FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who may provide goods and services to the City of Aurora?
The City of Aurora welcomes the interest and participation of all businesses seeking to provide goods and services to the city.
May my business, upon request, begin servicing the City?
Businesses are not authorized to deliver goods or render services without a procurement generated Purchase Order.
If someone from the City of Aurora asks my business to provide a good or service, may I do so?
No. City employees outside of the Purchasing Division do not have authority to commit city funds. Providing a good or a service without a city generated Purchase Order leaves your business at risk as the city is not liable for payment. Prior to initiating any good or service your business must have a procurement generated purchase order.
What if they say it’s an emergency?
An emergency can only be declared an emergency by the Mayor. An emergency is defined as “urgently and imminently necessary for the preservation of life, health, and property.” If the employee’s use of “emergency” does not comply with the Mayor’s declaration of an emergency, the business should call the City of Aurora Purchasing Division at
630-256-3550prior to commencing any work.
Any authorization to proceed without a purchase order, even if provided by a city representative, that does not meet this definition is considered null and void and thus the city is not liable.
What must I do to be notified of future solicitation opportunities to provide goods or services to the city?
Businesses wishing to do business with the City of Aurora should register to be notified of future solicitation opportunities for their designated goods/services. Using the city website, complete the information requested under Notifications for Bids and Solicitations. Select as many of the categories of goods and services that applies to your business. When the city has a need in those areas, businesses will be electronically notified about the opportunity.
It is the responsibility of the business to verify that the information provided when self-registering is accurate. The city is not responsible for errors with the businesses’ database.
For what time period will I be notified of solicitation opportunities to provide goods or services to the city?
Businesses registered for notification but not active will be removed. Active is defined as accessing the City of Aurora Procurement website at least one time within a two year time frame.
Are there additional ways to be notified of future solicitation opportunities to provide goods or services to the city?
Notifications will also be published: in The Aurora Beacon News; On DemandStar by Oniva, a web based broadcast site for government solicitations; and if applicable, the IDOT website.
What must I do to become registered as a vendor of the city?
The city only registers businesses who have been awarded work from the city. This registration requires additional contact information and the submittal of a W9, EFT registration, and other information as requested at time of award. Once awarded work, the business is considered registered and there is no further need to submit additional applications.
Where do I find information about past solicitations?
The city is committed to transparency. Past solicitations are posted under the year in which they were awarded at Bids and Solicitations/Archived Tabulations and Awards.
What are the city’s threshold for awarding work?
Goods and Services less than $5,000can be awarded based upon a written quote. The award document is either a P-card, city check, or Purchase Order.
Goods and Services exceeding $5,000 but less than $24,999can only be awarded based on a purchasing issued informal solicitation requiring all offers to be delivered to the Purchasing Division Office. The award document is a Purchase Order.
Goods and Services exceeding $25,000can only be awarded based on a purchasing issued formal solicitation utilizing city generated forms and requiring sealed offers. The award must be confirmed through city council. The award document is a Purchase Order and contract.
When a business has questions about a solicitation, may they seek clarification from the project manager?
No. During the period beginning with the issuance of the solicitation document through the execution of the award document, bidders are prohibited from all communications regarding this solicitation with City staff, City consultants, City legal counsel, City agents, or elected officials. This Cone of Silence is designed to protect the integrity of the purchasing process by shielding it from undue influences.
How can a business seek clarification on solicitation requirements?
Businesses shall promptly notify the city’s Purchasing Division of any ambiguity, inconsistency and error within the solicitation documents. Such notification, in addition to all questions, should be communicated via e-mail to [email protected]. Interpretations, corrections, changes and answers will be made by published addendum.
What can be done to protect proprietary information when presenting a proposal?
Solicitation related documents are considered Public Records and as such are, in most cases, subject to FOIA. It is the proposer’s responsibility to identify submittals as containing confidential material. The proposer must clearly identify which section(s) are confidential and provide, at time of submittal, a redacted proposal that can be used for FOIA purposes.
May a business bid if it cannot provide the brand listed within the solicitation?
The city strives to promote competition and fairness to all interested parties. If your business provides an item comparable to the requested brand, offering equal or better value, an inquiry in the form of an e-mail, requesting consideration should be directed to [email protected] prior to the cut-off date for questions. An amendment will be published stating whether said item has been deemed equivalent.
Is there anything a business can do if a solicitation’s specification is written so narrow it restricts competition?
