sponsored by individual departments. Attend vendor seminars, trade fairs, procurement forums, open house events, and pilot projects.
    11. Seek to become a joint venturer or enter into a partnership agreement with a business when you have special capabilities which may enhance the chance of an award.
    12. Design a business plan if you don't have one. If you do have a business plan, revise it to conform to current business requirements.
    13. Be aggressive and offer unsolicited proposals for project ideas that are conceptual in nature. This can be very beneficial in professional services. Choose your situations carefully.

Request for Proposals (RFP) Debriefing Questions and Answers

What is a Debriefing?

Montgomery County encourages offerors to obtain feedback through a debriefing.  The debriefing affords an opportunity for unsuccessful offerors to understand how their proposals were evaluated.  Information learned through the debriefing process can be used by offerors to improve future proposals. 

The following are goals of a debriefing:

  • To assure offerors that the County recognizes that each offeror has invested substantial efforts and resources in preparing and submitting a proposal and should be given feedback when requested.
  • To provide offerors with feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal.  It is an opportunity for the offeror to gain insight that can be used to improve future proposal submissions.

How and when should an Offeror request a debriefing?

A debriefing generally takes place after execution of a contract.  The County will send unsuccessful offeror letters and identify the Qualification and Selection Committee (QSC) Chairperson and contact information for a debriefing.  Offerors are encouraged to make requests for debriefings within a reasonable time after receipt of the unsuccessful offeror letter.  Requests should be made by email to the contact person listed in the unsuccessful offeror letter, with a copy to the Procurement Specialist.  An offeror requesting a debriefing must provide the following information in their debriefing request:

  • Solicitation Number and Title
  • The offeror’s official legal name
  • The attendees of the debriefing and their titles

What is NOT included in a Debriefing?

The debriefing process is specific to the individual offeror and that offeror’s proposal.  Therefore, a debriefing does not offer the following:

  • Content of other offeror’s proposals
  • Confidential information regarding other offerors that may compromise trade secrets, references, names, etc.
  • Comparison, scoring, or ranking of other offeror’s proposals
  • Information prohibited from release by the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA)
  • A debate of the solicitation process and outcome
  • Discovery of documents, discussions, thoughts or notes in the evaluation process

What should an Offeror expect after a request for a debriefing?

An offeror requesting a debriefing will be contacted by the QSC Chairperson within five to seven business days after receipt of the email debriefing request to schedule a mutually convenient date and time for the debriefing to occur.  The QSC Chairperson will lead the debriefing.  A debriefing may be conducted in person at a County office or email.  In most instances a request for a debriefing will not be denied, however a debriefing may be postponed.  In the event a request for a debriefing will result in a postponed debriefing the offeror will be notified that a debriefing cannot take place until a later date.  Prior to a debriefing an offeror shall receive the following:

  • Debriefing Agenda
  • Ground Rules for Discussion
  • QSC Summary Score Sheet for debriefed offeror

What will be discussed at a debriefing?

Offerors should expect the debriefing to be an informational discussion based on the framework of the Debriefing Agenda and Ground Rules for Discussion.

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Terms &
Conditions


Terms and Conditions are the general conditions of contract between County and contractor (PMMD-45).





View Document

Procurement Code


The Procurement Code is a part of the Montgomery County Code, the legislation enacted by the County Council pursuant to its authority in the Charter and State law.



View Code

Procurement Regulations


The Procurement Regulation is a part of the Montgomery County Code of Regulations (COMCOR), the regulations that implement portions of the County Code based on specific authority in the Code.


View Regs
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NIGP/Commodity Search Engine

The NIGP Commodity Services Code was developed by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing to bring efficiency to automated purchasing. The NIGP Codes provide an excellent coding structure for standardizing purchasing.

The NIGP Commodity/Services Code displayed here is copyrighted material which is to be used for reference purposes only. All Rights Reserved. This material is for this Agency's use only, and may not be downloaded without a license from the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc.

NIGP Number Description

Maryland Public Information Requests

How do I request public information?

