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City of Rochester

How to do Business with the City

Vendors registered with the City can be solicited for quotes on products and/or services required by the City. Those vendors not registered with the City may submit bids for products and/or services that have been formally advertised. The bid or quote is then awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. “Responsive” means the bidder offers what the City wants to purchase. “Responsible” means the bidder has the resources- experience, finances, stock, etc.- to be able to perform the contract and doesn’t have a record of failing to perform contracts or of performing unsatisfactorily.

Register as a vendor 

When a bid or contract is awarded, the official document enabling the actual purchase of goods or services is the City Purchase Order. Transactions may not proceed until the Purchase Order has been received by the vendor.

Types of Bids

1. Formal Advertised Bids, which are advertised in the local newspaper and posted on the City’s website, publicly announce the City’s interest to purchase goods and/or services. It is incumbent on the vendor to be aware of those bids. If interested, the vendor can download the bid instructions and specifications (referred to as the bid package) from the City’s website, call (585) 428-7041 and request that a bid specification be mailed, or make a request in person at the Purchasing Bureau office, City Hall - Room 105A.

Some bid packages require a deposit. When this is the case, please submit a company check made payable to the City of Rochester in the total amount of bid deposit and mailing costs. When mailing your check, you need to include the bid package number, the advertised bid name and a return mailing address. The Bureau of Purchasing does not reserve or hold bid specifications. A response mailing is initiated upon receipt of the original company check, certified check or money order. The City will not accept personal checks. Mailing costs and receipt delays may be avoided by picking up and paying for the bid package in Room 105A of City Hall.

Bid packages not requiring a deposit may be downloaded from the City’s website, by calling (585) 428-7041, or in person at Room 105A of City Hall. You will be asked to provide the bid name, number, your company’s name, mailing address and phone contact number.

2. Informal written requests for quotations are mailed by the Purchasing Bureau to a selection of vendors active in Purchasing’s commodity database (a listing of commodities that each registered vendor can supply the City). A minimum of five (5) requests are mailed. Interested vendors are invited to respond and submit their bid on the form mailed or on a company generated form. Written quotes require the signature of an authorized company employee. Informal written quotes may be transmitted by facsimile or US mail. Submissions must be received in City Hall - Room 105A by 5 p.m. of the due date stated on the request for quotation.

3. Informal verbal quotations may be solicited by various municipal employees for dollar amounts of $300 or less. When called, you will be asked to quote a price for the item(s) required. This is a solicitation for pricing and not an actual order. After three (3) prices have been obtained, the low quoting vendor will be called back and given a six (6) character purchase order number that begins with an alpha followed by five (5) numbers.

Bid Opening Date

The Bid Opening Date is specified on the bid package. Bid proposals must be submitted in a sealed envelope to room 105A before 11 a.m. (2 p.m. for construction/public works bids) of the scheduled bid opening date. The sealed bid envelope will include the original bid proposal with one copy of the same and any other requirement(s) specified.

Pre-bid Conferences and bid opening day meetings are open to the public. Bid openings are conducted by the Purchasing Bureau in accordance with Municipal Law 103A. The location of these meetings is communicated through the Purchasing Bureau.


All bid and quote results are evaluated and award made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. A “responsive” bidder offers what the City wants to purchase. A “responsible” bidder has the resources- experience, finances, stock, etc.- to be able to perform the contract; and doesn’t have a record of failing to perform contracts or performing unsatisfactorily. A purchase order signed by the City’s Purchasing Agent is mailed to the successful bidder.

Commodities are to be bid and/or quoted FOB destination. Successful vendors agree that the purchase price shall not include any tax or duty.

Commodities Not Purchased by the City

Companies interested in providing any of the following products may contact New York State Procurement, Monroe County Purchasing or Rochester City School District Purchasing. These are items not used by the City of Rochester:

  • Aircraft and airport equipment, parts and supplies
  • Barber and beauty shop equipment and supplies
  • Butcher shop and meat processing equipment
  • Dairy equipment and supplies
  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals
  • Health care and hospital furniture
  • Mass transportation, bus and rail
  • Mattress manufacturing machinery

Professional Services Agreements

Professional service agreements are contracted for services provided by individuals or organizations that have special licenses, technical skills, training or expertise, and where the nature of the services provided are difficult to specify in a competitive bidding document. When a professional service agreement is needed, each City Department will follow their own internal procedures. Professional service agreements are not administered by the City’s Purchasing Bureau. For more information please review Request for Proposals (RFP) postings for professional services agreements.

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