Standard Instructions and Conditions for Requests for Proposals (RFP's) and Requests for Quotations (RFQ's)

Note: the reference to "bids" in the following paragraphs applies to RFP's and RFQ's

General Conditions

By submitting a bid the bidder agrees to the following conditions. These conditions will apply to all subsequent purchases based on this bid.

  1. BID PREPARATION

    A. All prices and notations must be typed or written in ink. No erasures permitted. Errors may be crossed out, initialed and corrections printed in ink by person signing bid.

    B. All work and material to conform to all applicable state, local and other codes and regulations.
     
    C. All materials shall be new and of merchantable grade, free from defect.
     
    D. Damage to existing construction, equipment, planting, etc., by the Vendor in the performance of his work shall be replaced or repaired and restored to original condition by the Vendor.
     
    E. The Vendor shall at all times keep the premises clean from accumulation of waste materials or rubbish caused by his employees or work and shall remove all resulting work debris from the job site.
     
    F. Vendor shall coordinate and schedule the work with the County so that any interruption to the normal business operations is kept to a minimum.
     
    G. All material and workmanship shall be subject to inspection, examination and test by the County and the county shall have the right to reject defective material and workmanship or require its correction.
     
    H. Vendor shall hold the County, its officers and employees, harmless and indemnify and defend the County, its officers and employees, against the payment of any and all costs and expenses, claims, suits, and liability resulting from or arising out of or in any way connected with any negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of Vendor, its officers and employees or failing to perform any work, services or functions provided for or referred to or in any way connected with any work, services or functions to be performed under this agreement.
     
    I. It is expressly understood that in the performance of the services herein provided for, Vendor is an independent contractor and is not an agent or employee of the County.

  2. SUBMITTING BIDS: 

    A. Each bid must be submitted on forms provided in a sealed envelope with bid number and closing date and time on the outside of the envelope/package.
     
    B. Interpretation: Should any discrepancies or omissions be found in the bid specifications or doubt as to their meaning, the bidder shall notify the Buyer in writing at once.  The County shall not be held responsible for verbal interpretations.  Questions regarding the bid must be received by Purchasing at least 5 working days before bid opening.  All addenda issued shall be in writing, duly issued by Purchasing and incorporated into the contract.
     
    C. ISSUING AGENT/AUTHORIZED CONTACT: This RFQ has been issued by County of Fresno Purchasing. Purchasing shall be the vendor’s sole point of contact with regard to the RFQ, its content, and all issues concerning it.

    All communication regarding this RFQ shall be directed to an authorized representative of County Purchasing. The specific buyer managing this RFQ is identified on the cover page, along with his or her telephone number, and he or she should be the primary point of contact for discussions or information pertaining to the RFQ. Contact with any other County representative, including elected officials, for the purpose of discussing this RFQ, its content, or any other issue concerning it, is prohibited unless authorized by Purchasing. Violation of this clause, by the vendor having unauthorized contact (verbally or in writing) with such other County representatives, may constitute grounds for rejection by Purchasing of the vendor’s quotation.

    The above stated restriction on vendor contact with County representatives shall apply until the County has awarded a purchase order or contract to a vendor or vendors, except as follows. First, in the event that a vendor initiates a formal protest against the RFQ, such vendor may contact the appropriate individual, or individuals who are managing that protest as outlined in the County’s established protest procedures. All such contact must be in accordance with the sequence set forth under the protest procedures. Second, in the event a public hearing is scheduled before the Board of Supervisors to hear testimony prior to its approval of a purchase order or contract, any vendor may address the Board.

    D. Bids received after the closing time will NOT be considered.
     
    E. Bidders are to bid what is specified or requested first. If unable to or willing to, bidder may bid alternative or option, indicating all advantages, disadvantages and their associated cost.
     
    F. Public Contract Code Section 7028.15

    Where the State of California requires a Contractor’s license, it is a misdemeanor for any person to submit a bid unless specifically exempted.

  3. FAILURE TO BID:

    A. If not bidding, return bid sheet and state reason for no bid or your name may be removed from mailing list.

  4. TAXES, CHARGES AND EXTRAS:

    A. County of Fresno is subject to California sales and/or use tax (7.975%). Please indicate as a separate line item if applicable.
     
    B. DO NOT include Federal Excise Tax.  County is exempt under Registration No. 94-73-03401-K.
     
    C. County is exempt from Federal Transportation Tax.  Exemption certificate is not required where shipping papers show consignee as County of Fresno.
     
    D. Charges for transportation, containers, packing, etc. will not be paid unless specified in bid.

  5. W-9 - REQUEST FOR TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER AND CERTIFICATION:

    Upon award of bid, the vendor shall submit to County Purchasing, a completed W-9 - Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification if not already a current vendor with The County of Fresno. This form is available from the IRS to complete on line at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf.

