Mayor Lumumba declares State of Emergency after severe storm damage. Click here.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The City of Jackson’s Water and Sewer Business Administration is now JXN Water. Click here.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PEG Network Off-Air Announcement: PEG Network is currently off the air as we undergo a relocation. We appreciate your patience during this transition.

In the meantime, you can stay connected with PEG Network here or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/@JacksonPEGNetwork

Vendor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

#1) What does the City buy? 

The City buys all kinds of things, from office supplies to trucks to piping to lawn maintenance to professional consulting services. You can visit the City of Jackson's Bid Opportunities page to see an updated list of opportunities. If you have questions about current opportunities, you may contact the vendor helpline by calling 601-960-1025 or emailing vendorhelp@jacksonms.gov.

#2) Why is there a procurement process? 

The procurement process helps the City of Jackson ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent fairly and for the betterment of the City as a whole. It prevents corruption and bias in government spending. The procurement process also ensures that City of Jackson employees are properly following purchasing requirements set by federal, state, and local law; most notably Mississippi Code 31-7-13.

#3) How does the City buy goods and services? 

The City of Jackson must follow all applicable federal, state, and local procurement guidelines when procuring goods, services, and construction. According to state law, here is a summary of how the City of Jackson makes purchases:

$75,000 and under: Departments may reach out to vendors directly to request quotes. For purchases under $5,000, departments must reach out to at least one vendor and ask for a quote. For purchases between $5,000.01-$75,000, departments must reach out to at least two vendors and ask for quotes. If a vendor is interested in selling to the City, the vendor may submit a quote back to the requesting department. The department will then seek purchase approval from the City of Jackson's Purchasing Division. Once approved, the department will issue a Purchase Order (PO) to the vendor.

$75,000.01 and above (competitive solicitations): When the City of Jackson makes a purchase over $75,000, the Purchasing Division works with the applicable department to publish a solicitation--either an Invitation for Bid (IFB), a Request for Proposals (RFP) or a Request for Qualifications (RFQ)--with specifications and a scope of work detailing the project’s needs. The IFB, RFP, or RFQ documents will also clearly state how bids or proposals will be evaluated. Prospective vendors respond to these business opportunities detailing how their products or services will address the City's needs. Prospective vendors can submit their bids or proposals online through Central Bidding or by submitting hard copies through the Municipal Clerk's Office. After receiving submissions, the City will evaluate the bids or proposals and award a contract to the vendor who best meets the objective criteria. Contracts generally require review from the City's Legal Department and subsequent approval from the Mayor and City Council. This approval process can often take several weeks.

Federal and State Contracts: In lieu of seeking quotes directly from vendors, the City of Jackson is also allowed to buy goods through contracts that have been negotiated and signed by federal and state agencies. In short, federal and state agencies solicit contracts from vendors and allow municipalities, school boards, universities, and other local governmental entities to buy off of those contracts instead of seeking their own quotes. Examples of federal and state contracts can be found on the following websites:

    1. Federal General Services Agreements (GSAs): https://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/ElibMain/home.do
    2. State of Mississippi - Department of Finance and Administration: https://www.ms.gov/dfa/contract_bid_search/Contract?autoloadGrid=False%27
    3. State of Mississippi - Department of Information Technology Services: https://www.its.ms.gov/procurement/express-products-lists-epls-and-cooperative-purchasing-agreements 

#4) Where can I find bid opportunities? 

Competitive solicitations (IFBs, RFPs, RFQs) can be found on the City of Jackson's Bid Opportunities page which is located on the City's website. Vendors can also find City of Jackson bid opportunities on the State of Mississippi's Website and the Central Bidding portal.

#5) What is the difference between an IFB, an RFP, and an RFQ? 

Invitations for Bids (IFB) are the most commonly used solicitation type. IFBs are used when the City believes that multiple suppliers can meet the exact specifications needed by the City. IFBs are often used for products such as trucks, pumps, iron fittings, and simple services. The material requirements and contractual terms are generally non-negotiable for IFBs. The award typically goes to the lowest price, so long as the bidder meets the required specifications.

Request for Proposals (RFP) are used for specialized or complex professional services, including financial audits, IT services, development consultancies, and garbage collection etc. For these services, considerations such as expertise, staff capacity and skill, creativity, and past performance are critical and factor heavily into vendor selection, in addition to price. Specifications and scopes of work will be evaluated based on objective criteria. Material requirements and contractual terms can often be negotiated for RFPs.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) are often used to establish a prequalified pool of vendors with specific expertise, experience, or qualifications to meet a specific need of the City. For example, RFQs are often used to prequalify design professionals and engineering services firms prior to the release of upcoming construction projects. Prequalified vendors are then invited to submit bids or proposals for individual projects.

**All contracts AND purchases >$75,000 require approval from the Mayor and City Council. Please be advised that this approval process can add several weeks to the procurement process. 

#6) How is a bid award determined? 

For informal purchases ($75,000 and under) and Invitations for Bid (IFBs), awards are typically made to the vendor with the “lowest secure bid”: the lowest price that meets the department’s needs. Bids are primarily evaluated on price.

For RFPs and RFQs, other qualitative factors are as crucial to bid evaluation as price: experience, staff capacity and experience, methodology, creativity, and training, among others. The solicitation documents for each RFP and RFQ will detail how each of these factors will be evaluated by the bid committee. The award will go to the bidder that scores the best on the entire set of evaluation criteria.

#7) Do I need to attend the pre-bid meeting or site visit?

