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Financial Services Department Purchasing Division How to do Business with Outagamie County Table of Contents Policy and Procedures: General Policy and Procedures

Vendor Obligations
Vendor is expected to fulfill basic responsibilities when dealing with the County. To conduct all negotiations with user department ethically, without attempts to influence through offerings of personal gifts or entertainment.

Deliver all goods and/or services in a timely manner.

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Whom do I Contact
All new vendors shall contact the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Department will notify the supplier of the contacts in user departments for their products and services.
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Demonstration of Product(s)
Vendors are encouraged to show and demonstrate their products to County Departments. It is important to relieve any doubt or misunderstanding that could be corrected through a product demonstration. Demonstrations are also valuable to evaluate new products in their working environments.
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Sales Calls
Vendors are encouraged to visit the Purchasing Department, and/or the user departments anytime during normal business hours. No prior appointment is necessary, however to assure that the participants are available, calling ahead to schedule an appointment is strongly encouraged.
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Vendor Selection
The Selection of a vendor will be the responsibility of the user department for all purchases under $500.00. Several factors will be considered when making a selection: dependability, service record of the vendor, price, the nature of the guaranty and warranty of the product, quality, and delivery.
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Local Preference
Outagamie County does not have a local preference law enacted. All purchases are open to any responsible vendor so interested. However, if all considerations and price are the same, local will prevail. If all considerations and price are equal and the vendors are local, a coin toss will prevail.
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Vendor Relations
It is the policy of the Purchasing Department to maintain and practice the highest possible standards of business ethics, professional courtesy and competence in all dealings. At all times, applicable laws must be observed. In this regard the following guidelines will be observed by the Purchasing Department:

  • Accord prompt and courteous reception to all vendors and their representatives
  • Provide for and allow fair and equal treatment to all vendors
  • Assure the confidentiality of all quotations prior to the award
  • Remain free from obligation to any vendor or their representative
  • Avoid putting the vendor to unnecessary expanse or inconvenience by showing consideration for the vendor’s difficulties whenever possible
  • Provide clear and concise instructions and explain fully and reason for rejection

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What is a Purchase Order
The purchase Order is a formal written agreement between the vendor and the County for the acquisition of specific goods or services as detailed in the description section of the order from. The Purchase Order specifies the billing address and shipping instructions necessary for receipt of the merchandise. All prices and costs associated with the acquisition are detailed on the order. No changes or modifications can be made without specific authorization from Purchasing. Any instructions should be followed carefully to insure payment.
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Delivery of a Purchase Order
Each purchase order issued by the Purchasing Department details the address for delivery of the merchandise requested. These instructions shall be followed completely, as delivery to an improper address does not constitute a receipt and acceptance of the goods, and will delay any payment until corrected by the Vendor. Deliveries are accepted during normal business hours unless stated otherwise.
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Delivery without a Purchase Order
The Purchase Order is the County’s authorization to provide goods or services to one of its department locations. Any deliveries made without a purchase order or through the procurement card are non-binding and will not be paid by the County. Unless a purchase order is issued, or a procurement card is used, there is no contract between the vendor and the County, and the vendor must bear the responsibility for the payment of the invoice from the ordering individual. No obligation against the County will be honored unless a properly approved purchase order is issued in advance of delivery.
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Questions: Whom to call
The Purchasing Department will provide all necessary information/clarification on the bid or proposal specifications issued by them. The Purchasing Department is available to answer questions during normal business hours.

Bidders/Proponents are responsible for reporting any errors in the specifications to the Purchasing Department, 410 South Walnut Street, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911.
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How do I get Answers
Questions and Clarifications to specifications will be made in writing to the Purchasing Department Ten (10) calendar days prior to the date of the bid or proposal is due. There will be times when the questions will be of such nature as to require research time, this may delay the opening. This decision will be on a case by case basis. The known vendors will be notified of the revised bid or proposal opening due to any delay with answering clarification questions. This revised bid or proposal opening will also be available on the Outagamie County website as notice.
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How to Obtain Specifications
To obtain a copy of a bid or proposal package, log onto; On the Home Page scroll down and click on "Status of Bids/Proposals". This will take you to current bids and proposals. Scroll down to review goods and services currently be requested. Click on "details" to obtain information and specifications.