  6. AWARDS:

    A. Subject to the local preference provisions referenced in Paragraph 6 below and more thoroughly set forth in the General Requirements section of this RFQ, award(s) will be made to the most responsive responsible bidder.  The evaluation will include such things as life-cycle cost, availability, delivery costs and whose product and/or service is deemed to be in the best interest of the County. The County shall be the sole judge in making such determination.
     
    B. Unless bidder gives notice of all-or-none award in bid, County may accept any item, group of items or on the basis of total bid.
     
    C. The County reserves the right to reject any and all bids and to waive informalities or irregularities in bids.
     
    D. After award, all bids shall be open to public inspection. The County assumes no responsibility for the confidentiality of information offered in a bid.

  7. LOCAL VENDORS:

    A. The following provisions are applicable only to the County’s acquisition of materials, equipment or supplies through the RFQ process when the funding source does not require an exemption to the Local Vendor Preference.

    THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PARAGRAPH ARE APPLICABLE, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS RFQ TO THE CONTRARY

    If the apparent low bidder is not a local vendor, any local vendor who submitted a bid which was within five percent (5%) of the lowest responsive  bid as determined by the purchasing agent shall have the option of submitting a new bid within forty-eight hours (not including weekends and holidays) of County’s delivery of notification. Such new bids must be in an amount less than or equal to the lowest responsive bid as determined by the purchasing agent.  If the purchasing agent receives any new bids from local vendors who have the option of submitting new bids within said forty-eight hour period, it shall award the contract to the local vendor submitting the lowest responsible bid. If no new bids are received, the contract shall be awarded to the original low bidder as announced by the purchasing agent.

    B. Local Vendor Defined

    "Local Vendor" shall mean any business which:
       
    1. Has its headquarters, distribution point or locally-owned franchise located in or having a street address within the County for at least six (6) months immediately prior to the issuance of the requested for competitive bids by the purchasing agent; and

    2. Holds any required business license by a jurisdiction located in Fresno County; and
     
    3. Employs at least one (1) full-time or two (2) part-time employees whose primary residence is located within Fresno County, or if the business has no employees, shall be at least fifty percent (50%) owned by one or more persons whose primary residence(s) is located within Fresno County.

  8. THE BIDS:

    All other factors being equal, the contract shall be awarded to the Fresno County vendor or, if neither or both are Fresno County vendors, it may be awarded by the flip of a coin in the presence of witnesses or the entire bid may be rejected and re-bid. If the General Requirements of this RFQ state that they are applicable, the provisions of the Fresno County Local Vendor Preference shall take priority over this paragraph.

  9. PATENT INDEMNITY:

    The vendor shall hold the County, its officers, agents and employees, harmless from liability of any nature or kind, including costs and expenses, for infringement or use of any copyrighted or uncopyrighted composition, secret process, patented or unpatented invention, article or appliance furnished or used in connection with this bid.

  10. SAMPLES:

    Samples, when required, must be furnished and delivered free and, if not destroyed by tests, will upon written request (within 30 days of bid closing date) be returned at the bidder's expense. In the absence of such notification, County shall have the right to dispose of the samples in whatever manner it deems appropriate.

  11. RIGHTS AND REMEDIES OF COUNTY FOR DEFAULT:

    A. In case of default by vendor, the County may procure the articles or service from another source and may recover the cost difference and related expenses occasioned thereby from any unpaid balance due the vendor or by proceeding against performance bond of the vendor, if any, or by suit against the vendor. The prices paid by the County shall be considered the prevailing market price at the time such purchase is made.
     
    B. Articles or services, which upon delivery inspection do not meet specifications, will be rejected and the vendor will be considered in default. Vendor shall reimburse County for expenses related to delivery of non-specified goods or services.
     
    C. Regardless of F.O.B. point, vendor agrees to bear all risks of loss, injury or destruction to goods and materials ordered herein which occur prior to delivery and such loss, injury or destruction shall not release vendor from any obligation hereunder.

  12. DISCOUNTS:

    Terms of less than 15 days for cash payment will be considered as net in evaluating this bid. A discount for payment within fifteen (15) days or more will be considered in determining the award of bid. Discount period will commence either the later of delivery or receipt of invoice by the County. Standard terms are Net Forty-five (45) days.

  13. SPECIAL CONDITIONS IN BID SCHEDULE SUPERSEDE GENERAL CONDITIONS:

    The “General Conditions” provisions of this RFP/RFQ shall be superseded if in conflict with any other section of this bid, to the extent of any such conflict.

