Doing Business With the City

Procurement Thresholds – These parameters have been established by the City of Brownsville as best practice methods to ensure a transparent and equitable process. In addition, the State of Texas Local Government Code further defines the requirements of said purchases.  

Purchases of $.01 to $3,000.00   - Small purchases not under contract 

Quotes are not required for these purchases. A purchase order is the traditional form of payment. The City does use P-Cards for certain purchases in this range.  

Purchases of $3,000.01 to $49,999.00One time or term contracts 
These purchases require three (3) formal, written quotes. Quotes on vendor stationery are required when submitting.  

Purchases $50,000 plus -Term Contracts, Capital Improvement, Equipment, etc. 
Sealed formal bids/proposals/qualification statements are required. The sealed bids/proposals/qualification statements must be submitted to the City based on the requirements as defined in the solicitation. All contract awards are subject to the approval of the City Commission. All purchases over $50,000 are generally advertised in the Brownsville Herald and posted on BidNet Direct and the City Website.

Common Procurement Methods used by the City

Invitation For Bid (IFB) – Issued for a variety of commodities and services based on the needs of the City – Posted on BidNet Direct 

Request For Proposal (RFP) – These solicitations are exempt from the Competitive Bidding Process under Texas Local Government Code 252.022 

General Exemptions Procurement Provisions  - The Texas Local Government Code 252.022 (General Exemptions) allows for general exemptions such as procurements for professional and planning services, purchase of land or right of way, purchases to preserve or protect the public health and safety of the City’s residents, and sole source items available from only one source because of patents, copyrights, secret processes, or natural monopolies. 

Cooperative Purchasing – The City has access to a competitive markets that allow for economies of scale that the City cannot obtain on its own.   The Division leverages this method as often as possible to bring value to the organization through Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), Internal Local Agreements, and various other Cooperative resources  The use of all Coops must fall under the provisions provided for in the State Local and Government Code. 

Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) – The City will reach out to HUBs that are active and officially registered with the Texas Comptroller’s Office. The Texas Comptroller’s Office manages the requirements to obtain HUB status and that information can be found here.   

The City encourages all HUBs to register through the City’s Vendor Registration Platform to receive information on bid opportunities. 

Disclosure Requirements - Texas Local Government Code 176 mandates the public disclosure of certain information concerning persons doing business or seeking to do business with the City of Brownsville, including the affiliation of business and financial relationships such persons may have with City of Brownsville officers. The City will inform you if you are required to fill out these forms.  Certificate of Interest Parties Form 1295.  If you have questions regarding this process please visit the Texas Ethics Commission Frequently Asked Questions Webpage.

Insurance Requirements - Contractors performing work on City property or public rights-of-way for the City of Brownsville shall provide the City with a certificate of insurance or a copy of their insurance policy(s) evidencing the coverages and coverage provisions identified by the City.  

All insurance companies and coverages must be authorized by the Texas Department of Insurance to transact business in the State of Texas and must be acceptable to the City of Brownsville.  

Bonding  - The City will require bid bonds, performance, and payment bonds on applicable solicitations. Ensure that you read the bid submission requirements. 

Tax-Exempt - The City of Brownsville is exempt from payment of all local and state sales taxes.  

Invoices – Invoices must be submitted by the vendor to the City of Brownsville, Dept. of Financial Services – Accounts Payable, 1001 E. Elizabeth St. or email to [email protected]. Payment terms will be “Net 30 Days” with properly document invoices and upon satisfactory delivery of goods and services unless otherwise specified in the contract.

Competitive Bid and RFP Openings – The date and times of all openings are stated in the solicitation documents.  

 Award of Contracts follows the Texas Local Government Code and states for Competitive Information For Bids (IFBs) the award generally is for the lowest and responsive bid. If no bid is found acceptable, the entire process must be repeated. 

 Award of Competitive Request for Proposals are based on pre-determined weighted evaluation criterion, and the process allows the City to enter into negotiations with as many vendors that have submitted feasible proposals.