Vendor Handbook

Information
The City of Portland is committed to contributing to a socially just, environmentally sound, economically vibrant and diverse community. In Procurement, that means providing strategic and responsible public contracting services to deliver the best value for our customers.
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A Message from Procurement Services 

Procurement Services is working to better serve the City and improve efficiency by streamlining contracting processes where possible. This section of the website is focused on keeping new vendors and contractors informed and making it as easy as possible to work with the City by providing the tools and resources you need.

If you are a new vendor/contractor looking to grow your business through public contracting, you are in the right place. To do business with the City, businesses and vendors must comply with federal, state and local laws, meet general requirements, and meet the specific requirements specified in the solicitation.

The City of Portland is committed to a respectful work environment, free of harassment, discrimination and retaliation and other inappropriate conduct. Every individual has a right to work in a professional atmosphere where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. The City’s Human Resources Administrative Rule 2.02 covers all employees of the City of Portland as well as consultants, vendors or contractors who provide services to the City of Portland. The successful Proposer(s) must be in compliance with this rule at all times while under contract. 


Getting to Know your Procurement Teams

We have four dedicated procurement teams and one amazing Compliance Team. Your business specialty will determine which procurement team will be working with you, how to compete for work, and additional criteria that may be required. 

Goods

Goods covers the procurement of supplies, equipment, and materials. 

Bidding Methods

  • Small: Under $10K, competition is encouraged, but not required. Informal process can be conducted, which includes emailed quotes or proposals, but not publicly advertised. 
  • Intermediate: More than $10K, but less than $150K. Informal process can be conducted, which includes emailed quotes or proposals, but not publicly advertised. 
  • Formal: More than $150K. Solicitation is publicly advertised. 
  • Direct Contracts allow bureaus to contract up to $150K directly with COBID-certified firms (Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity, a State of Oregon agency). 

Additional Criteria

Sweatshop-Free Compliance: The City must purchase apparel products from manufacturers that comply with the City's Code of Conduct for Apparel Contractors (Attachment 1 of the City's Sustainable Procurement Policy). The Code of Conduct requires that contractors, and any supply chain partners utilized to supply apparel to the City, comply with labor and health & safety standards that ensure workers are not subjected to sweatshop conditions. See the Sweatshop Free Apparel section on the Sustainable Procurement Initiatives page.

Services 

Services covers the procurement of professional and ordinary services. 

Bidding Methods

  • Small: Under $10K, competition is encouraged, but not required. Informal process can be conducted, which includes emailed quotes or proposals, but not publicly advertised. 
  • Intermediate: More than $10K, but less than $150K. Informal process can be conducted, which includes emailed quotes or proposals, but not publicly advertised. 
  • Formal: More than $150K. Solicitation is publicly advertised. 
  • Direct Contracts allow bureaus to contract up to $150K directly with COBID-certified firms (Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity, a State of Oregon agency). 

Additional Criteria

Fair Wage Memo: Employees performing certain categories of work under formal contracts for janitorial services, security services, and parking garage attendant services with the City are guaranteed a minimum fair hourly wage, which is detailed in the Fair Wage Memo. See the official memos for Fiscal Years 2019-20 and 2020-21 below. 

Download Fair Wage Memo FY 20-21 

Download Fair Wage Memo FY 19-20 

Sweatshop-Free Compliance: The City must purchase apparel products from manufacturers that comply with the City's Code of Conduct for Apparel Contractors (Attachment 1 of the City's Sustainable Procurement Policy). The Code of Conduct requires that contractors, and any supply chain partners utilized to supply apparel to the City, comply with labor and health & safety standards that ensure workers are not subjected to sweatshop conditions. See the Sweatshop Free Apparel section on the Sustainable Procurement Initiatives page.

Design

Design covers the procurement of professional services in the construction industry. 

Bidding Methods

  • In accordance with Oregon Revised Statutes 279C.100-125 the City uses a qualification-based selection process when conducting solicitations for professional services related to public improvement projects. For any projects that do not fall under ORS 279C, the City follows the policies and procedures outlined in Portland City Code 5.68 and the Professional Services Manual. 
  • Direct Contracts allow bureaus to contract up to $150K directly with COBID-certified firms (Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity, a State of Oregon agency). 

Construction

Construction covers all other aspects with the construction industry. 

Bidding Methods

  • Invitation to Bid (ITB): Code requires award based on lowest price unless an exemption is approved. 
  • Request for Proposals (RFP) or Alternative Delivery: Requires an exemption to the low-bid process and authorization from Council. Findings need to be addressed in the exemption that support an alternate process. 

Additional Criteria

To learn more about additional contractor requirements for construction contracts, please visit our Additional Contractor Requirements (Construction Only) page. 

Compliance

Compliance provides education, evaluation and enforcement of the City’s Social Equity Contracting Strategy for firms doing business with the City of Portland in the Construction, Design and Professional Services fields.

To learn more about compliance requirements, types of compliance, and the methods to track it, please visit our Post Award Compliance page. 


