Bidding Procedures

Specific bidding procedures have been established by the City to conform to the requirements established by law and to provide for uniform treatment of all vendors. Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprises are encouraged to participate in the bidding procedure outlined below:
  1. Request for Bids (RFB): The process of purchasing by formal competitive sealed bids, is the preferred method of source selection for the City, and is used where it is both, practicable and advantageous for the City to acquire goods and/or services which exceed $10,000 and which are uniform in specifications and standards. The measurable criteria used for evaluation are objective in nature. The principal consideration given to bid evaluation is lowest price meeting specifications. Award is made to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder.
  2. Request for Proposals (RFP) / Request for Qualifications (RFQ) / Request for Letters of Interest (RFLI): The process of purchasing by formal competitive sealed proposals may be used where it is both practicable and advantageous for the City to acquire personal and professional services which are of an unusual nature - when the services may vary depending on the provider; and when quality and other factors are paramount, not principally the price. Award is made to the responsible proposer whose proposal is determined to be the most advantageous to the City; taking into consideration price and evaluation factors set forth in the Solicitation.
  3. Public Notices: Legal notices are published in local newspaper(s) of general circulation, informing the public of commodities, equipment, or services that are being solicited. Notices of Solicitations are also sent to community-based organizations. If the nature of the bid/proposal requires a pre-bid/proposal conference or site visit, the place, date and time is included on the front page of the Solicitation and the legal advertisement.
Solicitations are also mailed to vendors whose names are maintained on the "Bidders List" for the particular commodity/service. Generally, the Solicitation package will include, but may not be limited to the following:
  1. Introduction
  2. General Terms and Conditions
  3. Special Conditions
  4. Specifications / Scope of Work
  5. Instructions
  6. Bid/ Proposal Response and Checklist

Specifications / Scope of Work

One of the most important factors in determining what the City buys is the quality requirement of the using department or division. This quality requirement is not necessarily the best nor the cheapest of a particular commodity. The City determines quality by need - that is, the items that are both economical and best suited for the particular use to which they will be put.

The quality required of a good or service is stipulated in a specification. Frequently, these specifications become quite technical; in other circumstances, a "brand name" may be used. In either case, the specification is a description of the quality and/or performance required and not a preference for a particular name brand item. Such references are not intended to be restrictive. Vendors with products meeting or exceeding the quality and performance requirements are invited to bid even though the brand name of their products may not be mentioned in the specifications. The City will be the sole judge in the determination of equals.

Submission of Responses

Responses must be submitted on the Solicitation forms furnished by the City. Various forms or documents may be required and should be completed to the extent applicable and returned to the Purchasing and Warehousing Division. Completion of these forms constitutes the most convenient and efficient method for both the vendor and the City. If a vendor cannot bid on all items, he/she should mark the items on which he is not bidding with the words, "No Bid." Care should be taken that all required forms are completed and that all amounts on the bidder´s offer are correct. Extensions should be double-checked to ensure their accuracy.

As it relates to the submission of bids, in the case of a difference between the unit prices, and extended totals in a bid, the unit price shall govern. The bid must be signed by an appropriate officer or individual or it may not be considered.

Unless otherwise specified in the Solicitation, all sealed bids/proposals must be received prior to or by the indicated due date and time. Bids/proposals received after the designated time or at a different location will be returned to the bidder/proposer unopened and will not be accepted.

Taxes (Federal ID No.62-6000238)

The City of Alcoa is exempt from all federal and state sales taxes. Thus, do not include taxes in the bid prices, unless otherwise required. Exemption certificates will be executed by the Purchasing Agent upon written request by the vendor. The City of Alcoa does not pay use tax to out-of-state vendors or in state sales tax. (TN State Sales Tax No. 780093650.)

Delivery Dates

Vendors should always state the number of days required before delivery of a product or service can be made, or they should indicate the specific date upon which delivery will be made. The time required for delivery may be one of the most important considerations in determining who shall be awarded the bid. In this regard, successful bidders will be expected to deliver the materials and/or services they are providing within the specified time.

Shipping / Delivery Point

All bids are to be quoted with delivery as specified in the Solicitation for Bid, with the bid to include any shipping charges and delivery charges to the specified address. Any variations from this requirement must be clearly covered in the vendor's bid.


Samples may be requested from time to time by the City for the purpose of product evaluation. When samples are requested, they will be held until after the award is made unless otherwise specified. All samples should be submitted to the Purchasing and Warehousing Division unless instructed otherwise, be clearly marked "Sample" and be clearly labeled with complete instructions for use. If a vendor wishes to submit a sample of his product for trial and use, the product must be presented at no cost or obligation to the City. The City will try to either make the sample available for return to the vendor or - where applicable - donate it to charity.

Security / Bonding Requirements

Generally, no security is required on the majority of purchases made by the City. However, security may be required to be submitted with formal sealed bids or proposals in certain instances. If security is required, the specific conditions contained in the bid invitation or proposal will indicate the kind and amount of security. When a security is required, a bid will not be executed without it. The principal types of security are as follows:
  1. Bid Deposit or Bid Bond: A cashier´s or certified check, or a Bid Bond signed by a recognized surety company that is licensed to do business in the State of Tennessee, payable to the City of Alcoa, for the amount bid is required from all bidders. This check or bond guarantees that a bidder will accept the order or contract, as bid, if it is awarded to bidder. Bidder shall forfeit bid deposit to the City should City award contract to Bidder and Bidder fails to accept the award. City reserves the right to reject any and all surety tendered to the City. Bid deposits are returned to unsuccessful bidders within ten (10) days after the award and successful bidder´s acceptance of award. If sixty (60) days have passed after the date of the formal opening of the bids, and no contract has been awarded, all bid deposits will be returned on demand.
  2. Performance Bond: A cashier´s or certified check or Performance Bond from a recognized surety company, payable to City of Alcoa in the amount bid is required only from the successful bidder and is retained by the City until all items, equipment and/or services specified in the contract or purchase order have been completed to the satisfaction of the City. Performance Bond will be forfeited to the City should the successful bidder fail to comply with the terms and conditions as set forth in the specifications and award.
  3. Insurance: Whenever a purchase order or contract requires the vendor to perform an installation, repair, or service on City property, it will be necessary for the vendor to furnish a certificate evidencing insurance coverage’s as may be required and naming the City as an additional insured.