Email, write or fax asking for the records you would like to receive. All requests must be in writing. If you are unable to write, please contact us by telephone or in person and we will assist you with this task. Your request must include the following information when you make a public records request:
 
  • Contact information – your name, mailing address and telephone number.
  • Records Requested - A description of the specific records being requested.
A response to your request will be provided within 30 days. Please contact the department liaison with questions concerning requests for public information.

Procurement MPIA Liaison

Mary Ellen Davis-Martin
255 Rockville Pike, Suite 180
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 240-777-9900
Email: #PRO.MPIA@montgomerycountymd.gov

 

Procurement Terminology

 

 

A    ( Back to top)

  • ACCEPTANCE OF GOODS OR SERVICES:Acceptance constitutes a determination by an authorized government official that goods or services conforming to the requirements of a contract have been furnished by a contractor and that a contractor is entitled to payment under the contract. With respect to goods, acceptance is deemed to occur if, after a reasonable opportunity to inspect the goods, an effective rejection is not made within a commercially reasonable time. Acceptance of goods may be revoked where: there is an acceptance on a reasonable assumption that a non-conformity would be cured and it is not later timely cured; or acceptance has taken place without discovery of a non-conformity where the acceptance was induced either by the difficulty of discovery before acceptance of the non-conformity or by the contractor's assurances with respect to conformity of the goods. Revocation of acceptance must occur within a reasonable time after the government official discovers or should have discovered the grounds for it.

  • ACCEPTANCE OF OFFER : A communication directed to an offeror by an authorized contracting officer in response to a specific offer. In order for this communication to become binding on the County, a fully executed contract must be delivered. The communication of acceptance of an offer must be made within the time specified for acceptance in the solicitation or authorized extension in order for the acceptance to be binding on the offeror; however, a communication of an acceptance of an offer made after the time specified in the solicitation may be accepted by an offeror.

  • ADVANCE PAYMENT: A payment to the contractor prior to receipt by the County of contractor performance that is at least equal in value to the amount of the payment.

  • ASSIGNMENT: The transfer of a contract right or obligation by a contractor to another party. A payment assignment is the assignment of a right to payment under a contract to a party designated by the contractor who has a right to that payment. A performance assignment is the assignment by a prime contractor to a third party of the obligation to perform a prime contract in accordance with its terms and conditions. Assignments must be made through a contract modification and specifically accepted and approved by the contracting officer in order to be effective. An assignment, unless it specifically provides otherwise, does not relieve the prime contractor of its obligations to the County.

  • AUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL : A person granted specific authority to do a particular act by law, by delegation of authority, by official job description, by the law of agency or pursuant to contract provisions.

  • AWARD : The release of a fully executed contract to an offeror. This release may be accomplished by a contracting officer by depositing the contract in the mail, with a common carrier, delivering it to the offeror, or notifying the contractor by phone, telegram or other means which communicates acceptance of offer by the County.

B    ( Back to top)

  • BID : An offer to furnish goods, services, or construction in conformity with the specifications, delivery terms and conditions, and other requirements included in the invitation for bids; or, in the case of disposition of County property, an offer to purchase.
  • BID BOND : An insurance agreement in which a third party agrees to be liable to pay a certain amount of money in the event a bidder fails to sign a contract as bid or as mutually agreed upon presentation of that contract to the bidder.
  • BID DEPOSIT : A cashier's check, certified check, bank letter of credit, or bid bond, deposited with, and at the request of, the County, to guarantee that the bidder will, if selected, sign the contract as bid or mutually agreed upon presentation of that contract to the bidder. If the bidder does not sign the contract as bid or as mutually agreed, the deposit may be retained by the County.
  • BIDDER : See Offeror.
  • BIDDER'S LIST : A current file of vendors and other sources of supply for various categories of goods, services, or construction purchased for County use maintained by the Director.

