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State law requires counties to procure all supplies, equipment, services and construction estimated to cost over $25,000.00 via formal, competitive bidding. In addition to this requirement, Cuyahoga County has adopted the policy that all purchases between $1,000.00 - $25,000.00 be made via informal competitive bids unless otherwise designated by the Purchasing Manager. The Board has also adopted a policy concerning the participation of Small Business Enterprises (SBE's) in such procedures.
An exception to competitive bidding is the procurement of professional services. Cuyahoga County policy on the employment of professional service providers and consultants dated 10-1-98 describes this process. Categories of such providers which do not need to be bid are:
- Construction Project Managers
- Professional Engineers
The County selects many of these services via a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process administered through the Office of Procurement & Diversity.
Small Business Enterprise Program
It is the policy of Cuyahoga County Government to promote full and equal access in contracting and procurement opportunities for all businesses in Cuyahoga County. It is further declared that to ameliorate the effects of past and present arbitrary barriers that Small Business Enterprises have had in contracting with Cuyahoga County, hereby adopt this Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program.
The SBE Program is established to ensure that Small Business Enterprises have an equal opportunity to participate in procurement and other contracting opportunities with Cuyahoga County.
The SBE Program's intent is to assist Small Business Enterprises in overcoming barriers that limit their ability to participate in contracting and other procurement opportunities with Cuyahoga County. The SBE Program will achieve this by providing and supporting opportunities for small firms to learn new business skills and develop existing ones, to enable them to grow and thereby compete effectively for sub and prime contracting opportunities.
All firms submitted for Small Business Enterprise consideration shall be certified prior to submission of bid.
Applications for certification will be on standard forms provided by the SBE Program and will include, but will not be limited to, primary business location, evidence of ownership, control, operation, and experience. The application shall be in the form of an affidavit and signed by the applicant. Such signature is to be notarized by an officer duly authorized. All certified SBE firms will be required to update their listing continually including changes of addresses, telephone numbers and changes of ownership, control and operation.
The Director of the Office of Procurement & Diversity shall grant certification of an approved Small Business Enterprise for a period of one (1) year. All companies must request re-certification of their business on an annual basis or the anniversary of their certification.
If a Small Business Enterprise is denied certification on the basis of information submitted, the company cannot reapply for certification for a period of one (1) year from the date of the notice of denial. The right to appeal a denial is decided in its favor as provided herein. The SBE Program Manager will maintain certification records for a period of five (5) years.