Doing Business with the Ohlone Community College District - Purchasing, Contracts and Auxiliary Services

The governing board of the Ohlone Community College District (Board of Trustees) has adopted a centralized purchasing concept whereby the District will maintain an actively completive attitude to obtain the best combination of product/service quality, price and delivery through the Purchasing, Contracts, and Auxiliary Services Department. The Board has adopted policies and procedures to meet these goals.

The Ohlone College Purchasing philosophy is to maintain professional relationships with all vendors and contractors and to be receptive to new ideas, sources, and concepts. The Ohlone College procurement professionals are to ensure that all conduct related to the procurement of products and services on behalf of the District is in accordance with all applicable laws and procedures set forth by the Board of Trustees, President's Office, and Purchasing, Contracts, and Auxiliary Services Department.

To register to be notified of future bidding opportunities go to Bid and RFP Opportunities.

Vendors and Contractors Purchasing and Bid Information

Purchase Orders, Services Agreements, and Contracts: The District Buyers have the sole authority to issue purchase orders, service agreements, and contracts. They will take action to procure the products or services requested by campus departments after ensuring that all policies, authorizations and procedures, including competitive solicitations, have been obtained.

Note: Purchases made in the name of the District without an authorized purchase order or contract, shall be considered an obligation of the person making the purchase and not an obligation of the District.

Contracts: Construction projects under $15,000 may be let on District approved contracts. A competitive process may or may not be used. Contracts are not valid unless issued by a district representative authorized by Education Code Section 81656 and approved or ratified by the governing board.

Quotations: Verbal or written quotations may be secured for equipment, supplies, and services not requiring formal advertised bids or proposals.

Formal Bids and Proposals: Formal advertised bids or Requests for Proposals are required for equipment, supplies, and services exceeding the limits established in Public Contract Code 20651.

  • Bid Advertisements: The Argus is the newspaper of record for all advertised bids. Bid announcements are published once a week for two consecutive weeks, usually in the legal section. Some construction projects will be listed in appropriate trade publications and plan rooms. All bids are posted on BidsOnline website under Bid and RFP Opportunities. You are encouraged to register in order to view and participate in the bidding process.

  • Bond and Surety Requirements: All bidders may be required to provide a Bid Bond with certain types of advertised bids. Successful contractors and bidders may, in addition, be required to furnish any or all of the following:

    • 100% Performance Bond
    • 100% Payment Bond (mandatory for all construction over $25,000)
    • proof of public liability insurance with endorsements
    • Workers' Compensation
    • Verification of current contractor license

Specific requirements will be outlined in each advertised bid or contract.

  • Noncollusion Affidavit: In addition to other bid documents, bidders on public works projects are required by Public Contract Code section 7106 to submit a certification form that they have not colluded with another bidder.

  • Receipt of Bids: All formal advertised bids will be received ONLY in the location designated in the bid documents. The bid shall be submitted in a sealed envelope identified with the bid name/number prior to the date and time specified in the bid instructions. The electric date stamp located in the Purchasing Department determines whether or not a bid is received on time. Bids received after the scheduled time will be returned unopened to the bidder.

  • Bid and Proposal Opening: As part of the normal bid process, sealed bids and proposals are publicly opened and read at the date and time specified. Presence at bid openings is not required although vendors and contractors are welcome to attend. Raw bid results are available for public inspection within a reasonable time. Public inspection does not include the disclosure of documents designated by the District to be confidential.

  • Bid and Proposal Evaluation Process: As soon as practical after the bid/proposal opening, the campus selection committee shall begin the evaluation process to determine the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in accordance with the criteria for evaluation as stated in the solicitation. Deviations from requirements which do not materially impact the cost, quantity or quality of the item or service to be provided or do not directly affect the outcome of the bid award, in the opinion of the campus, may be waived.

    All bids may be rejected whenever it is determined to be in the best interests of the District.

  • Notification of Intent to Award: Public notice of the intent to formally purchase will be posted on BidsOnline where participating bidders may view the detailed bid results.

    This intent to award will remain posted for five (5) business days before a final award is made. This 5-day time period allows participating bidders a chance to submit an intent to protest, if they choose to do so. Once a final award has been made, protests will not be accepted.

  • Protests

    • Informal Complaints: Any complaint lodged by a bidder will initially be addressed by the Buyer assigned to the transaction. Often, an issue may be resolved simply by providing a clarification of the bid document.

      If you have a complaint regarding a bid or proposal solicitation or award, first discuss it with the Buyer. The Buyer's contact information will be in the bid/proposal solicitation packet.