C    ( Back to top)

  • CAO : The Chief Administrative Officer for Montgomery County.
  • CERTIFICATION OF FUNDS : A written or electronic certification by the Director of Finance that funds are available to pay the cost of a specific contract or the cost of the first term of a multi-term contract, as required by Chapter 11B, Montgomery County Code.
  • CHANGE ORDER : An order authorized by the contracting officer directing the contractor to make changes within the scope of the contract, pursuant to contract provisions for such changes, with or without the consent of the contractor.
  • CLAIM : A demand or request for payment for services or construction rendered or goods delivered, outside of an appropriately encumbered contract with the County, for which the contractor has a basis for payment, reimbursement, or compensation from the County under Chapter 11B, Montgomery County Code. See also related definition in Section 14.2.1.
  • COMPETITION : The process by which more than one valid source of supply for goods, services, or construction is solicited through the submission of offers which are to be evaluated in a comparative way for the purpose of selection of the source or sources most advantageous to the needs of the County.
  • COMPETITIVE NEGOTIATION : A process by which the County and one or more prospective suppliers communicate successive respective positions with respect to price, specifications, and other relevant terms and conditions in order to arrive at a contract for procurement of goods, services, or construction. Competitive negotiation may occur after required bidding or solicitation of proposals produces no award because of a deficiency in: proposed specifications, price, insufficiency of available funds, non-responsiveness, adequate competition, or responsibility factors. The Director must approve competitive negotiation before it can be used.
  • CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION : Any information which is available to an employee only because of the employee's status as an employee of the County and is not a matter of public knowledge or available to the public on request. For purposes of this definition, an employee includes a volunteer.
  • CONSTRUCTION : The erection, alteration, repair, demolition or renovation (including dredging, excavating, landscaping and painting) of roads, public buildings, structures or other improvements to real property. Construction does not include routine maintenance, operation or repair of existing facilities.
  • CONTRACT : Any type of documented agreement or order for the procurement or disposal of goods, services, construction or any other item which is binding on the contractor and the County. Unless specifically prohibited by Chapter 11B, contract types include: fixed-price, cost, cost-plus-a-fixed-fee, cost reimbursement or incentive; contracts may provide for the issuance of job orders, task orders, or task letters; contracts also include letter contracts, grants, purchase orders and contract modifications. All contracts must be in writing unless otherwise authorized by these regulations. A contract must include mandatory clauses.
  • CONTRACT ADMINISTRATOR : An authorized government official charged with responsibility for administering a contract with authority as provided in the contract document.
  • CONTRACT AMENDMENT : A modification to a contract signed by the contractor as well as the contracting officer which provides for a change of contract provisions, including additional work outside the scope of the original contract.
  • CONTRACT MODIFICATION : Any documented alteration in the specification, delivery, contract period, price, quantity, or other contract provisions of any existing contract, whether accomplished by unilateral action in accordance with a contract provision (change order), or by mutual action of the parties to the contract (contract amendment). It also includes administrative changes, notices of termination, field orders, and notices of exercise of a contract option and contract extensions. Unless expressly authorized by contract and these regulations, a contract modification must be written if the contract to be modified is written.
  • CONTRACT REVIEW COMMITTEE (CRC) : A standing committee established for such purposes as specified in law or these regulations.
  • CONTRACTING OFFICER : The CAO, Director, others delegated by these officials to act within their authority, and other officials specifically authorized by these regulations to enter into a contract on behalf of the County. Only contracting officers may execute contracts or contract modifications on behalf of the County.
  • CONTRACTOR : Any individual or organization doing business with the County whether for services, construction or for the sale of goods or services pursuant to a contract.
  • COOPERATIVE PURCHASING : The combining of requirements of two or more public entities in order to obtain the benefits of volume purchases, reduction in administrative expenses, or some other public purpose.
  • COST ANALYSIS : The review and evaluation of the separate cost elements and proposed profit of an offeror's or contractor's cost or pricing data and an offeror's or contractor's assumptions and judgments in estimating costs from cost data.
  • COST OR PRICING DATA : All facts as of the time of price agreement that buyers and sellers would reasonably expect to affect price negotiations significantly. Cost or pricing data are factual, not judgmental, and are independently verifiable.
  • COST REIMBURSEMENT CONTRACT : A contract which provides for reimbursement of a contractor's costs associated with performance of specified contract requirements.
  • COUNTY : Montgomery County government.
  • COUNTY DEPARTMENT, OFFICE, AND/OR AGENCY : An officially designated unit of the County (including the County Council) subject to the procurement law and regulations of Montgomery County, including certain entities established by State law such as the County Board of Supervisors of Elections, the State Attorney's Office, the Sheriff's Office, the County Board of License Commissioners, and the Circuit Court (not including the office of Clerk of the Court).
  • CRC : The Contract Review Committee.