Businesses may file a formal protest. A protest of a solicitation, which shall be in writing, must be received via e-mail at [email protected] before the cut-off date for questions.
Is there anything a bidder/proposer can do if they believe they have been aggrieved in the proposed award of a public solicitation?
A protest of a proposed award shall be filed within ten (10) days of public announcement of award. Public announcement of award for formal solicitations is defined as the date the award is presented to the Finance Committee.
What information must be included when filing a protest?
All protests shall include:
- the name, address and contact information of the protester;
- the specific solicitation number and description;
- the page # and/or section # of the solicitation document stating the aggrieved point of contention;
- a narrative justifying the legal and factual grounds of the grievance;
- relevant documents;
- the form of relief requested; and
- the signature of the protester or the protester’s representative.
- Protests are limited to parties participating in the solicitation.
How does the city pay providers of goods and services?
The City pays with the provisions of the Illinois Local Government Prompt Payment Act, 50 ILCS 505/1. Terms are net 30 days upon receipt of the invoice or receipt of goods/services. The city pays via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer). Payment set-up and authorization occurs at time of vendor registration. Businesses not equipped with EFT capabilities may elect to receive payment by check.
Does the city utilize procurement cards?
The city pays some businesses via p-card. While p-cards are predominantly used for small dollar purchases, there are occasions where payment via p-card may be desirable.
How do I get a copy of the bidders list?
The city does not maintain bidder’s lists.
When are the results from a recently opened solicitation available for viewing?
Within five (5)* business days of solicitation due date, bid tabulations (Formal) will be published on the city's website.
Within five (5) business days of solicitation due date, a list of Proposers (Informal and Formal) will be published on the city's website.
*For some solicitations an additional technical review may be required to confirm compliance with specifications. Legally the city has thirteen (13) days to publish.
How are submittals evaluated?
Evaluation of submittals is based on the individual specification and solicitation criteria. Participants in the evaluation process include the requesting department, the end using department, and the purchasing division; and if applicable, an internal or external subject matter expert. .
How long does it take to complete an evaluation?
The evaluation of informal submittals should be completed no later than thirteen (13) business days. Evaluation of proposals may take as long as ninety (90) days.
How are awards determined?
Bids are awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder meeting the best needs of the city. Proposals are awarded to the proposer meeting the best needs of the city.
How are notice of awards published?
Award of informal solicitations may be anytime within 90 days of due date and is confirmed by the issuance of a purchase order and, if applicable, city contract.
Public announcement of recommendation to award for formal solicitations is defined as the date the recommendation is presented before the Finance Council. Confirmation of the intent to award a formal solicitation is by City Council at a public meeting scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. Actual award is by the issuance of a purchase order and, if applicable, city contract. Work may not proceed until the issuance of a purchase order and executed contract.
Are the results from past solicitations available for viewing?
Yes. Tabulations and results from former solicitations are published at https://www.aurora-il.org/1466/Archived-Tabulations-Awards under the year in which they were solicited.
What is the criteria for a compliant/responsive bid or proposal?
A compliant/responsive bid is an offer that meets all the city’s terms, conditions, specifications and contract requirements of the solicitation. A compliant/responsive bid must provide all the requested enclosures and express pricing per the prescribed format.
What is the criteria for a responsible bidder?
A responsible bidder must first be deemed compliant/responsive. A responsible bidder is a business who has the financial resources, personnel, facilities, integrity and overall capability to complete a particular contract successfully with minimal city oversight.
Can a stipulation of “all or none” on behalf of the bidder lead to a disqualification of the offer?
Possibly. If it is in the best interest of the city to accept the “all or none” stipulation, the offer may be accepted for consideration. However, if the city determines that the “all or none” stipulation is not in its best interest, the offer may be disqualified by the Director of Purchasing.
Who manages surplus property?
Property defined as surplus is disposed of through the Purchasing Division. Vehicles are primarily auctioned by a third party. Other equipment or materials may be bid through a government surplus website.
What is required to be classified as a Responsible Bidder for construction projects?
The city defines a Responsible Bidder for construction projects as a company that participates in active apprenticeship and training programs approved and registered with the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. The bidder must submit (1) the city provided affidavit entitled “Apprenticeship or Training Program Certification”; (2) a certificate of completion in an Apprenticeship and Training program approved by, and registered with, the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training; and (3) a letter, signed and dated within the last 12 months, from the certificate holder(s) indicating the contractor may use the certificate(s) to meet the requirements for this specific project.