Notices are posted in the local newspaper per Wisconsin State Statutes for all bids. However, proposals are at the discretion of the department depending on the good's, service and/or value.
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Bidders/Proponents List
Vendors who wish to be considered for receiving a document package for a bid or proposal can click here then complete the information requested. Outagamie County is not obligated to include your company when a specific commodity or service is requested. However, solicitations are automatically e-mailed or mailed to a reasonable number of vendors from the address book, with the Purchasing Department determining the number of e-mails or mailings warranted for each request.

Qualifications of bidders/proponents are not reviewed prior to placement in the address book and placement on the address book does not mean that Outagamie County considers your firm to be a "responsible" vendor. The Purchasing Department reviews "responsibility" on a individual basis when bids/proposals are reviewed.
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Bidders/Proponents Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the bidder/proponent to read all documents contained in the specifications carefully, and follow the directions in the packet. Bidders/proponents are responsible for the timely submission of their bid/proposal.

The bid/proposal form contains the specifications for the product or service being purchased and the terms and conditions governing the solicitation. This form along with the original bid/proposal and any addendums will become part the actual contract.

Manufacturer’s names, trade names, brand information and/or catalog or part numbers that are listed in a bid/proposal are for information and establishment of quality levels desired and are not intended to limit competition, but rather is a means to establish a minimum level of acceptable quality. Bid and propose any manufacturer and model as long as the products you propose are equal to or exceed the required standards. The fact that all standard equipment may not be mentioned in the minimum specification listing does not permit a bidder/proposer to leave out any item or part shown as standard in the manufacturer's detailed cuts and specifications. If for any reason that the manufacturer’s name and brand will be the only acceptable product, the bid/proposal will indicate no substitutes will be allowed.

If bids/proposals are based on equivalent products, indicate on the bid/proposal form the manufacturer’s name and catalog number. You should submit with your bid/proposal complete descriptive literature and/or specifications. You should also explain in detail the reason(s) why and how the proposed equivalent will meet the specifications and not be considered an exception and submit adequate proof to substantiate your equivalent. Outagamie County reserves the right to be the sole judge in determining what is equal and acceptable. Bids/proposals which do not comply with requirements are subject to rejection. If you fail to name a substitute, it will be assumed that you are bidding on and will furnish goods identical to the bid/proposal standard.

Your bid/proposal should also reflect any unit price discounts to be considered for the evaluation process.

Bidders/proponents are responsible for reporting any errors or omissions, in writing, to the Purchasing Department.
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Contents of Bid or Proposal Document

    Each Packet contains:
  • The Name and number of the bid or proposal
  • Instructions to bidders/proponents
  • Time and date on which the bid or proposal is due
  • Technical specifications
  • Bid/Proposal forms

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Bidding/Proposal Requirements
The County is required under State Statute and County Ordinances, to obtain public bids/proposals for goods and services that meet or exceed predetermined cost thresholds. A formal, publicly advertised bid is required when the acquisition of goods or services can reasonably be anticipated to meet or exceed $10,000. Per State Statutes the legal local newspaper for Outagamie County is the Appleton Post-Crescent.

Formal proposals may also be required for lesser amounts.

All vendors are advised that Outagamie County is under no obligation to e-mail or mail requests for bids/proposals to any vendor and that Outagamie County disclaims any liability and/or responsibility for doing so or for not doing so. It is the vendor’s responsibility to check public notices to determine what bids/proposals are current and when responses are to be submitted.