D     ( Back to top)

  • DEBARMENT : An exclusion for cause by the Director of firms or individuals from eligibility to participate in a procurement action.
  • DELIVERY ORDER : A document or other action which initiates a delivery of goods, services, or construction authorized by a contracting officer or authorized government official, under an existing contract which establishes terms, price and source of supply.
  • DEPARTMENT : See Using Department.
  • DETERMINATION AND FINDING : Documents prepared by an authorized government official which delineates the facts and reasons used for reaching a particular decision.
  • DIRECT PURCHASE : An informal procurement of goods, services, or construction which is accomplished under the direct authority of the Using Department Head and not by the Director. Competition should be preserved with this method to the extent practical. Contracting with MFD firms is encouraged.
  • DIRECTOR : Director of the Office of Procurement.
  • DISPUTE : A timely complaint filed by a contractor disagreeing with a decision made by an authorized government official regarding the contract.

E    ( Back to top)

  • EMERGENCY : Any dangerous condition or unforeseen curtailment, diminution or termination of an essential service which poses an immediate danger to health, life or property.
  • EMERGENCY PROCUREMENT : A procurement of goods, services or construction necessitated by any threatened dangerous condition or by a threatened imminent or unforeseen curtailment of an essential service or supply which, if not remedied by a procurement, will endanger or cause damage to health, life or property and which remedy cannot be accomplished through a timely procurement using normal procedures.
  • ENCUMBRANCE : The recorded reservation of appropriated funds to provide for payment of County contract obligations, which reduces remaining spending authority under an appropriation by that amount. A certification of funds constitutes sufficient evidence from the Department of Finance that there is a sufficient unencumbered balance in an appropriation to cover the amount of a specified contract, or the first term amount of a multi-term contract, as required by Chapter 11B, Montgomery County Code.
  • EQUAL ("OR EQUAL") : A phrase used to indicate permission to substitute products of similar or superior function, purpose, design, and/or performance characteristics. Substitutability is determined by conformance to salient characteristics.
  • EVALUATION CRITERIA : Criteria set forth in a solicitation document that specifies the basis for award of a contract.

F     ( Back to top)

  • FIELD ORDER : A limited and specific written order usually used in construction contract situations where the authority to direct timely limited change to contract work has been specifically delegated by the contract to the authorized government official at the place of performance.
  • FIXED PRICE CONTRACT : A contract which provides for a firm price under which a contractor bears the full responsibility for profit or loss.
  • FORMAL SOLICITATIONS : Invitation for Bids, Requests for Proposals and Requests for Expressions of Interest.

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  • GOODS : Supplies, materials, equipment, and all other tangible commodities, except real property.
  • GOVERNMENT : Montgomery County Government.
  • GRANT : An action by a public or private entity which directs funds on a non-competitive basis to a specific entity. A grant must be implemented by a contract.

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  • INFORMAL SOLICITATION : A procurement accomplished without an invitation for bids, request for proposal, or request for expressions of interest. An informal solicitation is not subject to formal public notice.
  • INSPECTION : Examination and testing of goods, services, and construction for materials, components, intermediate assemblies, and end items, to determine whether the goods, services, and construction conform to contract requirements. Inspection does not constitute acceptance.
  • INVITATION FOR BID (IFB) : A formal solicitation in which competitive sealed bids are invited through a public notice procedure which requires that bids be received by a specified time and opened publicly. Invitations for Bids are evaluated solely in terms of bidder responsibility, bidder responsiveness, and price.

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  • LABOR AND MATERIAL BOND : See Payment Bond
  • LATE OFFER : An offer which is received at the place designated in the Invitation for Bids, Request for Proposals or Request for Expressions of Interest after the deadline established by the invitation or request. A late offer may not be accepted and must be automatically rejected.
  • LIQUIDATED DAMAGES : A sum agreed upon between the parties to a contract, to be paid as ascertained damages by the party who breaches the contract, and not as a penalty, where actual damages due to breach may be difficult to determine at the time of the breach.

