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Government Contracting in Ohio

State in Focus: Ohio


Quick facts!

Capital: Columbus
Population: 11, 353, 140
Constitution: 17th State
Tree: Buckeye

Motto:

 With God, all things are possible

Doing Business with Ohio

First, you have to be a registered vendor. If you aren't yet, just go to http://procure.ohio.gov, fill out the required forms, and you're all set! Once you're registered, you can now start exploring bidding opportunities with Ohio's state agencies.

But before you completely immerse yourself in Ohio's bidding market, it is first important to acquaint yourself with the entities that make up the state's purchasing procedure. Here are some figures:


  • 190 ---> boards, departments, commissions, agencies, and institutions constituting the State of Ohio



  • $ 33, 500 ---> amount each agency can spend to purchase supplies



  • $ 67, 000 ---> amount each agency can spend to purchase services
If the prices go beyond these amounts, the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) is tasked to implement the purchase via bid selection.
Now there are some stipulations that govern the state's bidding process. An example of this is the 5% preference for bidders from Ohio and from its border states (i.e., Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York). Companies from these states can bid up to 5% higher than bidders from other areas and still have a winning chance of snagging the contract.
Contracts Ohio Sends out for Bidding

Basically, Ohio sends out three types of contracts for bidding: the Department of Administrative Services bids, direct purchase contracts, and state term schedules. 
Department of Administrative Services bids. This bid branches further into three types of competitive bid processes: Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposals, and Reverse Auction. (Read about the type of bids here.) 
One Time Bid (spot purchase) and Reverse Auction contracts are very similar to direct purchase contracts in that once delivery is made the contract is completed. DAS will issue a purchase order incorporating all elements of the bidding document. The third type of contract is the term contract. A term contract will reflect routine needs of one or more agencies over an extended period of time (i.e. one or more years).
DAS maintains various types of term contracts; general distribution (GDC) that may be used by all agencies, limited distribution (LDC) that may be used by specified agencies and agency specific (ASC) that reflect the needs of a single agency.
Once the contractor(s) has/have been determined, DAS will prepare a contractual agreement that incorporates the bidding document , terms and conditions and pricing schedules. This document is signed by the Director of DAS, or his designee, and forwarded to the agencies and contractor(s).
Agencies are then responsible to administer the contract, issue purchase orders as a need arises and make payments upon delivery and acceptance. The average time required to establish a term contract is 90-120 days. (Vendor Handbook, "Doing Business with the State of Ohio." http://procure.ohio.gov/pdf/vendorhandbook.pdf)


 Direct Purchase Contracts. The agency seeking the purchase directly arranges the contract and decides which bidder to go with after receiving three quotes. When the contract has been signed and carried through by both parties, the agency is expected to pay the contractor within 30-45 days.

State Term Schedules (STS). DAS directly approaches the manufacturer for products instead of going through the whole bidding process. The prices are usually determined by federal pricing guidelines or the best pricing the manufacturer has for customers. It usually takes 120 days for DAS to furnish the manufacturer with an STS.

Oh hi, Ohio!

Pardon the lame pun, but one of the great things about doing business with Ohio's government agencies is its simple, user-friendly process. If you are a potential bid, the state allows you to protest the purchase sought, the bidding procedure, the specifications of the bid, even the evaluation and awarding process. You must however file for these protests before the bid opens. If in case you find a cause for protest within the bidding process itself, you must file for this fourteen days before the bid closes.

Winning the Bid

Congratulations! You've won the bid! According to the Ohio Revised Code, you should receive your payment from the agency who hired you within 30 days. This also means that you have to do your part of the deal, always referring back to the terms and agreements specified in your contract.

Keep in touch with your procurement agency! They might have things to discuss with you and vice versa. Common sense and history tell us that communication failures can lead to devastating effects.

Doing business with Ohio doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, the bidding process is neatly streamlined that if you follow the instructions set by the state, you'll find Ohio a great business partner.

Visit our website now to search for government bids in Ohio! 

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