Policies & Procedures


We appreciate your interest in doing business with the City of San Buenaventura. We hope this guide will benefit you as a new or present supplier. Our aim is to help you in your sales effort and to promote a climate of good business relationships with the City of San Buenaventura. This will provide a brief outline of our purchasing policies and procedures. If you need more information, please call us at (805) 658-4719.


The Purchasing and Contracts Division's purpose is to maintain continuity of services and supplies to support the various City agencies and departments, while securing the maximum value of public funds.

The City is always interested in securing responsible vendors who can supply its needs promptly, economically, and in the desired quality and quantities.


Procurement services for all City departments for supplies and non-professional service are centralized in the Purchasing and Contracts Division under the direction of the Purchasing Manager.

Sales Calls and Contacts

Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed alternative Fridays and holidays. To conserve time and ensure you adequate attention, we urge you to call us at (805) 658-4719 and make a definite appointment before coming to the Purchasing and Contracts Division. Routine "courtesy" visits are not encouraged as they can disrupt the daily work flow.

Vendor Registration

 You may contact the Purchasing and Contracts Division for a Vendor Registration Application to add your company name to our list. Due to the large number of suppliers the Purchasing and Contracts Division deals with, submitting a Vendor Registration Application does not guarantee a vendor will be notified every time a quotation or bid.

Methods of Procurement

The following methods of purchasing are available.

Petty Cash

City personnel are authorized to make petty cash purchases up to $75.00.

Procurement Cards

Selected City staff are authorized to use City-issued credit cards for purchasing of items less than $5,000, per the City's Policies and Procedures governing credit card use.

Blanket Purchase Order (BPO's)

A blanket purchase order allows a vendor to sell goods to the City on an as-needed basis at specific prices or under a specific pricing arrangement, for a specified period of time.

Purchases $5,000 - less than $50,000

Purchases over $5,000 and less than $50,000 require competitive quotations whenever possible and are generally made through the informal bid process. Quotations may be submitted to the Purchasing and Contracts Division via telephone, in person, by mail, email, or by facsimile transmission.

Purchases $50,000 and Over

For purchases $50,000 and over, formal bids or proposals may be required, depending on the complexity of the materials or services being procured. Formal bids and proposals must be sealed and can be submitted in person or by mail. Formal bids can NOT be submitted via telephone or facsimile.

Acting Without a Purchase Order Number

All purchases charged to the City (when a vendor is not paid by cash or credit card) require a purchase order. The purchase order number is vital to doing business with the City and acts as insurance that you will be paid.


There may be times during an emergency when an order must be placed after hours or on weekends (times when the Purchasing Office is normally closed). Be assured that true emergency purchases will be approved. Be sure to obtain the individual's name and department and request identification if the order is placed in person. Department personnel are instructed to obtain a purchase order number from the Purchasing Office the following work day. The employee who placed the order will contact you with an authorized purchase order number.


Written specifications are used in the bidding process to describe the required level of quality, quantity, delivery and scope of work. In addition to the specifications, certain terms and conditions governing purchases are outlined in the bid request.

Vendor presentations to City departments and/or staff are performed at the vendor's expense and in no manner guarantee or imply preferential treatment in the proposal-evaluation or ordering process.

Specifications prepared by City departments are carefully reviewed by each Buyer to eliminate undue restrictions and other limitations which unnecessarily reduce competition. Assistance provided by vendors in the specification writing process will not gain the vendor extra consideration in the proposal-evaluation or ordering process. If a vendor is called upon to provide expensive pre-purchase services, they may consider contracting separately with the department for services rendered.

Basis for Award

It is the City's desire to develop maximum competition for all purchases and to make awards based on the lowest responsible and responsive bid received.

"Lowest responsible bidder" means the lowest bidder whose offer best responds in quality, fitness and capacity to the requirements of the proposed work or usage. Such factors as delivery time, quality, compatibility, references, experience, parts and services, freight costs, etc., play an important part of awarding a purchase order to the "lowest responsible bidder."

A "responsive" bid is one which is in substantial conformance with the requirements of the specifications, the invitation to bid or request for proposal, and the City's contractual terms and conditions. This would include completeness of the quotation forms, inclusion of references and attachments, and completion of required responses.

In some cases, an award may be made to a single/sole source based upon a fully documented and authorized justification.

Environmental Preference

The Purchasing and Contracts Division supports the City Council’s Resolution No. 92-16 by procuring and using environmentally sound products. In that regard, the City may purchase re-manufactured and recycled content products whenever practicable, without reducing safety, quality or effectiveness. A five percent (5%) price preference may be given to recycled content products based on the lowest bid or price quoted by the suppliers offering the competing non-recycled content products.

