Our mission is to procure goods and services to assist the City in maintaining and enhancing a vibrant and resilient community.
Standing in the future we are a creative and innovative team of professionals recognized by our peers and community as partners in achieving public goals and building a vibrant and resilient City.
Our values anchor all we do in the fundamental concepts of maintaining the public trust through honest, fair and transparent dealings with all stakeholders, and are represented by the below word map, which captures both the words and comparative status of the concepts that define our core team values.
Procurement in the City of Norfolk
The City of Norfolk welcomes all vendors to participate in its procurement processes and compete for business opportunities available within the City:
- The procurement processes in the City are enabled and governed by Chapter 33.1 of the City of Norfolk’s Code of Ordinances, available here.
- The Office of the Purchasing Agent procures equipment, supplies, construction, services (including maintenance and repair of buildings) and software.
- Major construction services are procured by the Department of Public Works and the Department of Utilities.
How do you find out about business opportunities?
Types of Purchases
Depending on the value, type and complexity of the goods or services being procured, the City may use a variety of processes/methods to obtain the goods or services needed:
- Direct Purchase– quotes procured directly by the user department
- $0.00-$9,999: direct quotes from one vendor. For purchases between $5,000 and $9,000 the quote must be from a small, woman-or minority-owned (SWaM) certified vendor.
- $10,000-$49,999: direct quotes from 3 vendors, one of which must be from a SWaM certified vendor
- For repetitive orders other procurement methods will be used (see below)
- Request for Quotes (RFQ)– competitive low bid award, $199,999 and under
- Informal Request for Proposal (IRFP) – competitive best value award, $200,000 or greater
- Invitation for Bid (IFB) – competitive low-bid award, $200,000 and greater
- Request for Proposal (RFP) – competitive best value award, $200,000 and greater
- Joint/Cooperative Procurement – the City may participate in or purchase from an appropriate competitively bid contract issued by another jurisdiction
- Sole Source – a direct award if there is only one source available
- Emergency Purchase – goods or services obtained with maximum feasible competition in situations of direct threat to people or property
Sales of City surplus, supplies, software, equipment and vehicles are conducted by one of the following methods:
- Internet auction through the Public Surplus website
- On-site auction of vehicles and heavy equipment, publicized on the Division of Towing and Recovery website
Virginia Sales Tax Exemption
The City of Norfolk is exempt from the Commonwealth of Virginia’s sales taxes for the purchase of tangible goods. The City’s tax exemption information is available here.
Contracts and Purchase Orders
Only the City Manager and a handful of authorized City staff has the legal authority to sign purchase agreements on behalf of the City of Norfolk.
No purchase (with the exception of credit card and emergency purchases) is valid unless covered by a City Purchase Order. Vendors providing goods or services without such authorization do so at their own risk. The City is not liable for payment of any purchases made by its employees without an appropriate purchase authorization.
The City is committed to enhancing diversity and inclusiveness. Consistent with this commitment, the City may set subcontracting goals or set aside certain purchases for the SWaM community. To find out how your business can become SWaM certified visit the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity.
The City’s Department of Economic Development also assists businesses through training and mentoring. You can contact them directly through their website.
Vendor Contact with City Departments
Vendors may visit the City departments without advance approval of the Office of the Purchasing Agent to make sales calls, drop off literature, or conduct demonstrations. Advance appointments should be made with the department to be visited.
Departments are restricted from contact with vendors while solicitations for the particular goods or services are active. At that time all communications must be conducted through the Office of the Purchasing Agent.
Prohibition of Gifts
Because public employees’ actions are subject to intense and constant scrutiny, acceptance of a gift from a vendor can be easily misconstrued. Therefore, the existing law prohibits the offering of gifts of more than a nominal value to City employees and City regulations prohibit their acceptance.
City employees are encouraged to decline any gift or gratuity offered by a vendor or business, even where acceptance of such gifts may be technically within the law, due to the perception of impropriety which can be as damaging to the image of the City and the employee as actual impropriety.
Vendor Code of Conduct
The City is committed to the highest standards of ethical and legal behavior and to the stewardship of taxpayer resources. We are governed by the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all relationships in order to merit the respect and inspire the confidence of the City and public being served. We expect our vendors to share this commitment. The City expects all vendors to abide by the Vendor Code of Conduct.