Purchasing Guide

The Purchasing Guide was created to assist businesses and organizations that would like to do business with the City of Rockford.  The Guide should be used as a reference and starting point for businesses, and is by no means exhaustive.  City Council approved policy and information included in the City bid documents prevail over language found in this guide.

Doing Business with the City of Rockford

Purchasing Procedures


The City of Rockford is committed to a purchasing system that provides quality, integrity, and increased competition.  It is the intent of the City to directly reduce the cost of government by making the most economical acquisition of quality goods and services that will assure efficient operation of City government.


Office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Vendors are encouraged to make appointments with Purchasing personnel in advance in order to avoid interrupted discussions.


The Central Services Division has the centralized function of monitoring and conducting all purchasing processes to support the operations of City departments.
Administrative Offices (Mayor’s Office, Legal Department, Finance Department, Information Technology, Human Resources Department)
Police Department
Fire Department
Water Division
Streets Division
Traffic Division
Capital Project Division (road and street projects)
Community and Economic Development Department
Human Services Department

NOTE: The following agencies manage their own purchasing activities independently.  Please contact them separately.
Rockford Public Library – (815) 965-7606
Rockford Park District – (815) 969-4062
Rock River Water Reclamation District – (815) 387-7400


The City of Rockford provides all vendors fair and equal opportunities to compete in the procurement process.  Product specifications are designed to be nonrestrictive and compatible with standard trade practices.


Every department request for product or service is sent to Central Services electronically on a requisition form.  Once approved by appropriate personnel at the department level, the Central Services staff works with each requesting department to determine specific needs, develops specifications for quotation or bid requests, and helps determine the best value product that meets the agency’s requirements.


Informal price quotations are obtained for goods between $10,000 and $25,000 unless reasonableness of price can be determined without competition.
Formal sealed bids or proposals must be obtained on all purchases for goods and services where the dollar amount exceeds $25,000, unless such goods and services should be made through cooperative purchase agreements or sole source negotiations.


Bids will be posted on the City’s website, and notices will be published in the Rockford Register Star and other relevant publications as prescribed by applicable laws.  The City will also solicit sealed bids from all prospective vendors who have requested that their names be placed on the product or service’s bidder’s list.


To get your company’s name on a bidder’s list for a specific product or service, a vendor application must be completed and returned to the Central Services Division via fax at (800) 380-7175.


Bid results can be obtained by contacting the Central Services Division at (779) 348-7164 or on the City’s website here.


The City will award the bid to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder whose bid is most advantageous to the City. In determining the most advantageous bid, the City may consider criteria such as, but not limited to, cost, quality, compatibility, standardization, major and minor exceptions to our specifications, superior design features, warranty, delivery, past experience installation, equality, discount, customer satisfaction, bidder’s past performance or service reputation, and service capability.  The City may opt to establish alternative selection criteria to protect its best interest or meet performance or operational standards.


Purchase of Goods: Products, supplies, and equipment are purchased through competitive processes using the bid thresholds as a guide.

Purchase of Services: Consultant, professional, and technical services are often obtained through requests for proposal, which consider skill and experience as well as cost in the evaluation process.

Cooperative Purchasing Agreements: The City utilizes available local, State, and Federal contracts at its discretion.

Sole Source Negotiation: Also called noncompetitive negotiation, this method may be used when competition does not exist or would not be in the best interests of the City. For example, scientific equipment manufactured by only one vendor.

Contract Methods: The Central Services Division creates annual blanket and contract purchase orders for various supplies and services.  Many of these contract orders are established through the bidding process.  Once contracts are awarded, city departments can use Contract Release Orders (CRO) to purchase miscellaneous items or predetermined items on the contracts directly from vendors.

Purchasing Card: The Purchasing Card, which functions similarly to a credit card, is a tool for department employees to make low-dollar purchases ($5,000 and under) for official agency business needs.  It allows for a faster and more efficient process of purchasing supplies.


The City of Rockford Equal Opportunity Ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment because a person belongs to an affected class and applies to every contractor, subcontractor, or bidder seeking public contracts with the City or Rockford.  As part of the bid process, the City requires contractors to provide, with their bid or proposals, workforce data information and certify compliance with the ordinance’s provisions as a condition of their bid being considered.

Additional information regarding the above affirmative action requirements is available by contacting the City of Rockford Equal Opportunity Compliance Officer at (779) 348-7396.


The program has requirements that may take additional time to complete and these requirements can be found here.