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Purchasing Procedures and Information

Purchasing Methods


Quotes will be used for day to day purchase of items such as food, office supplies and equipment, custodial supplies, special printing needs and other miscellaneous items. Purchase orders are issued by the buyers.  

Written Bids/Proposals       

This method is used for higher cost items, equipment, and services.  Purchase orders are issued by the buyer.       

More Formal Bids/Proposals        

Formal bids/proposals are used to purchase a variety of products, primarily for high cost purchases or construction projects following the State of Iowa Code, or when it is deemed to be in the best interest of Polk County.  
All sealed bids/proposals shall be submitted as specified in the “Request for Bid/Proposal.”  They must be received and time stamped before the date and time stated for the opening of the bid/proposal.  Bids/proposals received after the designated time will be returned unopened.        
A designated representative of the County presides over the opening of sealed bids/proposals.  The main purpose of the bid/proposal opening is to reveal the name(s) of the bidder(s), not to serve as a forum for determining apparent low bidders.  No decisions of award or rejections are made during the bid/proposal opening.  No discussions relating to the bids/proposals are entered into during bid/proposal opening.       

Public Improvement Projects        

All public improvement projects (also referred to as capital improvement projects) with an anticipated cost of $50,000 or more require special procedures as outlined in Sections 73A, 384.95-384.105 and 573 of the Iowa State Code.   

State Contract Use

  • Polk County is eligible to buy from contracts established by the State of Iowa or any other local government entity. Because the County buys these items from state contracts, there will be few bidding opportunities available for the following items:
    • Computers
    • Copiers
    • Fax Machines
    • Printers
    • Recycling of Light Bulbs


Gratuity Policy        

In order to maintain integrity and to continue to foster ethical and equal opportunity among the business community, County employees are prohibited from accepting any gratuities, in any form, from any supplier or potential supplier either directly or indirectly.       

Sales Rep. Office Visit Policy        

Sales representatives are a valuable source of information in obtaining bids, specifications, state of the art advancements or product improvements, and in resolving problems in delivery, billing and payment difficulties, etc.  We value your visits.  However, we recommend that as a professional courtesy, please call us for an appointment (contacts) in order to productively utilize your time and ours.       

Polk County Board of Supervisors Policy Statement        

It shall be the purchasing policy of Polk County to allow the Polk County Board of Supervisors the discretion of showing preference in purchasing goods and services from vendors who produce goods or maintain an office in Iowa.  Preference may also be given to goods produced in Polk County or to vendors maintaining an office in Polk County.  Further, it shall be the policy of Polk County to actively solicit and seek out local vendors of goods and services and to encourage said vendors to stock and supply Iowa-made products.       

Discrimination and Affirmative Action        

Vendor shall comply with the provisions of federal, state, and local laws and regulations to insure that no employee or applicant for employment is discriminated against because of race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability.  Vendor shall have an affirmative action plan and shall provide the County with reports required to insure compliance with equal employment legislation and regulations if requested.  Vendor shall insure that all authorized sub-vendors comply with the provisions of this clause.

A copy of the Bidder’s “Affirmative Action Plan” must be made available to Polk County upon request.

For more information on internal policies, please see:

Polk County Internal Policies Manual

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