Vendor/Contractor Requirements

There are four separate vendor registrations needed to do business with the City of Portland. Each registration is a fairly short, one-time process. After you complete your registration once, it is likely that you'll never do it again. 

1. Register Your Business with the Oregon Business Registry

To do business in the State of Oregon, your business must be registered with the State. You may contact the Secretary of State Corporation Division at 503-986-2200 or go online to register.

Register online

2. Make Sure Your Portland Business License Tax Account is Current

To do business with the City, your Portland Business Tax account must be in compliance. To be in compliance, you must:

  • Have a Portland Business Tax account and,
  • File and pay the City of Portland business tax annually if your business is "doing business" in the City.

This applies to resident, non-resident, and tax-exempt vendors. 

Register online

3. Register with BuySpeed

The City requires your business to be registered in Buyspeed, our online vendor portal. In BuySpeed, you can also view bid opportunities and sign up to be notified of bid opportunities.

By registering your business, you will receive notices about solicitations that match the NIGP commodity codes you select. Registering also gives you the opportunity to certify your business as an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Equal Benefits (EB) compliant business. 

See the document below for step-by-step instructions for vendor registration in BuySpeed.

Register online 

Need help with BuySpeed?

Email 

Download BuySpeed Vendor Registration Instructions

4. Get Setup as a New Vendor in SAP

SAP is a resource planning software that incorporates key business functions at the City of Portland. After winning work with the City, vendors will need to be setup in SAP to get paid (excluding payments using Procurement Cards). To get setup in SAP and get paid, vendors/contractors must fill out and return the following forms: 


Certified for Success

The City requires and highly encourages vendors/contractors to certify their businesses, which may give your firm an edge in winning work. 

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Certification

The City of Portland requires Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) certification of all vendors, contractors, and sub-contractors doing business with the City.

To be EEO certified, your firm must fill out the online form, when you register your business on BuySpeed stating that you do not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, marital status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income.

Your company must also take steps to ensure equal opportunity in all aspects of employment. These aspects include, but are not limited to, hiring, promotion, transfer, advertising, layoff, termination, rates of pay, training (including apprenticeship), and terms and conditions of employment.

Equal Benefits Compliance

City contractors are required to provide benefits to their employees with domestic partners equivalent to those provided to employees with spouses. When you register your business on BuySpeed, fill out the form indicating your Equal Benefits status. Per the City's Equal Benefits Ordinance, registration is required for contracts that meet or exceed the “formal” dollar threshold, which is $100,000 for Public Improvements and Professional services, and $150,000 for Goods and Ordinary services.

Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID)

The City of Portland encourages qualified businesses to become certified by Business Oregon. Business Oregon's COBID program certifies businesses owned by minorities, women, or service-disabled veterans. They also certify emerging small businesses.

Visit Get Certified from the Business Oregon - Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) website to learn more.

Section 3 Provision

Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of 1968. Section 3 policies apply to Portland Housing Bureau projects receiving certain HUD financial help exceeding $200,000.

Those projects should direct training and jobs to Section 3 and Targeted Section 3 workers. Those projects also should direct contract opportunities to Section 3 business concerns. Both workers and businesses should be in the community where the project takes place.

On Section 3 projects, contractors will need to prioritize efforts to hire and train Section 3 Workers, Targeted Section 3 Workers and contract with Section 3 Business concerns. Section 3 Workers should work at least 25% of all labor hours and targeted Section 3 Workers should work at least 5% of all labor hours to the greatest extent possible. Before starting work, the program requires that all workers submit a Section 3 Worker Eligibility Form (link below) to the City. If they submitted the form during the previous year, then they do not have to submit a new one.

Search for Section 3 Businesses in our Contract Compliance Reporting System.

Download Income and Rent Limits 

Download Section 3 Business Eligibility form 

Download Section 3 Worker Eligibility form 


Social Equity inGoods, Services, and Design Services through Direct Contracting

The City may buy goods and services with COBID-certified businesses without competitive solicitation. It applies to contracts with an estimated cost of $150,000 or less. Direct contracting takes less time to put contracts in place and supports COBID firms.


Social Equity in Construction

The City of Portland supports initiatives that help address social equity in the City's contracting processes and help to diversify the workforce. Learn more about the contract types, programs, and policies that apply to construction. 

Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) and Community Equity and Inclusion Plan (CEIP)

The City created the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) and Community Equity and Inclusion Plan (CEIP) to increase minority and female participation in construction trades.

The CEIP and CBA apply when:

  • The City solicits a public improvement contract that does not use the low-bid method.
  • The CEIP applies to contracts between $10 million to $25 million.
  • The CBA applies to contracts $25 million and above.

The CEIP and CBA share the same workforce requirements:

  • Minorities perform at least 22% of total apprentice hours and women perform at least 9%.
  • Minorities perform at least 22% total journey level hours and women perform at least 6%.