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  • MFD : An abbreviation used for minority, female, or disabled owned businesses as defined in Chapter 11B of the County Code
  • MANDATORY CLAUSES : Clauses prepared by the Office of the County Attorney which must be used in solicitations and contracts unless explicitly waived by the Office of County Attorney.
  • MANDATORY IFB REQUIREMENTS : Specific substantive requirements or specifications which may not be waived.
  • MINI-CONTRACT : A contract awarded through documented informal competition for professional services.
  • MINOR INFORMALITY OR IRREGULARITY : A requirement in a bid which is merely a matter of form (not substance) or is an immaterial or inconsequential provision in the solicitation. The Director may determine the defect or variation in the bid to be immaterial or inconsequential when the significance of the defect or variation as to price, quantity, quality, or delivery is trivial or negligible when contrasted with the total cost or scope of the procurement.
  • MINORITY OWNED BUSINESS : Any legal entity that engages in commercial transactions which is at least 5l percent owned, managed, and controlled by one or more minority persons and certain non-profit entities organized to promote the interests of persons with a disability, as defined in Chapter 11B of the County Code.
  • MINORITY CONTRACTING : Montgomery County contracting policies and procedures in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11B of the County Code.
  • MINORITY PERSON : A member of a socially or economically disadvantaged group which includes African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, women, and persons with a disability as defined in Chapter 11B of the County Code.
  • MISTAKE IN BID : A claim by an offeror with respect to an IFB which asserts a mistake with respect to price or cost factors contained in the offer.
  • MULTIPLE AWARD : The award of separate contracts to two or more offerors for the same commodities or services in situations where the award of a single contract would be impractical or would not meet the total County requirements.

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  • NOTICE TO PROCEED : A written notice to the contractor issued by an authorized government official directing commencement of contract performance.

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  • OFFER : A timely response to a solicitation which is binding upon the offeror during the period of time in which the offer is to remain open under the solicitation. An offer is not binding on the County until the award of a contract.
  • OFFEROR : A person or entity who makes an offer in response to a solicitation or makes an unsolicited offer.

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  • PAYMENT BOND : A bond issued by a surety which guarantees payment of suppliers and subcontractors of a prime contractor.
  • PERFORMANCE BOND : A contract of guarantee submitted by a successful offeror to protect the County from loss due to the offeror's inability to perform or complete the contract as agreed.
  • PRE-BID/PRE-PROPOSAL CONFERENCE : An optional meeting held with prospective offerors prior to submittal of bids or proposals in response to a solicitation to discuss matters germane to the solicitation.
  • PRICE ANALYSIS : An analysis used to determine that a price submitted by an offeror is fair and reasonable. A price analysis must be made by the Using Department to support its recommendation for award.
  • PROCUREMENT : Buying, purchasing, or otherwise acquiring any goods, services, or construction. It also includes all functions that pertain to the obtaining of any goods, service, or construction, including description of requirements, selection and solicitation of sources, evaluation of offers, preparation and award of contract, dispute and claim resolution and all phases of contract administration.
  • PROFESSIONAL SERVICES : The services of attorneys, physicians, architects, engineers, consultants, and other recognized professional individuals, associations, corporations, and groups whose services are customarily negotiated because of the individuality of those services and level of expertise involved.
  • PROPOSAL : An offer binding on the offeror, in response to an RFP and a non-binding response to an REOI.
  • PROPOSED AWARD : A decision of the Director that a specific offeror is, after consideration of the recommendations (if any) of the Using Department, the successful offeror. This decision must be made in accordance with these regulations and initiates the process by which an award may be made to the offeror. A proposed award is not binding on the County.
  • PROPOSER : See Offeror.
  • PROTEST : A timely complaint by an offeror in connection with a perceived irregularity or impropriety with a solicitation process or responses received to a solicitation and administrative action with respect to the responses. A protest must be filed, in writing, with the Director.
  • PUBLIC ENTITY : A public entity is: (1) the federal, state and local governments or their agencies; (2) boards, commissions, or committees established by a federal, state, or local law; (3) government organizations or associations of the federal government, state governments, or political subdivisions of state governments; or (4) any other entity that both qualifies as a not-for-profit corporation under the provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code and which is incorporated by one of the preceding entities for the exclusive purpose of supporting or benefiting a public entity. See Chapter 11B, Montgomery County Code.
  • PUBLIC NOTICE : Posting information on a bulletin board available for public inspection during regular business hours. Public notice may, as determined by the Director, also include other means reasonably calculated to notify the public and promote adequate competition such as advertisement, mailings, and placing notices in newsletters.