  14. SPECIAL REQUIREMENT:

    With the invoice or within twenty-five (25) days of delivery, the seller must provide to the County a Material Safety Data Sheet for each product, which contains any substance on “The List of 800 Hazardous Substances”, published by the State Director of Industrial Relations. (See Hazardous Substances Information and Training Act. California State Labor Code Sections 6360 through 6399.7.)

  15. RECYCLED PRODUCTS/MATERIALS:

    Vendors are encouraged to provide and quote (with documentation) recycled or recyclable products/materials which meet stated specifications.

  16. YEAR COMPLIANCE WARRANTY:

    Vendor warrants that any product furnished pursuant to this Agreement/order shall support a four-digit year format and be able to accurately process date and time data from, into and between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as leap year calculations. "Product" shall include, without limitation, any piece or component of equipment, hardware, firmware, middleware, custom or commercial software, or internal components or subroutines therein. This warranty shall survive termination or expiration of this Agreement.

    In the event of any decrease in product functionality or accuracy related to time and/or date data related codes and/or internal subroutines that impede the product from operating correctly using dates beyond December 31, 1999, vendor shall restore or repair the product to the same level of functionality as warranted herein, so as to minimize interruption to County's ongoing business process, time being of the essence. In the event that such warranty compliance requires the acquisition of additional programs, the expense for any such associated or additional acquisitions, which may be required, including, without limitation, data conversion tools, shall be borne exclusively by vendor. Nothing in this warranty shall be construed to limit any rights or remedies the County may otherwise have under this Agreement with respect to defects other than year performance.

  17. PARTICIPATION:

    Bidder may agree to extend the terms of the resulting contract to other political subdivision, municipalities and tax-supported agencies.

    Such participating Governmental bodies shall make purchases in their own name, make payment directly to bidder, and be liable directly to the bidder, holding the County of Fresno harmless.

  18. CONFIDENTIALITY:

    All services performed by vendor shall be in strict conformance with all applicable Federal, State of California and/or local laws and regulations relating to confidentiality, including but not limited to, California Civil Code, California Welfare and Institutions Code, Health and Safety Code, California Code of Regulations, Code of Federal Regulations.

    Vendor shall submit to County’s monitoring of said compliance.

    Vendor may be a business associate of County, as that term is defined in the “Privacy Rule” enacted by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). As a HIPAA Business Associate, vendor may use or disclose protected health information (“PHI”) to perform functions, activities or services for or on behalf of County as specified by the County, provided that such use or disclosure shall not violate HIPAA and its implementing regulations. The uses and disclosures if PHI may not be more expansive than those applicable to County, as the “Covered Entity” under HIPAA’S Privacy Rule, except as authorized for management, administrative or legal responsibilities of the Business Associate.

    Vendor shall not use or further disclose PHI other than as permitted or required by the County, or as required by law without written notice to the County.

    Vendor shall ensure that any agent, including any subcontractor, to which vendor provides PHI received from, or created or received by the vendor on behalf of County, shall comply with the same restrictions and conditions with respect to such information.

  19. APPEALS:

    Appeals must be submitted in writing within seven (7) working days after the review committee notification of proposed recommendations. Appeals should be submitted to County of Fresno Purchasing, 4525 E. Hamilton Avenue, Fresno, California 93702-4599. Appeals should address only areas regarding RFP contradictions, procurement errors, quotation rating discrepancies, legality of procurement context, conflict of interest, and inappropriate or unfair competitive procurement grievance regarding the RFP process.

    The Purchasing Manager will provide a written response to the complaint within seven (7) working days unless the complainant is notified more time is required.

    If the protesting bidder is not satisfied with the decision of the Purchasing Manager, he/she shall have the right to appeal to the Purchasing Agent within seven (7) business days after notification of the Purchasing Manager’s decision.

    If the protesting bidder is not satisfied with Purchasing Agent decision, the final appeal is with the Board of Supervisors.

  20. OBLIGATIONS OF CONTRACTOR:

    A. CONTRACTOR shall perform as required by the ensuing contract. CONTRACTOR also warrants on behalf of itself and all subcontractors engaged for the performance of the ensuing contract that only persons authorized to work in the United States pursuant to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and other applicable laws shall be employed in the performance of the work hereunder.
     
    B. CONTRACTOR shall obey all Federal, State, local and special district laws, ordinances and regulations.

  21.   AUDITS & RETENTION:

The Contractor shall maintain in good and legible condition all books, documents, papers, data files and other records related to its performance under this contract. Such records shall be complete and available to Fresno County, the State of California, the federal government or their duly authorized representatives for the purpose of audit, examination, or copying during the term of the contract and for a period of at least three years following the County's final payment under the contract or until conclusion of any pending matter (e.g., litigation or audit), whichever is later. Such records must be retained in the manner described above until all pending matters are closed.