Vendors will be asked to use recyclable packaging and minimize packaging to the greatest extent possible. In addition, no product or service purchased by the City may contain, emit, or create the following to the extent practicable: Carcinogens and reproductive toxins; persistent bio-accumulative toxicants, including lead, mercury, dioxins and furans for example; compounds toxic to humans, aquatic and other terrestrial life, corrosive to the skin or eyes, or defined as skin sensitizers; substances that contribute to the production of photochemical smog, increased tropospheric ozone levels, or poor indoor air quality. All cleaning or disinfecting products may, at a minimum, meet Green Seal, EcoLogo, TerraChoice and/or Design for the Environment US EPA Logo Standards for environmental preference and performance, whenever practical. For building maintenance, the City may purchase products with the lowest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde and the highest recycled content when purchasing materials such as paint, carpeting, flooring, adhesives, furniture and casework.

When replacing vehicles, the City may lease or purchase only the most fuel-efficient models available that are suitable for conducting City business. To the extent practicable, the City may use renewably derived fuels or fuels that are cleaner and less polluting than gasoline and conventional diesel fuel, including biodiesel, natural gas and electricity.

The City may purchase 100% post-consumer paper whenever possible. All pre-printed recycled content papers intended for distribution that are purchased or produced may contain a statement that the paper has recycled content.

When specifying asphalt concrete, aggregate base or portland cement concrete for road construction projects, the City may use recycled, reusable or reground materials when practicable and consistent with accepted engineering practices and codes.

Where applicable, energy efficient equipment may be purchased with the most current energy efficiency functions and in the upper 25% of energy efficiency (Energy Star Certification) as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program. Energy Star and power-saving features for copiers, computers, monitors, printers and other office equipment may be enabled during the initial installation and may remain enabled unless these features conflict with the manufacturer’s recommended operation and maintenance of the equipment.

Hardscapes and landscape structures constructed of recycled content materials are encouraged.

The City may give preference to wood and wood products that are certified to be sustainable, harvested by a comprehensive, performance-based certification system (e.g. Forest Stewardship Council). Bio-based plastic products that are biodegradable and compostable, such as bags, film, food, and beverage containers, and cutlery, are encouraged whenever practicable.

Finally, in accordance with City Policies and Procedures, vendors shall not provide any items to the city in performance of a contract, which are tropical hardwoods or tropical hardwood products. Vendors are urged not to import, purchase, obtain or use for any purpose, any tropical hardwood or tropical hardwood product.

Small Local Business Credit

In determining the lowest responsible bidder for any city purchase of goods or public works construction contract that is for $250,000 or less, and when responsibility and quality are equal, a credit of five percent (5%) of the bid submitted by the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications shall be given to a bidder that meets the definition of a “Small Local Business” as defined below. This provision shall not apply to contracts where federal or state laws prohibit a preference. The Purchasing Manager or a representative from the Public Works Department shall provide a form by which a Small Local Business shall document and certify that it qualifies for such credit, where applicable.


“Small Local Business” shall mean either: 1) a business entity that has for at least twelve (12) months immediately preceding submittal of its bid held a current business license issued by the city and maintained its principal business office within the city’s geographic boundaries, and that employs fewer than one hundred (100) employees or has average annual gross receipts of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) or less over the preceding three years or 2) a business entity that proposes to use subcontractors, accounting for at least thirty (30) percent of the contract bid value, that have for at least twelve (12) months immediately preceding submittal of its bid held a current business license issued by the city and maintained its principal business office within the city’s geographic boundaries, and that employs fewer than one hundred (100) employees or has average annual gross receipts of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) or less over the preceding three years.


Living Wage Requirements

The City has adopted a Living Wage Ordinance, No. 2006-010, under Chapter 2.525 of the San Buenaventura Municipal Code. It shall be the responsibility of the Vendor to comply, when applicable, with the provisions of this Ordinance. Following are the annual applicability and hourly rate adjustments pursuant to this Ordinance:

Section 2.525.130 Applicability Update for Fiscal Year 2016-2017: All service contracts, as defined by paragraph 8 of Section 2.525.110, entered into or financial assistance provided after the effective date of this chapter whose combined total exceeds $30,124 for fiscal year 2016-2017.

Section 2.525.160 Annual Adjustments: Minimum Hourly Rate Without Medical Benefits: $15.06 for fiscal year 2016-2017.

Minimum Hourly Rate With Medical Benefits: $11.75 per hour provided the covered employer pays its covered employees a minimum of $3.31 per hour worked, toward qualifying medical benefits for covered employees and their dependents for fiscal year 2016-2017.

Prevailing Wage Requirements

Effective January 1, 2015, the payment of State prevailing rates of wages as designated for Ventura County for on-site work and delivery of materials shall apply to public works construction projects over $25,000 and projects for alteration, demolition, repair, or maintenance work over $15,000.  Prevailing wages are required to be paid to all workers, including subcontracted employees.

