Biggest Little City

Purchasing Program

Purchasing Policies

The Purchasing Division is guided in its purchasing procedure by several established policies:

  1. To conduct all purchasing in accordance with Nevada Revised Statutes and the City of Reno Municipal Code.
  2. To obtain the quantity and quality of materials at the right price and when they are needed.
  3. To stimulate competitive bidding in order to obtain materials and services at the best price, and to provide all interested vendors with the opportunity to offer their products to the City.
  4. To treat all vendors fairly.

The City of Reno operates under a decentralized purchasing method. Purchases made at an aggregate threshold of $25,000 and above are accomplished by the Purchasing Manager. Purchases made below this amount are accomplished by the individual department.

Sales representatives may be received in City departments by appointment to display or discuss products or services. The Purchasing Division is the liaison between vendors and the City. The Division is located on the ninth floor of:

Reno City Hall
1 East First Street
Reno, Nevada

Normal hours of business are Monday through Friday - 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Vendors are welcome at any time, however, it is recommended an appointment be made so as to not disrupt schedules.

How the City Buys

The acquisition of equipment, materials, supplies, and services is performed by all City Departments and follow certain dollar value guidelines.

Purchases which exceed $25,000, including yearly aggregates, are accomplished by a formal bid process. Maximum competition is sought and the bids are publicly advertised in the legal section of the Reno Gazette Journal. Award of bids are made by the Reno City Council.

Purchases under the $25,000 formal bidding requirement are made by the using department, following dollar guidelines for bidding.

All purchases made by the City must have an applicable purchase order number, with the exception of petty cash transactions. Do not process an order without a purchase order number. Petty cash purchases may be made at $100 or less. The City is a tax exempt public agency and is not subject to sales tax per NRS 372.325.

Bid List Applications

Due to staff reductions, the Purchasing Division will no longer maintain bid list applications.  It is the vendor's responsibility to check the legal section of the Reno Gazette Journal and the City of Reno Website daily for upcoming Bids, RFP's, or RFQ's. 

Bidding Procedures

Specific procedures have been established by the City to conform with legal requirements and provide uniform treatment of vendors. Vendors should be familiar with bid requirements and follow instructions to ensure that submitted bids meet all requirements.

A notice to bid is published in the legal section of the Reno Gazette Journal and the City of Reno Website. Vendors are encouraged to read this section daily as the publication is made only once.  Mailing bid notices is not a requirement. The notice states the nature of the purchase or project, the opening date and time, and where specifications may be obtained.

One of the most important factors in determining what the City buys is the quality requirement of the using department. This quality requirement is not necessarily the best or the cheapest of a particular item. The City determines quality by need and application; the items deemed to be the most advantageous to the City and best suited.

The quality required of an item or service is stipulated in a specification. Frequently, these specifications are quite technical, in other circumstances, a "brand name" may be used. In either case, the specification is an expression of the quality required and not a preference for a particular brand item. Vendors with products meeting or exceeding the quality requirement are invited to bid even though their brand name may not be mentioned in the specifications.

Vendors who are interested in receiving a complete set of bid specifications must request one.

Proposal submission must be on the supplied forms from Purchasing unless otherwise stipulated. These forms become part of your bid package and your proposal.

The City of Reno is exempt from sales tax on all purchases pursuant to NRS 372.325. Taxes are not to be included in any proposal.

Bid and/or performance bonds may be required with some bids. Specific instructions and explanations are included in the bid document.

Payment terms should be specifically stated on the bid document. In a competitive market, a prompt payment discount may be a deciding factor in the bid award. Consideration for a prompt payment discount is a minimum of 20 days from invoice.

Bids should always include freight costs in the total bid, unless otherwise stated. No additional charges for freight after the fact are allowed.

Sealed bids must be submitted in a sealed envelope or package plainly marked with the bid number and title. Bids must be received before the date and time set for submission. Vendors should note that the bid receipt time and the bid opening time differ. Bids received after the date and time set for receipt will not be considered.

Vendors are cautioned to proofread their bids carefully. No changes may be made to the bid after bid receipt deadline.

All formally advertised bids are opened and read publicly. You are invited to attend a bid opening at any time.

Bids are then tabulated and evaluated, with a recommendation being made to the City Council for award.

Joinder Bids

The City of Reno is a member of the Northern Nevada Consortium for Cooperative Purchasing (NNCCP). A variety of bids are issued each year for which there are common or like needs for Northern Nevada Public agencies. In an effort to take advantage of quantity discounts, joint participation by area governments provides one situs agency to issue the bid and administer the contract. Vendors bidding on another agencies product are afforded the opportunity to provide items on the bid to other agencies through the joinder bidding statute. Joinder provisions and instructions are included in bid packages when they apply.

How the City Pays

In order to receive payment for goods or services, the vendor is required to submit to the Disbursement Division an original invoice. Invoices should not be sent to the using department as this may cause a delay in payment. Be sure to include your purchase order number, using department, and a contact name and/or phone number on your invoice. Departments must also sign off on the delivery or service and send their report to Disbursements. Checks are cut once a week, with a noon, Wednesday deadline. Checks for that week are then sent that Friday. Payment is deemed made by the date on the check.

Payment may also be made with cash, up to $100 per transaction, with the receipt being given to the purchaser. Local vendors are encouraged to obtain employee identification for purchases being made on behalf of the City of Reno. All employees are issued identification cards. Again, the City of Reno is tax exempt.

The City of Reno wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to those vendors with which we have had continued good working relations and extend an invitation for business to the vendors as a vital part of our community.

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