The initial phase of the purchasing process begins with the Vendor Registration Form (PDF). Any vendor looking to provide supplies, services, equipment, or repairs for the City of Jackson is required to complete one. Once this is done, the purchases in question are categorized into two different purchasing procedures: formal and informal.
For procurements valued at over $1,000, the formal purchase procedure must be followed. This procedure is separated into two categories: quotations and bids.
Formal quotations are written and used when the purchase has an estimated value between $1,000 and $50,000. Calls for quotations are not advertised in the newspaper, but the procedure to obtain them is otherwise similar to that of a formal bid.
Any purchase that is estimated to cost $50,000 or more must be placed through the formal bid process. These larger-scale projects are advertised in the newspaper to give all local companies a fair chance to bid. Request for Proposals are used when experience, education and references are more important than price. This allows the Purchasing Department to award contracts based upon the best qualified firm, and not the cost alone.
Low-value (under $1,000) supplies, materials, and services are often needed in a much shorter time frame, so the Purchasing Department uses the informal purchase process to streamline the decision making. Quotes are generally obtained via telephone, though vendors may be asked to follow up their verbal quote in writing.