The County is further required to obtain written quotes for any product and material in excess of $5,000.
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Pre-Bid/Proposal Conference
Pre-bid/proposal conferences are scheduled when a particular good or service is complex or technical as to need visual clarification. If the pre-bid/proposal conference is mandatory and the vendor fails to attend, and sign in, that vendor will not be allowed to participate in the bid/proposal. If they submit a bid/proposal, it will be returned with an explanation that they failed to attend the required pre-bid/proposal conference. In no case will this requirement be waived.
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Receipt and Opening of Bids
The time and date of all public openings is stated in the letter to the prospective bidder, on the Bid Form, and is published in the authorized newspaper. All bids will be sealed and distinctly marked with the bid name and the bid opening date and time. All sealed bids will be received in the Office of the Outagamie County Clerk, Level 2, 410 South Walnut Street, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911, on or before the date and time specified in the bid documents. All bids are clocked in on the official time/date stamp located in the Office of the County Clerk.
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Receipt and Opening of Proposals
The time and date of all public openings is stated in the letter to the prospective proponent, on the Proposal Form, and may be published in the authorized newspaper. Proposals will be sealed and distinctly marked with the proponents name and the proposal opening date and time. All sealed proposals will be received in the Office of the Purchasing Department, Level 4, 410 South Walnut Street, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911, on or before the date and time specified in the proposal documents.
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Bid Opening Procedures
Each bid document contains detailed specifications of the project required. The package includes a boiler plate containing instructions and information for bidders; the time, date, and place of the opening; and bid form. Each part of the bid package is vital to the correct and complete submission of the bid and should be regarded as such.
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Proposal Opening Procedures
Proposals are publicly acknowledged at the time, date and place stated in the proposal packet. Proposals are not public record until the award of a contract.
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Errors in the Bid or Proposal
Your bid/proposal is your offer to enter into a contract with Outagamie County. If, however, you discover that you have made an honest error in your bid/proposal, which can be supported by proof that has evidentiary value, you must contact Purchasing immediately. They may, on a case-by-case basis and in exercise of their professional discretion, may grant or deny relief on the error.
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Bid Viewing
All bid openings are public and anyone is permitted to attend. When all bids have been opened and read aloud they are available for public view. Anyone not present at the public opening may look at the bids during normal business hours. Please contact the Outagamie County Clerk to schedule a time to do so. Outagamie County will attempt to post on our website the bid summary shortly after bids have been opened. Sometimes this may take a few days to post the summary.
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Selection and Award of Bid
The bid will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. A responsible bidder is a manufacturer, producer, dealer, vendor, or bona fide manufacturer’s agent who has demonstrated judgment and integrity, is of good reputation, is experienced, and has a record of satisfactory performance and financial security.

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Rejection of a Bid
The County reserves the right to reject all bids, or all bids for any one or more goods or services included in the bid when such rejection is in the best interest of the taxpayers of Outagamie County.

Causes for rejection include, but are not limited to; poor past performance, non-compliance with any portion of the specifications, and/or failure to provide a bid bond, performance bond or payment bond.
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Notification of Bid Award
The Purchasing Department will tabulate all bids received and accepted and shall determine the lowest bidder(s). After complete review of the bids the successful bidder will be issued a contract award.
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Prompt Payment Discounts
You may offer a cash discount for prompt payment; however, such discounts will not be considered in determining the lowest net cost for evaluation purposes.
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References and Bonding Issues
Bids and projects that involve a service require at least three (3) different references. Completion of a statement of the bidder’s qualification form as part of the bid package is also required for construction bids.

A bid bond and/or performance and payment bond may also be required. A bid bond is a guarantee that the vendor can be provide a performance bond in 100% of the dollar amount of the bid. If the vendor cannot provide the performance bond, the bid bond is forfeited and the next lowest responsive responsible bidder is awarded the contract. The bid bond requirement may also be waived if it is in the best interest of Outagamie County to do so.

The performance bond is used as a guarantee that the work will be performed satisfactorily. If the vendor does not perform, the bond is used as liquidated damages in the amount of the difference between the vendor’s price and the next low bidder’s price.

The payment bond is used to guarantee that the work performed satisfactorily by any subcontractors will be paid. If the General Contractor does not pay sub-contractor’s, the bond is used as liquidated damages to pay the sub-contractor(s).

Bonds shall be issued by a surety Company authorized to do business as surety in the State of Wisconsin and which has a resident agent in the State of Wisconsin.
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Whenever a bid or proposal requires the vendor to provide insurance, the awarded bidder must provide this information prior to the Purchasing Department recommending final award. It will be necessary for you to furnish a certificate evidencing insurance coverage as may be required. Insurance requirements must be provided as part of the conditions in the bid or proposal. Outagamie County will always request that the County is an Additional Insured on the policy.
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Protest Procedure
Any vendor/bidder/proponent who feels they have grounds for a protest to any bid or proposal shall notify the Purchasing Department, in writing. The Purchasing Department will investigate and respond appropriately.
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Bidder Default – Consequences
If a bidder fails to fulfill the terms and conditions of the bid, they may forfeit their bid/performance bond and may be removed from the bidder’s list for future solicitation. In addition, penalties may be incurred for late delivery or frequent back orders. With documentation, a vendor may have the contract terminated and be subject to liquidated damages for the remainder of the contract term.
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Disposing of Surplus Property
Vehicles, office equipment and a variety of other types of miscellaneous equipment used by the county are sold to the public either by sealed bid, public auction, or donated to a local non profit organization per Chapter 3.19 of the Outagamie County ordinance.

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Last updated: 8/6/2015 9:28:34 AM