General Policy & Procedures


It is the City’s policy that in regard to any contract entered into pursuant to any solicitation, the Bidder/Proposer warrants that it does not and will not discriminate in employment and in subcontracts based on race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, sex, age, disability or economic condition and as an EEO employer, the Bidder/Proposer prohibits retaliation, discharge, or discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment or against any subcontractor or supplier.

Vendor Obligations

Vendor is expected to fulfill basic responsibilities when dealing with the City.

  • To conduct all negotiations with user department ethically, without attempts to influence through offerings of personal gifts or entertainment.
  • Deliver all goods and/or services in a timely manner.

Whom Do I Contact

All new vendors shall contact the Purchasing Division. The Purchasing Division will notify the supplier of the contacts in user departments for their products or services .

Demonstration of Products

Vendors are encouraged to show and demonstrate their products to City Staff. It is important to relieve any doubt or misunderstanding that could be corrected through a product demonstration. Demonstrations are also valuable to evaluate new products in their working environments .

Sales Calls

Vendors are encouraged to visit the Purchasing Division, and/or the user departments anytime during normal business hours. No prior appointment is necessary, however to assure that the necessary participants are available, calling ahead to schedule an appointment is strongly encouraged .

Vendor Selection

The selection of a vendor will be the responsibility of the user department for all purchases under $50,000. Several factors will be considered when making a selection:

  • Delivery
  • Dependability
  • The nature of the guaranty and warranty of the product
  • Price
  • Quality
  • Service record of the vendor

Local Preference

The City has a 5% local preference for certain purchases exceeding $50,000.

Vendor Relations

It is the policy of the Purchasing Division to maintain and practice the highest possible standards of business ethics, professional courtesy and competence in all dealings. At all times, applicable laws must be scrupulously observed. In this regard the following guidelines will be observed by the Purchasing Division:

  • Accord prompt and courteous reception to all vendors and their representatives.
  • Provide for and allow fair and equal treatment to all vendors.
  • Assure the confidentiality of all quotations prior to the award.
  • Remain free from obligation to any vendor or their representative.
  • Avoid putting the vendor to unnecessary expense or inconvenience by showing consideration for the vendor’s difficulties whenever possible.
  • Provide clear and concise instructions and explain fully and reason for rejection .

What is a Purchase Order

The Purchase Order is a formal written agreement between the vendor and the City for the acquisition of specific goods or services as detailed in the description section of the order form. The Purchase Order specifies the billing address and shipping instructions necessary for receipt of the merchandise. All prices and costs associated with the acquisition are detailed on the order. No changes or modifications can be made without specific authorization from Purchasing. Any instructions should be followed carefully to insure payment .

Delivery of a Purchase Order

Each purchase order issued by the Purchasing Division details the address for delivery of the merchandise requested. These instructions shall be followed completely, as delivery to an improper address does not constitute a receipt and acceptance of the goods, and will delay any payment until corrected by the Vendor. Deliveries are accepted during normal business hours unless stated otherwise .

Delivery Without a Purchase Order

The Purchase Order is the official and binding authorization to Vendors to provide goods or services to the City. Any deliveries made without a purchase order are non binding and will not be paid by the City. Unless a purchase order is issued, a contract or obligation between the Vendor and the City does not exist. No obligation against the City will be honored unless a properly approved purchase order is issued in advance of delivery of goods or services.

New Smoking Prohibition Ordinance

The Vendor’s attention is called to the fact that pursuant to San Marcos Ordinance No. 2013-57, as amended, all City of San Marcos owned and rented/leased properties are smoke free properties. All contractors, subcontractors, and their employees are prohibited from smoking while on City property. This prohibition includes the enclosed areas of public places and workplaces and within 10 feet of doors and windows of City-owned or rented building, all city parks and the grounds outside of any city building. This prohibition includes e-cigarettes and other inhaled vapor devices. The City may terminate the contract for noncompliance with this ordinance.