Methods of Purchasing

The City of Tucson utilizes the following methods of purchasing: formal Request for Proposal (RFP), formal Invitation for Bid (IFB), informal Request for Quotation (written and phone solicitations), and Request for Qualifications (RFQ) (professional design and alternative project delivery methods of construction).

Formal solicitations, RFPs, IFBs and Request for Qualifications, require posting of a public notice, submission of a sealed bid or proposal, public bid opening for IFBs only and an award by the Business Services Director. Formal IFBs and RFPs are for purchases in excess of $100,000. Informal requests for quotation may be either written or oral.

Although a sealed bid technique is not used, all informal quotations are made on a competitive basis securing quotes from at least three (3) vendors whenever possible.


Bid/Proposal Openings

 All Invitations for Bid are opened publicly in a virtual environment.

A “Bid Opening Link” is included in each solicitation and is open/activated on the date and time of the bid due date.

Requests for Proposals and Request for Qualifications are not publicly opened.

The Business Services Director’s designated representative presides over the bid openings. Other representatives of the City may be in attendance.

The designated representative shall read prices, delivery, terms and conditions relating to the bid. No decisions of award or rejections are made during the bid opening.

No discussions relating to the bids are entered into during the opening.


Bidders' List

A bidders' list of all known commodities and services purchased by the City is maintained by the Business Services Department. These commodities and services are categorized by class and subclass. Vendors are responsible for registering their business under the appropriate class and subclass listing.

Vendors can register to do business with the City of Tucson through an online vendor registration system. The registration site is reached through www.tucsonprocurement.com by selecting the tab “Vendors.”

Once registered, the vendor is responsible for maintaining the vendor record by updating information as needed. To ensure maximum bid participation, vendors should regularly check for posted notices and official advertisement on www.tucsonprocurement.com.

Failure to respond to a formal solicitation is defined as a total lack of response when invited to bid. The City of Tucson reserves the right to update and validate the bidders' list from time to time and may require renewal of applications on file.

The City requires an up-to-date application on file prior to the award of any contract.


Notice of Invitation to Bid and Request for Proposal

When the City purchases by formal competitive bid, a Notice of Invitation for Bid is posted by the Business Service Department on the procurement website at www.tucsonprocurement.com. When the City purchases professional or other services, a Notice of Request for Proposal is posted.

All notices for construction and federally funded projects are published in the legal notices section of the "official" newspaper of the City. When a wider distribution is deemed necessary for any type of solicitation, additional publications may be used to circulate the required information. Vendors should formally register at www.tucsonprocurement.com.

Vendors who list email as their preferred delivery method will receive email notification of IFBs, RFPs or RFQs in the commodity classes for which they have registered. Any vendor not already on the City's list of bidders may obtain a copy of an IFB, RFP or RFQ by downloading bids from the website.



All bids and proposals shall be submitted as specified in the "Invitation for Bid", "Request for Proposal", or “Request for Qualifications.” All bids and proposals shall also be submitted electronically pursuant to instructions in the solicitation.

They must be submitted before the scheduled time as reflected in the City’s online bidding system. No bid or proposal shall be accepted after the scheduled opening time.


Tabulation and Awards

Informal tabulations of bids are available at www.tucsonprocurement.com approximately two days after bid opening. The final tabulation will be posted after award. Bid results are not given out over the telephone.

Tabulations are not available for proposals. Bids proposals and Statements of Qualifications are public information and, therefore, may be inspected AFTER the award by making an appointment with Procurement.

All formal bids and proposals are evaluated by the Business Services Director or the designated representative, as well as the using department. For bids, the award is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder meeting specifications.

For proposals, the award is made to the offeror whose proposal is deemed most advantageous to the City based upon the evaluation criteria.

For Statements of Qualifications, the award is made to the most qualified firm with whom the City is able to negotiate a satisfactory contract.

Prior to formal award, bids proposals are not available for public inspection. After the award has been made, a purchase order will be issued to the successful bidder/offeror.



The City of Tucson will allow for the correction or withdrawal of inadvertently erroneous bids before bid opening.

After bid opening, corrections or withdrawals shall only be permitted to the extent that the bidder can show, by clear and convincing evidence, that a mistake of a nonjudgmental character was made.

Further information on errors and withdrawals is available in the Tucson Procurement Code.


Rejected Bids

The City of Tucson reserves the right to reject any or all bids proposals or statements of qualifications and to waive any informality in any bid proposal or state of qualifications.