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  • QUALIFICATION AND SELECTION COMMITTEE (QSC) : A committee established by a Using Department for the purpose of evaluating responses submitted by offerors in connection with an RFP or an REOI. Each member of the QSC must be an employee of a public entity, unless specific authorization is obtained from the CAO for another to serve on the committee. The committee must be composed of at least three members.

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  • REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST (REOI) : A solicitation to prospective offerors, the response to which is to be analyzed in accordance with selection criteria set forth in the solicitation. The REOI is used to develop a shortlist of prospective offerors who are eligible to receive a subsequent solicitation such as an RFP or an IFB. Requests for Expressions of Interest are generally made where specifications cannot be prepared or the availability of vendors for the goods, services, or construction involved is uncertain or unknown.
  • REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) : A solicitation to prospective offerors, the response to which is analyzed in accordance with selection criteria set forth in the solicitation for the purpose of ranking the proposals received. A Request For Proposal is generally utilized (instead of an REOI) when specifications can be prepared.
  • REQUIREMENTS CONTRACT : A contract for goods, services, or construction covering long-term requirements (usually twelve months or more), used when the total quantity required cannot be definitely fixed, but may be stated as an estimate or within maximum and minimum limits. Delivery of goods, services, or construction are made upon issuance of a delivery order. A requirements contract may be exclusive, in which case all orders of goods, services, or construction covered by the contract must be made pursuant to it during its term. In the alternative, a requirements contract may be non-exclusive, in which case the contract should be used whenever possible, but is not the only source of goods, services, or construction covered by it. Unless a requirements contract, and the solicitation for it, states that it is an exclusive contract, it is a non-exclusive contract. A requirements contract may not be used to unduly restrict competition and may not normally be used for large construction contracts.
  • RESPONSIBILITY : A determination based on an offeror's reputation, past performance, business and financial capability and other factors that demonstrate the offeror is capable of satisfying the County's needs and requirements for a specific contract.
  • RESPONSIVE OFFEROR : An offeror who has submitted a bid which conforms in all material respects to the requirements of an IFB. The determination of whether a bid is responsive is made by the Director after appropriate consultation with the Office of County Attorney. The Director may solicit comments from the Using Department.
  • RESPONSIVENESS : A determination that a bid complies with the material requirements of an IFB. The Director determines if a bid is responsive. See Responsive Offeror.
  • RETENTION (RETAINAGE) : The withholding of a part of the payment due to the contractor until the time of final acceptance according to the terms of the contract. The amount retained (also known as retainage), as well as the period of retention, is determined by the terms of the contract. Retention, as a method of payment administration, is usually associated with construction contracts.

