Doing Business with Cook County
——–HOW COOK COUNTY PROCURES GOODS/SERVICES——–
PURCHASES UNDER $25,000 (“INFORMAL BIDS”)
Purchases under $25,000 are posted in the Vendor Registration / Login (Download Opportunities) section of this website. The form identifies a complete description of the commodity or service requested. Bids are to be received no later than 10:00 a.m., Chicago time, on the date specified on the form. Bids may be submitted either in person or by mail to the Cook County Procurement Office. In the event that a supplier is unable to bid, the firm should indicate a “NO BID” response on the request form and return it to the Procurement Department.
CONTRACTS ESTIMATED AT $25,000 AND OVER
Purchases between $25,000 and over are posted in the Vendor Registration / Login (Download Opportunities) section of this website. Bids are to be received no later than 10:00 a.m., Chicago time, on the date specified in the contract documents. Cook County Board of Commissioners Approval is sought if the contract amount is $150,000 or more.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) or REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (RFQ)
Request For Proposal (RFP) and Request for Qualifications (RFQ) are generally used for professional services or when the good or service is not adapted to competitive bidding. RFP/RFQs are also posted in the Vendor Registration / Login (Download Opportunities) section of this website.
RFP – balances quality and price to identify the best value.
RFQ – focuses on the qualifications of the vendors to provide a particular service.
Proposals/responses resulting from an RFP or RFQ are not publicly opened, although the names of vendors may be publicly announced. An evaluation committee is established for each RFP/RFQ. Upon completion of the evaluation process, the committee submits a recommendation to the Chief Procurement Officer. Cook County Board of Commissioners approval is sought if the contract resulting from the process is equal to or exceeds $150,000.
Obtaining Procurement Documents
All bids must be submitted on forms furnished by the Cook County Office of the Chief Procurement Officer . Prospective bidders may pick up bid forms and specifications in person at the Cook County Office of the Chief Procurement Officer or download the Bid Documents from this website. Construction documents may be obtained from the Procurement Department or as specified in the procurement documents. Prior to obtaining hard copy documents from the Procurement Department, potential bidders must provide contact information or submit a business card, and submit any document deposit, which may be required for documents and plans.
Submitting Bids for $150,000 or More
All bids for contracts equal to or exceeding $150,000 must be submitted electronically on or before the due date and time fixed for said bid opening as specified for the bid. All bids must be signed and submitted HERE.
Opening of Bids
All bids equal to or exceeding $150,000 are opened and posted publicy within 24-48 hours on our bid tabulation open data website HERE: . Responses to RFPs or RFQs are not publicly opened or read.
Bid Deposit Policy
In some instances, as called for in the procurement documents, a bid deposit may be required. When a bid deposit is required with the bid, all sums and/or bid bonds deposited with such bids will be held by the Cook County Office of the Chief Procurement Officer until a contract is awarded. All sums and/or bid bonds deposited with the bids will then be returned to the respective bidders, without interest. The bid deposit of the awarded vendor will be returned after the Contractor has submitted all insurance documentation and the Performance and Payment Bond, as required by the Contract Documents.
Vendors awarded contracts will be required to carry certain levels of insurance in order to do business with Cook County. Insurance coverage required normally includes Worker’s Compensation, General Liability, Auto Liability, and in some cases, Professional Liability. The County will normally require occurrence based coverage, and in all cases, the County of Cook is required to be named as an additional insured on certain coverages.
Performance and Payment Bond
When required, the successful bidder shall furnish a performance and payment bond, within fourteen (14) calendar days after notification of contract award. Failure to furnish the required bonds within the time specified may be cause for rejection of the bid and any bid deposit may be retained by the County as liquidated damages and not as a penalty.
Review of Bids
After bids are read and tabulated, they are analyzed to determine the lowest responsive and responsible bid that meets specifications. The Chief Procurement Officer will make the determination of the apparent lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Bids deemed responsive and responsible are then reviewed by the using department and the Office of Contract Compliance. To be responsive, a bidder must complete all applicable portions of the Bid as instructed, including any requested supporting documentation, and must meet specifications. The vendor must have the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirements. In addition, all goods or services must meet the minimum acceptance quality level as stated in the specifications. Failure to meet the specifications will result in disqualification of the bid.
Notice of Acceptance of Formal Contract Bids
After the review of the bids, the using department will submit a recommendation for award to the Chief Procurement Officer for presentation to the Cook County Board of Commissioners, as appropriate. Upon approval of the contract by the Board of Commissioners (if required), the Chief Procurement Officer will notify the successful bidder via issuance of a Notice of Award letter followed by a purchase order. The department for which the service and/or material is provided will then administer the performance of the contract to its completion.
Terms and Conditions
Vendors bidding on County contracts will be required to comply with several standard requirements for the submission of bids. Also, standard County terms and conditions will apply to the resulting contract. Cook County Instructions to Bidders, General Conditions (for Supply and Service) and Execution Forms may be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the links shown on the right margin.
HELPFUL TIPS ON DOING BUSINESS WITH COOK COUNTY
Register online to download bid documents and receive email alerts when new procurement opportunities are posted. If you have questions regarding the site:
Email us at :
Contact us at:
Be sure that documents are signed by an authorized member of the firm. Please provide the legal name of your company if you are doing business under an assumed name or a d/b/a (Doing Business As) name.
Read documents thoroughly and follow all instructions and conditions. Failure to do so could result in rejection of your bid/proposal.
Submit your bid by the specified closing date and time.
Include Bid Deposit with bid response, if required.
Include supporting literature with bid response or quote, if required.
Acknowledge receipt of any addenda, and include with bid response, if applicable.
Deliver items as bid or quoted. No substitutions will be accepted unless otherwise noted.
Ask questions prior to bidding to clear up any doubt.
Effective October 1, 2016 all foreign corporations and LLCs must be registered with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office unless a statutory exemption applies to the applicant. Applicants who are exempt from registering must provide a written statement explaining why they are exempt from registering as a foreign entity with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.
Vendor Enrollment allows vendors to electronically download procurement documents. Vendors enrolled receive notifications of new procurement opportunities via e-mail once posted. Go to Vendor Registration to enroll today.
MINORITY/WOMEN BUSINESS ENTERPRISES
Certified M/WBE’s are encouraged to participate in Cook County procurement. The County’s utilization for non-public work contracts is 25% for MBE’s and 10% for WBE’s. These goals apply to contract opportunities estimated at $25,000 or more. Minority-owned and women-owned businesses are encouraged to contact the Office of Contract Compliance (312) 603-5502 for more information or the County’s M/WBE certification program.
Please visit the Board of Ethics website for information on ethics requirements for vendors doing business with Cook County.