Vendor Information


A guide for Vendors on "How to" Do Business With the City of Portsmouth


This brochure extends a warm welcome to all vendors interested in serving the City of Portsmouth with goods and services. It is our desire to make dealing with the City a pleasurable and rewarding experience for all parties involved.


The goal of Purchasing is to procure all needs of the City in the best possible quality, quantity, manner and at the most economical price available.


It will be our policy to conduct all purchasing activities in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws and Portsmouth City Ordinances.

Bid List

Equal competitive opportunity can only be ensured by providing an opportunity to interested suppliers. Our staff will provide all interested and qualified bidders the opportunity to bid on their product or services. Your company shall be placed on our bidders list upon completion of a City of Portsmouth bid list application.

Each vendor is assigned a number and placed on a list with an indication of the type of items or services it can provide. This list is consulted when a commodity or service is needed by the City, and also serves as the reference through which competitive pricing is secured.
The City of Portsmouth is an equal opportunity agency. It is our goal to provide all prospective bidders the opportunity to do business with the City, within the laws that govern public procurement.

Function of Purchasing

The Purchasing Section performs a service function for all City departments, and acts as a liaison between suppliers and the City. We maintain an inventory of company catalogs and product literature, and encourage vendors to supply us with product or service information in this form. While we are the sole purchasing body for the City, we often work closely with various City departments in composing specifications and analyzing bid proposals. Therefore, having product literature available is mutually helpful for all City departments and for the vendor as well.

Bid Invitations

All outstanding formal bid invitations are posted on a bid board in Purchasing. We will gladly provide any interested vendor with a copy on which to submit his proposal. Specifications are included with bid solicitations and are also available upon request. In some instances, it may be necessary to use trade names or model numbers to designate the quality of merchandise desired. In such cases, the phrase "or equal" will be specified. The decision of "equal" rests solely with the City. The burden of proving "equality" rests with the vendor.

Completed Form

The completed bid form should be signed and delivered to the City Purchasing Agent prior to the designated opening time on the form. Bid response envelopes should indicate the bid number and opening date thereon.

Bid Opening

Bids are opened and read publicly in the Finance Department - Purchasing Section. Vendors are welcome and encouraged to attend any bid opening. After public reading, all bids will be open for inspection for a reasonable period of time, as determined by the City Purchasing Agent or his approved representative.


After tabulation of the bid, the results will be posted on a tabulation sheet clipboard adjacent to the outstanding bid board for public review.


In our day-to-day activities we strive to promote communication and good will in community, supplier and employee relations and to uphold the highest standards of business ethics. You can be of invaluable service to us if you:
  • Address and deliver all shipments to the "deliver to" instructions on the Purchase Order or Contract
  • Mail all invoices according to the "invoice to" instructions on the Purchase Order.
  • Let us know if you feel our specifications for a product or service can be improved to offer a better option or lower costs.
  • Be sure that your shipping label contains our Purchase Order number.
Do not accept orders or make shipments until a Purchase Order number has been obtained from Purchasing.

Contact Us

If you have questions at any time during the procurement process, please consult with Purchasing for clarification.