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A. Procedural Steps. “Informal” bidding procedure consists of:

1. Obtaining not less than three written quotations (defined below) from three independent vendors, respectively.

2. If the subject purchase is made, the lowest cost quotation must be selected unless the Board of Supervisors approves a higher quotation upon specific findings of the reasons why the lowest quotation was not selected and a finding that the interests of the public would be best served by selecting a quotation other than the lowest quotation. All quotations may be rejected, but the purchase may not be made unless the informal quotation process is repeated or formally waived by the Board upon specific findings supported by objective facts concluding that the interests of the public would be better served by a “negotiated” purchase without accepting the bid or a lowest quotation.

B. “Quotation” or Informal Bid. To qualify as bona fide quotations, the vendor submitting the quotation must be ready, willing and able to supply the object of the quotation (goods, services, supplies, vehicles, etc.) according to the terms and conditions of the quotation and in a commercially reasonable manner.

C. Failure to Meet Quoted Price. A purchase authorized following required informal bid may not be consummated unless it is made on the price, terms and conditions set forth in the quotation and so approved.

D. De Minimis Deviations Approved by Auditor. In the event that a purchase cannot be consummated without an increase in price or change in terms, and such change varies, in the opinion of the Auditor, by less than two percent of the value of the approved purchase, the change in price or terms is not considered “material,” and if budget funds are available, and if no budget transfer is required, the purchase may be completed upon the Auditor’s written authorization.

E. Violation of Bid Procedure. In the event that a department manager, officer or employee makes or authorizes a purchase in violation of this chapter, and such purchase is not ratified by the Board of Supervisors, the subject department manager, officer or Board member shall be liable for the difference in cost between the price and terms the subject item could be purchased by the county and the price and terms of the unauthorized purchase.

F. Informal Bid Procedures under the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act.

1. Informal Bid Procedures.

a. Contractors List. A list of contractors shall be developed and maintained in accordance with the provisions of Cal. Pub. Cont. Code § 22034 and criteria promulgated from time to time by the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission.

b. Notice Inviting Informal Bids. Where a public project is to be performed which is subject to the provisions of this chapter, a notice inviting informal bids may be transmitted to all contractors for the category of work to be bid, as shown on the list developed in accordance with subsection (A) of this section and shall be transmitted to all construction trade journals as specified by the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission in accordance with Cal. Pub. Cont. Code § 22036. Additional contractors and/or construction trade journals may be notified at the discretion of the department/agency soliciting bids; provided, however, the notice inviting informal bids shall describe the project in general terms and how to obtain more detailed information about the project, and state the time and place for the submission of bids.

i. If there is no list of qualified contractors maintained by the county for the particular category of work to be performed, the notice inviting bids shall be sent only to the construction trade journals specified by the Commission.

ii. If the product or service is proprietary in nature such that it can be obtained only from a certain contractor or contractors, the notice inviting informal bids may be sent exclusively to such contractor or contractors.

c. Award of Contracts.

i. The County Director of Public Works is authorized to award informal contracts pursuant to this section.

ii. If all bids received are in excess of $175,000, the governing body of the public agency may, by adoption of a resolution by a four-fifths vote, award the contract, at $187,500 or less, to the lowest responsible bidder, if it determines the cost estimate of the public agency was reasonable. (Ord. 1056, eff. 3/19/15; Ord. 801, eff. 1/14/93)