    • Formal Protests:

      • Notification of Intent to Protest: If your complaint cannot be resolved informally, then you must either drop the complaint or notify the Buyer of your intent to protest. You will then be given five (5) business days to submit a full and complete written statement specifying the grounds of the protest and the facts in support thereof. Authority to protest may be limited to participating bidders.

      • Protest of Solicitation Requirements: The solicitation documents provide potential bidders with the opportunity to protest the specifications and/or requirements that the bidder feels may be unfair or unreasonable. Such protests must be submitted prior to the scheduled bid submittal deadline.

      • Protest of Contract Award: The bidder may protest the award on the grounds that the intended award is not in conformance with the provisions of the solicitation document. Such protests must be submitted within five (5) business days of the posting of the intent to Award at BidsOnline.

  • Disputes Subsequent to Award: Disputes are issues that arise between the District and the bidder that has been awarded the contract. Disputes may include, but are not limited to contention over terms, pricing, payment, scope and/or deliverables.

    A dispute resolution and escalation clause, describing resolution procedures and the appropriate parties to which the matter may be escalated, may be included in solicitation documents and contracts, as applicable.

  • Resolution of Complaints, Protests or Disputes: The District has the final authority to resolve complaints, protests and disputes arising from the solicitation, award or performance of a contract. Solicitation documents contain provisions for the resolution of protests and disputes.

  • Award on Hold: If, prior to the award of a contract, and in accordance with the posting of a Notification of Intent to Award, any bidder files a protest on the grounds that the award is not in conformance with the provisions of the solicitation document, the contract shall not be awarded until either the protest has been withdrawn or a decision has been reached by the appropriate campus authorities as to the action to be taken in response to the protest.

  • Contact Buyer: Any complaint, protest or dispute lodged by a bidder, vendor or contractor shall initially be addressed by the Buyer assigned to the transaction. Often, an issue may be resolved simply by providing a clarification of the bid document.

  • Elevate to Director of Purchasing, Contracts, and Auxiliary Services: Once it becomes evident that a matter cannot be resolved informally, the protest will be elevated to the Director of Purchasing, Contracts, and Auxiliary Services.

  • Decisions are Final: After all factors have been analyzed, a final decision shall be issued in a timely fashion by the District. The decision shall be in writing and shall be emailed/mailed or otherwise furnished to the bidder, vendor or contractor in such a manner as to ensure receipt. The decision of the District on a protest is final.

  • Award: The purchase of goods and/or services shall be let to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder(s). The evaluation of responses for award may be based upon price, terms, specifications, past performance of supplier or contractor, compatibility of bid items with existing equipment or materials, and where appropriate, delivery or completion time. Per Education Code Section 81645, contracts for electronic data processing systems and equipment, electronic telecommunication equipment, supporting software and related materials, goods and services may be let to the party who has submitted on of the three lowest responsible competitive proposals or competitive bids. After bids have been reviewed and analyzed, a recommendation shall be made to the governing board at the next scheduled board meeting.

  • Relief of Bidders: A vendor or contractor may be relieved of a bid in which a mistake was made in filling out the bid form and which was not due to an error in judgment or to carelessness in inspecting the site of the work, or in reading the specifications or plans. The vendor must give a detailed written notice of the mistake to the District immediately after the opening of the bids.

  • MSDS: Vendors are required to provide Material Safety Data Sheets (M.S.D.S.) from the manufacturer for all products that are hazardous, as defined by Title 8, California Code of Regulations.

  • Hazardous Waste: Contractors transporting hazardous materials on or off campus must supply an approved manifest/s to the Purchasing Department.

  • Equal Opportunity: The Ohlone Community College District conducts its business activities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, handicap or sex. The District may require contractors to supply data on use of the Department of General Services (DGS) certified Small Business/Disable Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE) to comply with the DGS SB/DVBE participation programs.

Things You Need to Know

Deliveries: All materials shipped to the Ohlone College main campus in Fremont shall be delivered to the main Warehouse/Receiving area (Building 10 off of Pine Street), unless otherwise specified on the purchase order. The Purchase Order number must appear on all packages and packing slips. Receiving hours are posted on the Shipping/Receiving web page. Also see Fremont Campus Map and Directions.

Invoices: To expedite payments, a standard IRS form W-9 must be on file with the District Accounts Payable Department. All original invoices should be directed to Accounts Payable and shall include the purchase order or contract number.

Vendor Calls and Campus Visits: The Purchasing Department is located in Room 5309, Building 5, Third Floor, in the center of the Fremont campus (Fremont Campus Map). Parking requires a paid permit in all parking lots.

Avoid visiting District Buyers unannounced. To make an appointment for the area of sales you wish to discuss please call (510) 659-6127.