Check the solicitation documents (IFB, RFP, or RFQ) to see whether attendance at a pre-bid meeting is mandatory. If it is not mandatory, we still encourage you to attend, as it is a great opportunity to ask the buyer and department project managers clarifying questions about the bid opportunity. The more you know about the product or service requested, the better you can customize your bid to the City’s needs, improving your chances of winning the bid.

#8) How can I appeal an award recommendation? 

Instructions for how to protest the result of an IFB, RFP, or RFQ will be detailed in the solicitation documentations for each bid opportunity. Please reference the documentation for information on who to contact and when. If you have further questions, please contact the vendor helpline by calling 601-960-1025 or emailing vendorhelp@jacksonms.gov.

#9) How do I register as a vendor with the City of Jackson? 

Registration is a mandatory process for all vendors prior to receiving a purchase order or contract from the City. Vendor registration is a simple process that allows the City to ensure that a vendor meets all federal, state, and local requirements. Vendors may submit quotes or bids prior to registering. However, the City of Jackson cannot issue a PO or contract until registration has been completed.

Vendors can register online using the City of Jackson's Vendor Self Service portal. To help work through the online registration process, vendors can follow available step-by-step guides for either new vendors or existing vendors. During the registration process, vendors need to make sure they also complete and upload a W-9 form and a Direct Deposit form.

If vendors need technical support, they may contact the vendor helpline by calling 601-960-1025 or by emailing vendorhelp@jacksonms.gov.

#10) Why are vendors required to register prior to doing business with the City of Jackson?

Registering as a vendor with the City is a common practice across the United States. Registration provides multiple benefits to the City of Jackson:

  1. Registration enables the City to ensure that vendors have the required federal, state, and local credentials.
  2. Registering as a vendor ensures the City of Jackson can compile and submit required tax documentation.
  3. Registering enables the City to process vendor payments after a purchase order or contract has been fulfilled.

**Vendors must register with the City of Jackson prior to fulfilling any purchase order or contract! 

#11) I am an out of state vendor. May I conduct business with the City of Jackson? 

Yes, out of state vendors are welcome to conduct business with the City of Jackson. However, vendors must complete two prerequisites: first, out of state vendors must register with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office: https://www.sos.ms.gov/business-services-regulation; Second, all out of state vendors must register with the City of Jackson prior to receiving a PO or contract: https://selfservice.jacksonms.gov/vss/Vendors/default.aspx.

#12) Does a vendor have to register online and submit their direct deposit information using Vendor Self Service? 

We encourage all vendors to sign up for Vendor Self Service and Direct Deposit. These tools help ensure that vendors have a more effective and efficient interaction with the City of Jackson. However, we do not want to exclude any vendors from doing business with the City of Jackson.

If a vendor is unable to use the online portal, they may fill out a paper application (click here) and submit this to the Purchasing Division. Paper vendor applications can be submitted in three different ways:

  1. Email: Paper applications can be submitted to vendorapp@jacksonms.gov
  2. Mail: Paper applications can be mailed to the Purchasing Division (Hood Building - 6th Floor, 200 S. President St. Jackson, MS 39201).
  3. Delivery: Paper applications can be dropped off in the Purchasing Division Office (Hood Building - 6th Floor, 200 S. President St. Jackson, MS 39201).

If a vendor cannot signup or change their direct deposit information online using Vendor Self Service, they will be required to complete the direct deposit form on paper (click here) and deliver this form in-person or mail the form to the Accounts Payable (AP) team located on the 6th Floor of the Hood Building (200 S. President St. Jackson, MS 39201). Due to potential cybersecurity risks, direct deposit information cannot be received via email.

#13) What if a vendor wants to change their direct deposit information?

Vendors may change their direct deposit information in one of two ways. First, they may login to their profile on Vendor Self Service and upload a new direct deposit form (click here). Existing vendors who have not previously used Vendor Self Service must first register on the platform - but it is easy (see guide here)!

If a vendor does not want to change their information online using Vendor Self Service, they can complete the direct deposit form (click here) and mail the form or deliver the form in-person to the Accounts Payable (AP) team located on the 6th Floor of the Hood Building (200 S. President St. Jackson, MS 39201). Due to potential cybersecurity risks, direct deposit information cannot be submitted or changed via email.

#14) Does Jackson have a small, local or minority business program? 

Yes, you can find out more information about the City of Jackson's Equal Business Opportunity Office and the Minority Business Certification program online.

#15) What is the role of the City's Purchasing Division? 

The Purchasing Division, housed within the Department of Finance & Administration, is responsible for overseeing how departments procure goods, services, and construction for the City of Jackson.

The mission of the Purchasing Division is to purchase the highest-quality goods and services at the lowest possible price for the City and its residents. The Purchasing Division oversees an open, ethical, and professional procurement process to assure responsible use of Jackson taxpayer funds.

The Purchasing Manager oversees a team of buyers, coordinators, and administrative staff to realize this mission. If you would like to contact the Purchasing Division, please call 601-960-1025 or email vendorhelp@jacksonms.gov.

#16) How can I find out about existing contracts the City has with vendors?

Businesses and citizens may make a public records request by contacting the Municipal Clerk: https://cityofjacksonms.nextrequest.com/. If there are additional questions, please call the Municipal Clerk at 601-960-1035.

#17) How can I learn more about the procurement & contracting process?

The City of Jackson has an eLearning page for vendors. Visit the page to learn more about the procurement and contracting process in the City of Jackson.

Need Assistance?

Thank you for visiting our Vendor FAQs page. If you did not find an answer to your question, please contact the vendor helpline by calling 601-960-1025 or by emailing vendorhelp@jacksonms.gov. We will be happy to assist you.

Close window