This contract may be subject to compliance monitoring and enforcement by the DIR.  As of July 1, 2014, all contractors and subcontractors must register with the DIR in order to submit a bid and be awarded a contract (https://efiling.dir.ca.gov/PWCR/ActionServlet?action=displayPWCRegistrationForm).  As of April 1, 2015, the City must hire only registered contractors and subcontractors.  For complete requirements, please refer to the “Contractor Registration Fact Sheet” located on the City’s website at http://www.cityofventura.net/ft/purchasing.

The Contractor will post at appropriate conspicuous points at the site of the project a schedule showing determinations of the Director of Industrial Relations of the prevailing rate of per diem wages.  It will be the Contractor’s responsibility to obtain copies of the prevailing rate of per diem wages.  One source that may be used is the California Department of Industrial Relations website which is currently located at www.dir.ca.gov, or by calling the Prevailing Wage Unit at (415) 703-4774.

The Contractor will comply with Section 1007 of the San Buenaventura Charter.  In accordance with Labor Code Section 1775 (“Section 1775”), the Contractor will forfeit as a penalty to the City of San Buenaventura, $25.00 for each calendar day or portion thereof, for each worker paid less than the stipulated prevailing rates for such work or craft in which such worker is employed for any work done under the contract by Contractor or by any subcontractor under Contractor in violation of the provisions of the Charter.  In addition to said penalty and pursuant to the said Section 1775, the difference between the stipulated prevailing wage rates and the amount paid to each workman for each calendar day or portion thereof, for which each worker was paid less than the stipulated prevailing wage rate will be paid to each worker by the Contractor.  Any sums forfeited under the provisions of this section will be deducted from the payments under this contract by the City.

Every Contractor and subcontractor will keep an accurate record showing the name, occupation, and the actual per diem wages paid to each worker employed by him in connection with the public project.

It is unlawful to split or separate into small portions, work orders, projects, purchases, or public works projects for the purpose of evading these prevailing wage requirements.

Use of Prevailing Wages vs. Living Wages:

In the event that there is a difference between the amount of wages to be paid under the City of Ventura’s local Living Wage requirements and the requirements of this provision, the wage rate that is the higher of the two shall be applicable to the contract.


Delivery and Inspections

In most cases, shipment of goods is to be made to the City of Ventura, FOB destination. Specific delivery requirements are listed on all bids and purchase orders. Failure to meet the specified delivery date may cause cancellation of the order and will reflect adversely on your firm's overall performance. Variations from the stated specifications may cause rejection of the delivery.

Bid Results

Bid awards are a matter of public record. Abstracts of bids showing prices and awards are available by contacting the Purchasing office support staff or the appropriate Buyer.

Negotiated procurements based upon formal written proposals are confidential and are made public upon execution of a signed contract.

Change Orders

The purchase order is the City's contract with the vendor. Any change to that contract must be in writing, reviewed by the Purchasing and Contracts Division and authorized by the City Attorney. Department personnel may not make changes to the purchase order.

Billing and Payment

The City requires invoices in duplicate for each purchase order issued to the vendor. The purchase order number must appear on all invoices, shipping tags, and correspondence relevant to the order.

Payment is made after receipt of invoice and delivery and acceptance of material as specified on the purchase order. Unless otherwise specified on the purchase order, invoices should be submitted to:

                  email invoice to AP@ci.ventura.ca.us


City of San Buenaventura
Accounts Payable
P.O. Box 99
Ventura, CA 93002-0099

Directing invoices to any other department (unless so instructed) will delay payment. The City tries to pay all invoices within thirty (30) days of receipt of invoice and acceptance of the order. Questions regarding payment of invoices should be made to the Accounts Payable Office and will require specific Purchase Order Information.


In all instances in which vendor personnel enter City property to repair, install, service, construct, consult, etc., the City requires a certificate of insurance verifying coverage per City insurance requirements. Whenever insurance is required on a purchase order, the vendor shall review the terms of the order and comply with the requirements noted therein or as otherwise stated in the Vendor Insurance Requirements (PDF) including the requirement for Special Endorsements (General, Auto), if applicable. Contact the Purchasing and Contracts Division if you need further information on insurance requirements.


The City is exempt from federal excise tax, but pays sales and use taxes when applicable. Certificates of Exemption from Excise Tax may be obtained from the Purchasing Office.

Gifts and Gratuities

The Purchasing and Contracts Division maintains a strict policy prohibiting the acceptance by its employees, of gifts, and/or gratuities from any supplier or potential supplier.

Americans with Disabilities Act

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you or someone in your firm needs special assistance to participate in a walk-through or attend a pre-bid meeting, you should contact the Purchasing Office at (805) 658-4719 (voice) or the California Relay Service. Notification 48 hours prior to the meeting would enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting.

No vendor providing a service, program or activity to the public on behalf of the City shall discriminate against any person because of sex, race, color, creed, national origin or disability. Vendors, if providing a service, program or activity to the public on behalf of the City, shall comply with the Americans with Disability Act and City's policies pursuant thereto when providing said service, program or activity.