What the City Purchases
The City and County of San Francisco (the City) has an annual operating budget of over 6 billion dollars. In addition to the services that any municipality would provide, the City also operates an international airport and seaport, a public transportation system comprised of buses, trolleys, streetcars, trains and cable cars, a regional water system and a major hospital.
The City’s Office of Contract Administration (OCA) manages in excess of 1,500 active contracts valued at approximately $2 billion. Each year, we bid and award contracts that exceed $400 million. We are always looking for qualified new vendors to compete for City business and encourage all vendors to visit our Bids and Contracts database to learn more about what the City is buying at this moment.
How the City Meets its Purchasing Needs
The City purchases a vast array of goods and services to support City operations. The City uses competitive bidding procedures to select vendors and requires that all City vendors comply with City ordinances and other requirements prior to entering into a contract with the City. Therefore, if you are interested in conducting business with the City or you have already submitted a bid in response to a City solicitation please start by reading the How to Qualify to Do Business with the City section. You can view the City’ standard terms and conditions that will be included in your contract here.
In addition to buying onetime services, equipment and supplies (view the Bids and Contracts database), the City meets its reoccurring business needs with over 200 term contracts, which are big-dollar, multi-year contracts that cover a wide variety of goods and services, for which the City has a large and reoccurring need (office supplies, fuel, information technology, janitorial services, and security services are illustrative examples). OCA’s bids for Term Contracts appear in this category in the database: Equipment, Supplies, and General Services (OCA).
The procurement responsibilities are divided as follows:
- The Office of Contract Administration buys most products and services over $10,000.
- For professional services, OCA signs the contract after the department using the service has conducted a Request-for-Proposal process to select the vendor and has negotiated the contract.
- Construction and construction-related contracts for architects and engineers are awarded and managed the City’s construction departments.
- All City departments have the authority to purchase products and services valued at $10,000 and less.
- The Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) has special Charter authority to make all of its own purchases, but the agency submits most of its non-construction purchases to OCA.
- Contracts are administered by the customer department that uses the product or service. The only exception is Term Contracts (office supplies, etc.), which are managed by OCA.
In all our procurement activities with actual and potential vendors, every effort is made to enhance the City's reputation of a progressive agency instituting the core values of business integrity and fairness and equity to all vendors in its procurement process.
For more information regarding the City's Administrative Code for the Procurement of Goods and Services, please review Administrative Code Chapter 21 Rules and Regulations.