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  • SALIENT CHARACTERISTICS : Characteristics of a particular referenced good (product) or service necessary to meet the minimum valid needs of government as determined by the County.
  • SCOPE (SCOPE OF CONTRACT) : The entire subject matter of a contract in terms of goods to be delivered or services or construction to be performed under the contract. Scope includes all contract terms, conditions, and specifications. The scope of a contract determines whether an alteration to the contract work may be accomplished by change order or by contract amendment. Scope also includes "scope of services", if appropriate, which defines the work to be accomplished under the contract.
  • SERVICES : The performance of an identifiable task by furnishing labor, time or effort by a contractor, not involving the delivery of a specific end product other than reports which are merely incidental to the required performance.
  • SHORTLIST : A limited number of offerors who, through a pre-qualification process, are qualified (usually through an REOI) to participate in a further evaluation and/or negotiation process for award of one or more contracts.
  • SMALL PURCHASE : An informal solicitation of goods, construction or non-professional services valued below a certain threshold.
  • SOLE SOURCE : A procurement in which goods, services, or construction necessary to meet minimum valid needs of the County are available from only one person or firm as provided in Chapter 11B of the County Code including those having the exclusive right to manufacture, sell or otherwise market certain goods or services.
  • SOLICITATION : A process for requesting submittal of offers through either a formal communication, which may include an IFB, RFP or REOI, or an informal communication, such as telephone communication and other forms of communication with potential offerors as specifically authorized under these regulations. A solicitation may only be issued by a contracting officer or an authorized government official.
  • SPECIFICATION : A concise statement of a set of requirements to be satisfied by the goods, services, or construction which the County wishes to acquire. A specification must indicate, whenever appropriate, the procedure by which requirements are determined to be satisfied. As far as practicable, it is desirable that the requirements be expressed in numerical or other objective terms, together with their ranges or limits. A specification may be a standard, a part of a standard, or independent of a standard. It may also be expressed as an end result. Specifications should be contained in solicitations as well as contracts. Specifications should not be overly restrictive or prejudicial to competition beyond that justified by minimum valid requirements of the County.
  • STANDARDIZED PROCUREMENTS : A standardized procurement is a purchase of equipment or parts for which the CAO determines standardization and interchangeability of parts is necessary or is in the public interest. A standardized procurement should include competition when reasonably available. Standardization approval must be for a stated period which bears a reasonable relationship to the life of the equipment and the specialized training or specialized equipment necessary to maintain the standardized item. A standardization decision includes the decision to procure compatible parts, equipment, maintenance and training.
  • SUBCONTRACT : An agreement entered into between a third party (known as a subcontractor) and a contractor who has a contract with the County (known as a prime contractor). Although the County is not a party to the subcontract, and the prime contractor is fully responsible for the subcontractor, the County may have certain control over the subcontract and subcontractor through the provisions of the prime contract.

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  • TERMINATION FOR CONVENIENCE : A mandatory clause that provides for termination of all or part of a contract by a contracting officer if the contracting officer determines that termination is in the best interest of the County. Upon such termination, the Director may entertain contractors' claims for work accomplished or costs incurred up to the date of termination for convenience and process this claim in accordance with law and regulations.
  • TERMINATION FOR DEFAULT : A mandatory clause that provides for the cancellation in whole or in part of a contract, at the option of the County, because of the contractor's failure to perform. A termination for default may be accomplished by the Director in accordance with the terms of the contract after consultation with the Office of the County Attorney. A termination clause should provide for liability of the contractor for additional costs to the County in connection with procurement of substitute performance from replacement contractors. A termination for convenience may be added in the alternative to the notice of termination for default to provide that in the event that the termination for default is not sustained, the contract is terminated for convenience as of the date specified in the termination for default notice.
  • TESTING : A phase of inspection involving the determination by technical means of the physical and chemical properties of items, or components thereof, requiring not so much the element of personal judgment as the application of recognized and established scientific principles and procedures. This process is part of the determination of whether goods, services, or construction should be accepted.

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  • UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL : An offer from an offeror proposing to render services or construction or deliver goods to the County, outside of a solicitation by the County. Unsolicited proposals should be evaluated by an appropriate Using Department in terms of need, price, and funds available. If funds are available and need is present, the Using Department may initiate an appropriate solicitation as provided by these regulations, based upon the unsolicited proposal.
  • USING DEPARTMENT : Any County department, office or agency subject to the procurement requirements imposed under Chapter 11B, Montgomery County Code.

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  • WAIVER : A variance from the requirements of the procurement regulations that is authorized by the CAO. A waiver may be granted for a single procurement or a class of procurements. A waiver may be granted only after a written determination and finding by the CAO.
  • WARRANTY : A representation that something is true, created either by express words or actions or implied either by the circumstances or commercial usages. It includes any affirmation of fact or promise made by a contractor or offeror which relates to goods, services, and construction and becomes part of the basis of the bargain. This may consist of a description of the goods made part of the contract which indicates an express warranty that the goods must conform to the description and samples or models; such a description creates an express warranty that the goods to be delivered must conform to the sample or model. When goods, services, or construction fail to conform to the terms of the express or implied warranty, a breach of warranty, and thus a breach of contract, exists for which the County has contractual remedies including termination for default.
 
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