About Purchasing & Procurement
The Purchasing Division actively generates competition for City contracts by advertising bids and requests for proposals for larger purchases and soliciting quotes for smaller purchases. Purchasing oversees all procurement activities and related contract preparation. Purchasing monitors compliance with applicable procurement laws, and maintains records of vendor performance.
The Purchasing Department is a centralized agency for all procurement and related contracts in the City. The Purchasing Department sets and implements policies and procedures to facilitate compliance with applicable procurement laws and competitive pricing.
It fulfills a service function and a control function. As a service provider, Purchasing staff work with other City departments to plan and manage the procurement of services, equipment and supplies. The Purchasing Department manages the overall procurement process from advertising a public bid to awarding the contract. Once a contract is awarded, the department that is requesting the services or supplies manages the contract.
In its control function, the Purchasing Department reviews all requisitions and proposed contract amendments to ensure compliance with applicable laws. Purchasing works with the other City departments to ensure that the specifications and contract terms and conditions are written to provide the most effective contract administration.
Resources for City Departments
Frequently Asked Questions
Some bids may require Adobe Acrobat Reader .
It is the contractor's responsibility to make certain they have received any/all addenda relating to their bid prior to the bid opening date.
It is the Contractors' responsibility to make certain they have received any/all addenda relating to their bid prior to the bid opening date. You can find addenda by clicking on the “Addenda” sub-folder in the directory for the project you are bidding. If you have registered with the Purchasing Department for a specific project, you will be notified via e-mail when and if any addenda are available. You are strongly encouraged to check this web-page often for any addenda related to the project(s) for which you have downloaded bid documents, drawings, and specifications.
Bid forms and information concerning bid surety, performance bond, minimum wage rates and bid specifications are available in the Purchasing Department, 93 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143 or by calling 617-625-6600 ext. 3400 or faxing 617-625-1344.
Separate awards will be made for these items and the right is reserved to reject any and all bids, and to make awards as may be determined to be in the best interest of the City as authorized by Mass Law.
To be placed on the City's vendor list, please mail information about your company to the address above or e-mail: [email protected].
Resources for City Departments
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a vendor with the City of Somerville?
Please register with us using our general registration form.
If you are interested in a specific project, please sign up here.
Who’s my point of contact at the Purchasing Department?
If the bid notice and package on our website don’t answer all your questions regarding a bid, please send an e‐mail to the project manager named in the bid notice document. For general inquiries, please e‐mail us at [email protected] or refer to this FAQ section.
How do I request insight into public records?
Please send us public record requests via e‐mail to [email protected], as we need your request in writing. You can also send a request by mail to: Angela Allen, Purchasing Director, City Hall, 93 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143. Please line out which information you need and provide as many details as possible on the project you’re inquiring about, such as bid number, contract number, and project name, if available. Once we receive your request, we will acknowledge receipt your request within ten (10) business days. Please be aware that you may be charged for costs associated with your request.
I am interested in bidding for a specific project. What are my next steps?
All of our current bids are listed on the Somerville Bids Portal. Any information that is publicly available can be found there. You can find project details in the columns “Bid Notice” and “Download Bid Package.” If either column is empty, please check back later.
Where can I get information on a bid?
All our bids are listed on our website, either under the Open Bids or the Closed Bids tab. Any information that is publicly available can be found on our website. You can find project details in the columns “Bid Notice” and “Download Bid Package.” If either column is empty, please check back later.
How can I obtain plans and specifications for a project?
If available, you can find free electronic copies of plans and specifications in the “Download Bid Package” on the Somerville Bids Portal. If this column is empty, please check back later. If hard copies are available, this will be noted in the “Bid Title” column.
Hard copies can be picked up at the Purchasing Department or delivered at your cost if you provide a FedEx account number. A deposit fee applies.
How can I find out who else is bidding for a project?
If a bidders list is available for an open bid, it will be published under the Open Bids tab of the Somerville Bids Portal. Once the bid has closed, a results document listing all bidders will be uploaded to the Closed Bids tab as soon as it’s available.
How can I find out who’s been awarded a contract?
Once a bid has been awarded, a results document will be uploaded onto the Closed Bids tab on our website as soon as it’s available.
Where do I send my invoices?
Your invoices are being paid by the department with which you have a contract. In most cases, the Purchasing Division helps assemble a contract but isn’t responsible for payments. Please do not send your invoices to the Purchasing Department unless your contract is with the Purchasing Department.