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Doing Business with the City

Doing Business with the City

The Purchasing staff is responsible for oversight of supply management activities required for the procurement of a wide variety of materials, supplies, equipment and services. The purpose of this guide is to acquaint vendors with the City's purchasing practices and explain how to do business with the City. If this guide does not answer all of your questions, you may call us at (909) 395-2012.

Our Goal is to obtain maximum value by fair and open competitive bidding, while providing efficient and reliable services to the departments within the City and ultimately City residents and businesses. City departments fall within the general categories of:

  • Citywide Administration
  • Community & Public Services
  • Development
  • Redevelopment
  • Economic Development
  • Housing/Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Municipal Utilities
  • Police
  • Fire

General Information

Please read all bid packages carefully. Be sure you can comply with the requirements before you respond. If you have any questions, you may submit them electronically.

All offers must be submitted through the City's online bid management system by the stipulated deadline; otherwise, the City will not accept any late bids. The bidder is solely responsible for timely submission.

When appropriate, the City will conduct pre-bid or pre-proposal conferences and/or site visits and may require mandatory attendance by potential bidders. Specific elements of the solicitation and project will be explained at these meetings and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. It is helpful for potential bidders to review the bid package prior to attending.

Bid Advertisements

The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Bulletin) is the City's legal newspaper of record for all required advertisements.

Projects defined as a "Public Project" by the State of California Public Contract Code will be advertised twice in the Bulletin in accordance with the Code.

Cooperative or "Piggyback" Agreements

The City may take advantage of cooperative or "piggyback" agreements. Competitive bidding is not required for orders covered by these contracts. If your firm has been awarded a contract with another government agency and can offer the same pricing to the City, please contact the Purchasing office at (909) 395-2012 or by e-mail to with this information.

Local Bidder Preference

The City of Ontario Municipal Code provides, for evaluation purposes in the award of commodity purchases, a 1% discount of the bid price to vendors located within the City limits.

Public Bid Opening

The City's Records Management office may conduct bid openings upon request on the date and time shown in the Notice Inviting Bids. No decisions of award or rejection are made at this time nor are any discussion permitted regarding the bids.


Solicitations (RFQs or RFPs) for some commodities, professional services and maintenance services may be awarded to the bidder offering the best overall value as determined by the City. Whereas, bids for many commodities and all public projects are awarded based on lowest responsive, responsible bid.

Purchase Orders

Unless a credit card or petty cash is used, a purchase order is required for all purchases. Vendors are not to provide goods or services without first obtaining a purchase order number from the City and preferably a copy of the approved purchase order. The purchase order number must appear on all packages, packing slips, and invoices. A purchase order is required for procurement of services even though an agreement may exist.

Emergency Purchases

If an emergency occurs after normal City Hall business hours, the vendor should insist on obtaining a purchase order number on the next work day unless an invoice has already been presented to the City.

Recycled Goods

Special emphasis shall be placed on the purchase of products manufactured with post-consumer recycled materials. Fitness and quality being equal, the City shall purchase recycled products instead of non-recycled products whenever available at no more than the total cost of non-recycled products and/or in accordance with California statutes.

Bonds and Insurance Requirements

Depending on the commodity or service sought, successful bidders may be required to furnish any or all of the following:

  • Bid Bond
  • Performance Bond
  • Labor and Materials (Payment) Bond
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Automobile Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Workers' Compensation

(Special requirements are outlined in the bid package. Be prepared to provide proof of insurance coverage with the City of Ontario named as additional insured)

Business License

Vendors, suppliers and others conducting business within City limits may be required to obtain a City Business License. Licensing Information may be obtained here or by calling (909) 395-2022.


All invoices should be directed to the "Bill To" location specified on the Purchase Order since submitting the invoice to a different address may delay payment. Invoices must reflect (1) the City purchase order number; (2) a complete description of the goods or services furnished; (3) quantity; (4) unit prices and extension; (5) applicable taxes; (6) discount terms; and (7) name of the receiving department.

The using department is responsible for inspecting all products and approving services received. Payment will be made only after the receiving department acknowledges acceptance and submits an approved invoice to the City's Accounts Payable unit.

The City's standard payment terms are net 30 days after receipt of materials or satisfactory completion of services and receipt of an approved invoice. Discount terms are welcome and taken where feasible.

Gifts and Gratuities

City employees and elected/appointed officials are prohibited from accepting money, premiums, incentives or anything of value from any vendor or potential vendor seeking the right to provide goods and/or services to the City. Vendors are asked to please respect this policy.

Ethics Policy Statement

It is of the highest importance that the people of the City of Ontario have complete confidence in the integrity of their public servants. This need is especially critical in the procurement of goods and services for the City's operational requirements. All City employees are required to exemplify high standards of integrity in their individual conduct and are responsible to ensure that they conduct procurement activity consistent with City policy and procedures and applicable federal, state, local laws and regulations.

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