There are two types of purchases that the City makes:
Open Market Purchases (usually "P" Card purchases): comprise mostly specific commodity, equipment, or service, at a firm price, for a fixed quantity at a specified delivery time is our purchasing method of choice for lower repetitive purchases. Competitive Solicitations are also employed for competitive purchases. Awards are made to the lowest responsible bidder who meets the specifications and conditions.
Contract, or Blanket Purchases: purchases of estimated quantities of commodities, equipment, or services, at a firm price, for a specified period of time are routinely employed. Awards are made to qualified single or multiple vendors who meet the specifications and conditions.
Estimated quantities are established through prior usage by City departments. Most contracts are awarded for one year although they may be for a longer or shorter period and may be renewed for additional one-year periods at the prerogative of the City.