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Purchasing Cheat Sheet
City Contracts

A City Contract is always required when an on-site service is to be rendered to the City. Retroactive (after the fact) contracts are not acceptable.

All purchases, regardless of dollar amount that have a City approved contract MUST have an associated Purchase Order.

Department should enter a requisition for the goods or services to initiate a contract be executed and made available to the department. (Procurement Policy, page 46)

Payment Requests and P-Cards are not acceptable means of payment for City contracts.

Type of Purchases:

1) Petty Cash ($0 to $50.00)
  • No quotes are required when purchasing items with petty cash. Any item bought with petty cash cannot exceed $50.00 

2) Purchases less than $ 2999.99
  • One-time Purchases less than $ 2999.99 do not require competitive bidding (however, competition is encouraged), quotation forms, or purchase orders. Directors, or their approved designees, may without further approval of the Purchasing Manager, make purchases less than $ 2999.99. Director approved designees may authorize invoices for payment and forward to the Financial Services Department (FSD) via the Payment Request Form. 

3) Purchases of $3,000 to $ 49,999
  • The Department must submit every purchase request for $3,000 or more to the Purchasing Manager for approval through the Requisition Process. If a purchase is $3,000 or greater, the City must contact at least two Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), unless the list fails to identify a HUB that provides similar goods or services in Fort Bend County according to Texas Government Code, Chapter 252.0215. 

  • The Department must obtain at least three bid prices or quotes in writing, including any HUB quotes, and attach each to the purchase requisition, unless exempted from the competitive process. The Purchasing Division will issue a purchase order when proper authorization is obtained. 

4) Purchases for $50,000 and over
  • The City Manager must approve, through the requisition process, all expenditures for $25,000 or more. Except as provided in Non-Competitive Bid Items, (see below), competitive bids are required, and the City must formally advertise for bids and award the bid to the lowest responsible bidder, or to the best value bid for the city if the proposed purchase is $50,000 or more according to the City policy. 

  • The department shall enter a requisition when initiating the request for contractual goods and services. The formal bid procedures take at least four to six weeks. The Purchasing Manager will be responsible for vendor solicitation and legal advertisements before the bid opening. Such goods and services may be acquired by the issuance of a purchase order. All purchases greater than $ 50,000 require the prior approval of the City Council. 

Non-Competitive Bid Items under State statute:
  1. Patents, copyrights, secret processes, or natural monopolies; 
  2. films, manuscripts, or books; 
  3. electricity, gas, water and other utility services; 
  4. captive replacement parts or components for equipment; 
  5. books, papers, and other library materials for a public library that are available only from the person holding exclusive distribution rights to the materials; 
  6. management services provided by a nonprofit organization to a municipal museum, park, zoo, or other facility to which the organization has provided significantly financial or other benefits; 
  7. Emergency repairs to ensure public safety.