Frequently Asked Questions
Who is in charge of buying for the County?
Howard County has centralized purchasing; the Office of Purchasing is responsible for procuring all goods and services required by Howard County Government (excluding Howard County Public Schools, Howard Community College and Howard County Library). Links to the schools and community college are on this web site at LINKS TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS.
What are the County's thresholds for issuing solicitations?
See VENDORS GUIDE, Procurement Procedures.
How can I get on the County's bid list to receive solicitations?
Formal solicitations are available for download on the County's CURRENT SOLICITATIONS page, but they are no longer mailed to bidders.
Vendors can download the BIDDER'S APPLICATION, fill it out and send it to the Office of Purchasing to get on the bidders list for informal solicitations.
How can I get on the County's bid list for construction contracts?
Although the County does not maintain a bidders list for construction contracts, they are publicized on this web site and in local media.
How can I find out about current bid opportunities in the County?
Current formal solicitations are posted on Purchasing’s website under CURRENT SOLICITATIONS and on the bulletin board in the Office of Purchasing, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 501, Columbia, MD 21046.
Do I have to read the entire solicitation package, including all the attachments and fine print?
Yes, read the solicitation documents thoroughly so you understand them and can comply with all the instructions and conditions. Improperly completed bids/proposals may be considered non-responsive. Please submit your bid/proposal well in advance of the deadline because late bids/proposals will be rejected.
Can I attend bid/proposal openings?
Yes. At the dates and times noted in solicitations, the County will publicly open all timely bids/proposals at the following location:
Howard County Office of Purchasing
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 501
Columbia, MD 21046
How can I obtain bid results?
Bid results may be obtained on this web site under BID RESULTS and on the bulletin board in the Office of Purchasing, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 501, Columbia, MD 21046.
Do you have any preferences or set-asides for minority or women-owned business?
The County does not have preferences or set-asides for minority or women-owned businesses. However, the County does have a 10% Equal Business Opportunity subcontracting goal for any contract exceeding $50,000.00 in value that can only be met by using certified minority, women or disabled owned businesses. The County also has a certification program for minority, women or disabled owned businesses. The Equal Business Opportunity Program Coordinator will be happy to provide information on how to compete for County business, and can be reached at 410-313-3694.
What should I do if there is a change in my company’s status, such as a change in ownership, business name, address, contact information or Taxpayer Identification Number?
Changes in your business could have an impact on our obligation to report information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You may call the Office of Purchasing at 410-313-6370 to find out how to update your information. You may be asked to forward a new IRS Form W-9 or a new BIDDER'S APPLICATION.
When will my invoice be paid?
Questions regarding invoice payment must be directed to the Department of Finance at 410-313-4050.
Who should I contact in the Office of Purchasing to obtain information concerning current contracts such as the expiration date, incumbent vendor or contract administrator? What number can I call to get more information about the Office of Purchasing?
For information regarding current contracts, please refer to the CURRENT CONTRACTS section on the website. To find further information on a specific contract, please call the main number at 410-313-6370 and ask to speak with the assigned buyer. To recieve general information regarding the Office of Purchasing, please call the main number at 410-313-6370.
How can I learn more about bid opportunities in other governmental entities?
You can access web sites for other governmental entities in the Baltimore Metropolitan area from the LINKS TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS on this web site.
Unable to find your question or answer here?
Please email or call us (410) 313-6370.