Specific bidding procedures have been established by the County to conform to requirements established by the State of New Jersey. The County of Morris provides uniform treatment of all vendors. It is important that each vendor be familiar with the following requirements and adhere to them.
Notice of Invitation to Bid
The process of purchasing by formal, competitive solicitation of bids is initiated by the County of Morris. A bid notice is published in the Daily Record. When deemed appropriate, advertisements are also placed in other newspapers having specific planned coverage or having national exposure. Those responding to a solicitation advertisement will be given full opportunity to submit a bid proposal and will not be discriminated against on any basis.
One of the most important factors in determining what the County buys is the quality requirement of the using department or division. This requirement is not necessarily the highest quality level nor the least quality of a commodity. The County determines specific quality levels for each individual application; that is, items that are both economical and deemed most suitable for the particular use.
Brand Name Usage
In those cases where a manufacturer’s brand name and model number are used to describe the basic standard or quality desired by the County, equivalent alternatives may be bid, unless the bid is proprietary as described in New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law. The bidder must prove to the County’s designated project manager or departmental director that the substituted alternative is an equivalent. The County reserves the right to determine equivalency. If the vendor fails to submit evidence of equivalency with the bid submittal it will be cause for rejection of the bid.
Submission of Formal Bids
Bid submissions must be submitted on the forms provided by the County. Completion of the bid package constitutes the most convenient method for both the County and the vendor.
If a vendor cannot bid on all items, the bidder should mark the items on which there is no bid with the words no bid. Care should be taken that all amounts on the bid form are correct. Extensions should be checked to ensure their accuracy.
In case of a difference between the unit price and the extended totals, the unit price shall govern. In cases of a difference between written words and figures, the amount stated in written words shall govern. The bid must be signed by a representative or official of the bidder who has authority to bind that company, in the place so designated on the bid solicitation or quotation form.
Vendors have the responsibility to list all exceptions (deviations) to the technical specification of the solicitation requirements; if a vendor does not list exceptions it is implied that the specifications as listed are being bid.
The County is not subject to federal, state or other taxes.
Deliveries and Delivery Dates
When specified vendors should always state the number of days required before delivery of a product will be made or indicate the specific date upon which delivery will be made. The time required for delivery may be one of the most important considerations in determining who shall be awarded the bid. Successful bidders are expected to deliver materials and/or services within the specified time. Late deliveries may jeopardize future awards. All merchandise received that does not meet the specifications will not be accepted. Vendors will arrange to have the unacceptable merchandise picked up at no cost to the County.
Submitting the Bids
All bids must be properly identified and submitted in a sealed envelope to the Purchasing Division. The County Bid Solicitation Number, the bid name, and your company name should always be used to identify your sealed proposal, marked on the outermost envelope or packaging.
All submissions must be received by the Purchasing Division prior to the time and date noted in the solicitation documents and legal advertisement. Bids WILL NOT be accepted after the designated time and will be returned unopened and will not be considered under any circumstances.
Bid guarantee with a Power of Attorney are required to be submitted with formal, sealed bid solicitations. They are required as a guarantee that the successful bidder will accept the order and will perform at the price noted on the bid submission. The County of Morris accepts bid guarantees in the form of bid bonds, certified and registered checks. The guarantee shall be in the amount of 10% of the bid, not to exceed $20,000.00.
When a Performance Guarantee is required a Consent of Surety is also required when submitting your bid submission. All surety must be made in the name of the County of Morris. Performance Guarantees vary from 5% to 100% of the contract value. Each bid specification details the appropriate percentage requirement.
Failure to submit your bid guarantee and consent of surety with your bid submission is grounds for rejection of your complete bid submission.
Bidder lists will not be made available to anyone prior to the bid opening date. A County’s bidder’s list is not a public record required to be kept by law; therefore, it is not subject to disclosure under the Right to Know Law. Further, under the common law right to examine public documents, a contractor’s interest in obtaining access to bidder’s lists is outweighed by the potential for bid rigging that could result from disclosure of the list.
All formal solicitations are opened and read publicly in the presence of any parties bidding or their agents, who are then and there present, and shall also make proper record of the prices and terms, upon the tabulation worksheets, at the County Office Building.
Bid solicitations are normally opened at 2:00 p.m., Monday thru Thursday and at 11:00 a.m. on Fridays.
The cover sheet for each bid specification has the specific date and time for that particular bid or response be delivered. Bids delivered later than the advertised due date and time will not be accepted.
Tabulations and Awards
All submissions are evaluated by the Purchasing Division and the using department. An award is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder providing a submission that results in the lowest ultimate cost to the County of Morris. In determining the responsiveness of a bid submission, the County Purchasing Agent will review the bidder’s response as to its conformity with all stated requirements of the bid solicitation. Once a bidder is determined to be responsive, bids will be reviewed as to price and value consideration of their comparative products as normally stated within the technical specifications section of the solicitation.
For non-bid items, such as a Request for Proposals, a committee approach is used in the evaluation of the responses. In such an approach, the Purchasing Division works with technical personnel within using departments to reach a decision as to responsiveness and to make an award recommendation.
Vendor or bidder responsiveness is also considered prior to any award recommendation. Past performance histories are considered and any requested bidder references are checked.
All shipments to the County of Morris must be made to the locations designated on the purchase order. Deliveries may be required to be made to various departments and divisions throughout the County. A County of Morris purchase order number must appear on all shipping documents. Failure to meet specified delivery schedules may result in cancellation of the order or jeopardize all future orders.
A delivery normally must be made in the exact quantity called for in the purchase order. Partial deliveries, however, may be required and accepted in some instances.
Unlawful Contracts Null and Void
All vendors, offerors, and contractors are cautioned and strongly advised to ensure that a written, legally binding contract, purchase order, amendment, or other contract document is obtained and include signatures from the appropriate officials of the County prior to performing any service or incurring any expense. The County of Morris shall not be responsible for any expenditure of moneys or other expenses incurred by the bidder unless the bidder has received a signed contract and a purchase order.
Pre-bid Conferences and Pre-bid Site Visits
Pre-bid conferences and Pre-bid Site Visits may be held for formal solicitations. The intent of the conference is to respond to the inquiries by vendors and to clarify all points of concern. It is highly recommended that you attend and contribute at the pre-bid conference and to visit the sites. Notice of pre-bid conferences and pre-bid site visits are shown in the legal advertisements and the solicitation documents. Responses to questions or clarifications are sent to all holders of solicitation packages.