How the Procurement Process Works

An Overview of the Process

The process used by the City of Flagstaff begins with the development of a requisition by the using department and ends with the closing out of the contract.

How Offers are Solicited

Bids and proposals are solicited through formal and informal procedures. Formal procedures are used when the value of the purchase is estimated to be $50,000 or greater. Informal procedures are used when the estimated value of the purchase is less than $50,000.

Offers on formal purchases will be solicited by either an Invitation for Bid (IFB), a Request for Proposals (RFP), a Request for Statement of Qualifications (RSOQ), or by one of the Alternative Project Delivery Methods for a construction-related project. All formal solicitations will be advertised in a local newspaper of record at least one time, no less than five days prior to the date offers are due. The advertisement will state the date offers are due, the general nature of the goods or services to be purchased, where bid or proposal forms may be obtained, and the time and place bids will be opened.

Formal Purchases

The amount of time it takes to conduct a formal solicitation process from issuance to opening, will vary depending on the complexity of the purchase and the appropriate time necessary to give prospective offerors sufficient time to respond with a bid or proposal. Generally, the process takes anywhere from two to four weeks. After bids or proposals are opened, the evaluation, selection, and award process may take up to an additional 90 days.

Informal Purchases

Offers on informal purchases are generally solicited by mail or telephone from a minimum of three vendors on the Vendor's Mailing List. Informal purchases do not require public advertising or Council approval. Generally, the informal bid process from solicitation to the opening of offers takes from ten days to two weeks. The evaluation and award process may take up to 30 additional days. 

Matrix of the City's Threshold Dollar Amounts

Below, is a matrix of the City's threshold dollar amounts that allow for comparative pricing or require either verbal quotes, written quotes, or a formal solicitation process and Council approval:

Responsible PartyCompetitionDollar Limit
Requesting departmentNone$0 to $4,999
Purchasing Section or requesting departmentThree documented quotes (verbal)$5,000 to $15,000
Purchasing Section or requesting departmentThree written quotes on vendor letterhead$15,001 to $49,999
Purchasing SectionFormal solicitation and Council approval$50,000 and over

Applicability of Taxes

The City is exempt from Federal Excise Tax; however, state and local taxes do apply. If the vendor is an out-of-state vendor, the City will remit the Arizona Use Tax directly to the State of Arizona.

Laws, Regulations & Procedures

The procurement function of the City of Flagstaff is governed by federal and state statutes, City Charter, Purchasing Policy and Regulations, and generally accepted purchasing practices.

Right to Protest

Any Vendor or Contractor who is aggrieved in connection with the solicitation or proposed award of a contract may file a formal protest. A protest shall be in writing and shall be filed with the City's Purchasing Director. A protest of a solicitation shall be received at the City Purchasing Section before the solicitation opening date. A protest of a proposed award or of an award shall be filed within ten days after the protester knows, or should have known, the basis of the protest. All protests shall be resolved in accordance with the following:

  • The name, address, and telephone number of the protester
  • The signature of the protester or the protester's representative
  • Identification of the legal and factual grounds of the protest including copies of relevant documents
  • The form of relief requested


The City of Flagstaff issues checks twice monthly, on days 15 and 30.


It shall be unethical for any person to give, offer, or agree to give any City of Flagstaff Purchasing Employee; or for any City Purchasing Employee to solicit, demand, accept, or agree to accept from another person; a gratuity, or an offer of employment in connection with influencing any decisions.