Download Resolutions for CBA and CEIP

Download CBA Templates for Contracts 

Download CEIP Template for Contracts 

Community Opportunities and Enhancement Program (COEP)

The Community Opportunities and Enhancement Program (COEP) provides workforce development and technical help to businesses through grants. The program has two goals. The first is to increase the number of people of color and women in the trades. The second is to remove barriers for construction firms owned by people of color and women. Both goals seek to increase the number of people of color and women in public contracting.

Responsibilities for managing the program falls to five groups:

  • The Community Equity and Inclusion Committee is a community advisory committee. The committee focuses on COEP funding priorities. They also review for equity and compliance on Community Equity and Inclusion Plan [link CBA and CEIP here] contracts.
  • The Office of Equity and Human Rights participates in the process to ensure that the COEP meets its equity objectives.
  • Prosper Portlandmanages the day-to-day operations and implementation of the COEP grant program. They manage service provider contracts, help community access services, and report on outcomes.
  • Work Systems, Inc manages service provider contracts to deliver workforce development services. Prosper Portland subcontracts with Work Systems, Inc. to manage the workforce component of COEP.
  • The Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services manages the COEP Fund. The Fund is a 1% set-aside on all City-owned public improvement contracts. They also manage the Community Equity and Inclusion Committee and the formal agreement with Prosper Portland.

For more information on COEP and to sign up for email updates, visit Prosper Portland's COEP page.

Prime Contractor Development Program (PCDP)

The Prime Contractor Development Program (PCDP) creates increased prime contracting opportunities for COBID contractors with the City of Portland. Projects in the PCDP range from $5,000 to $1 million. 

Through the PCDP, contractors receive technical assistance in different areas of work, including sewer and water, street and park improvement, building construction and tenant improvements. The program also provides educational opportunities in job costing, bidding and estimating, along with business development. While these certified contractors benefit from participating in PCDP, the program also offers the unique opportunity for City bureaus to access a pool of contractors that have historically been underutilized.

Download PCDP FY 2018-19 Annual Report

Download PCDP FY 2017-18 Annual Report

Download PCDP Manual 2019

Search PCDP Directory

Subcontractor Equity Plan (SEP)

The Subcontractor Equity Plan (SEP) applies to construction contracts valued at $150,000 or more. The goal is for 20% of hard construction costs to go toward COBID subcontractors. Of the 20%, 14% should go to Disadvantaged, Minority or Women-owned Business Enterprises. The SEP requires prime contractors to report on COBID use for the life of the contract.

Prime contractors can find SEP specification forms in the solicitation packages. Pre-bid meetings also discuss SEP requirements and forms. Prime contractors can use the State Directory of Certified Firms to find COBID subcontractors.

Download Subcontractor Equity Program Details

Workforce Training &Hiring(WTHP) Program

The Workforce Training & Hiring Program (WTHP) aims to increase women and minority participation in the construction trades. The program accomplishes this through apprenticeship opportunities on City projects.

The WTHP applies on:

  • Low-bid construction prime contracts estimated at $200,000 and above.
  • Low-bid construction subcontracts estimated at $100,000 and above.

WTHP Requirements:

  • State registered apprentices work at least 20% of labor hours per trade.
  • Minorities work at least 18% of labor hours per trade.
  • Women work at least 9% of labor hours per trade.

Bid documents for each project include details of the program. The WTHP adheres to Administrative Rule 1.20.


Insurance and Workers Compensation Requirements

As you enter into contracts with the City of Portland you will be required to provide and maintain insurance coverage, including providing proof of insurance in the form of a certificate of insurance. Required insurance coverage must continue in effect throughout the term of the contract until final acceptance of the entire project, or through the products-completed operations required period.
 
Specific insurance requirements will be specified in the solicitation or contractual documents. The general coverage might include Commercial General Liability, (including products-completed operations), public liability and property damage, and business automobile liability coverage, contractual liability insurance and additional insured endorsement of the City using an applicable ISO (Insurance Services Office) endorsement or other form applicable to the contract and subject to approval by the City Attorney.


Additional Resources  

Minority Evaluator Program

On December 16, 2009, Portland City Council passed a resolution requiring all City Bureaus to include at least one minority evaluator in the procurement award process.

As a result of passing this resolution, the City of Portland Procurement Services implemented the Minority Evaluator Program (MEP). The Minority Evaluator Program (MEP) will serve our internal staff and external customers by ensuring that there are diverse and qualified evaluators to serve on the various panels that award city contracts.

If you are interested in the program or have further questions about your participation call Tiffani Penson at 503.823.7785 or email MEP@portlandoregon.gov

You can sign up to volunteer using the Minority Evaluator Program Application online form.

Mercatus Directory

The Mercatus Directory features entrepreneurs of color from the Portland metro area, and is supported by Prosper Portland. There are several Mercatus memberships to choose from: 

  • Mercatus Community – designed for the arts community and those launching new businesses.
  • List Your Business – designed for businesses that are registered and operating.
  • Level Up – for businesses ready to maximize their visibility and take their business to another level.

For more information, please visit the Mercatus Website.