Polk County General Services

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does the Purchasing Division act as the central ordering point for all County Departments and Agencies?

    Yes. The Purchasing Division is responsible for recommending and administering purchasing policies, programs and procedures for the acquisition of materials, equipment, supplies, services and construction projects for County Government.

    • All requests for prices or services and all purchases should be made via the Purchasing Division. This authority may be delegated to others, at the discretion of the Central Services Manager and Director of General Services.
    • The Purchasing Division has the authority to investigate the quality, quantity and type of materials purchased in order to best serve the interest of the County of Polk and the taxpaying citizens.
    • The Purchasing Division shall not knowingly issue a purchase order where there is evidence of a conflict of interest.
    • Acceptance of gifts, other than advertising novelties, is prohibited. No County employee shall receive a benefit or profit from any purchase or contract made in conjunction with their job as a County employee
    • The County shall purchase from suppliers who have adequate financial strength, high ethical standards and a record of adhering to specification and providing the full measure of services required.
  • How does the County procure commonly used supply items?

    The County utilizes two methods of procuring commonly used supply items.

    • Quotes are sent out weekly for food supplies, office supplies and equipment, custodial items, health related supplies, etc.
      Blanket orders are established for the fiscal year from annual bids for items such as automotive parts, hand tools, road maintenance supplies, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling supplies, lawn maintenance supplies, etc.
    • Blanket orders are also issued for craft and supply items for the Senior Centers, and clothing for the Youth Shelter.
  • Is it all right for employees of the County to purchase personal requirements from the Vendors under contract with the County?

    Employees of the County shall not procure or assist in procuring any materials, supplies or equipment for the personal use of any employee, officer or official of the County. Employees, officers or officials by virtue of position are not entitled to any special consideration from the vendors and contractors in their personal affairs nor are they to attempt to procure materials for the personal use of any other person.

  • Is it okay for County Departments or Agencies to purchase via the State of Iowa or Local City contracts?

    The County can take advantage of Federal, State and Local contracts. If the successful contractor is willing to extend to the County the same prices, terms and conditions as the original contract. When the County uses the established contracts bids are not required.

  • Does the County Purchasing Division maintain bidder’s lists?

    No. The Purchasing Division asks that vendors requesting to do business with the County fill out the Vendor Information Form and submit it to the Purchasing Division. This form gives us sales contact information, items/services to be supplied to the County, and accounts payable information.

    Once a vendor responds to bids and quotes for the County, your name may be recorded on a list with the file individual for use in future projects of the same nature or for similar products/services.

  • Can I obtain specification documents if I am interested in bidding on a County offering?

    Specification documents for current bids, quotes and request for proposals, are available in the Purchasing Office. Any interested vendor may request a copy by mail, telephone, fax or in person.

    Purchasing makes every effort to prepare detailed specifications which accurately define the products or services to be purchased. In some cases a brand name may be used to describe a particular product. When a brand name is used, it is for the purpose of establishing a grade or quality level of material. It is not our desire to prevent competition. Alternates may be offered and will be considered if the County determines them to be of equal value to the specified brand. It is the bidder’s responsibility when offering an alternate to provide supporting documentation and/or product literature outlining the features and benefits of the product offered. Please be advised that any alteration or deviation from the specification may be grounds to disqualify the offer.

  • How must the offer be submitted?

    After carefully reading the specifications, complete the bid price schedule. Note that the prices offered must be stated in the units of measure and quantities specified on the schedule. In a case of discrepancy in computing the amount of the bid, the unit price will prevail over the extended price. Complete all blanks, provide any supporting material requested and sign the offer in the space provided. In the case of sealed bids, the Sealed Bid Envelope must be used. If the bid response is too big to fit in the Sealed Bid Envelope the envelope must be attached to the out side of the bid package. If the offer is not complete and signed by an individual authorized to contract for the firm, the offer will be rejected.

Contact Us

Polk County Administrative Building
111 Court Avenue Suite 365
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2251
Phone: 515-286-3215