Vendor Guide

Questions and Answers

Q What does the Department of Education buy? Whom does it buy from?
A Most of the Department of Education's procurements are for educational supplies, equipment and materials. We also purchase services and cultural programs and activities designed to enhance the classroom experience. Like any large company we also need office supplies, consulting services - practically anything you can think of. We buy from small vendors and multinational corporations.
Q Is selling to the Department of Education complicated?
A No more complicated than doing business with any large organization. Each contract is detailed and contains specifications and requirements that vendors must meet.
Q How do I become a vendor to the Department of Education?
A The first step is to get on a Bidder's List, a computerized record of vendors who supply the goods and services we often need. You may also visit districts, schools and other sites for smaller purchases. It is important to know that even though your firm's name is placed on a Bidders List, this doesn't guarantee that you'll automatically receive a solicitation to bid
every time the kinds of goods or services you provide are needed. To be sure that you're aware of opportunities to bid on Department of Education contracts, search the "City Record" and other suggestions listed in Step 9
Q What's the best way to get on a bidders list?
A The best way is to visit our Website and access the bidder's application form. This form can be completed online and then submitted electronically. If you prefer you may submit a letter of interest on company stationery or . If submitting a letter of interest on company stationery, please include the following:
  Name of President
  Incorporated, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship
  Statement indicating whether you ever defaulted on a New York City or any other government contract
  Statement indicating whether you presently have a contract with a Federal, State or Local Government
  How long in business
  Federal ID Number
  Name of Contact Person
  Telephone number and fax number, if available
  Description of commodities and/ or services you wish to provide to the Department of Education
Q How will I hear about upcoming opportunities?

To reach as many potential vendors as possible, the Department of Education uses several different ways of announcing bid opportunities.

If you are on a Bidders List, you may be contacted
directly when we need the goods and services you supply.

Advertisements announcing most of our purchasing needs appear in the "City Record."

Check DCP's' Website under solicitations at

Visit schools, district offices and other sites directly.

Q Basically, we purchase via an informal or formal (Requirements) contract. The monetary threshold of the item( s) to be purchased dictates the method of
A From $1.00 to $250 - No bids required.
  From $251 to $5,000 - A minimum of three telephone bids required.
  From $5,001 to $10,000 - A minimum of three written/fax bids required.
  From $10,001 to $15,000 - A minimum of three sealed bids opened at
a public reading required.
  From $15,001 to $25,000 - A minimum of three sealed bids, advertised in the "City Record" and opened at a public reading required.
Note: All of the above are considered informal contracts.  
  Over $25,000 - A minimum of three sealed bids opened at a public reading after advertisement in the "City Record" and "Internet" and the establishment of a
formal (requirements) contract in accordance with the Board's contract procedures is required. (Please see Step 4 for complete details).
Q How does the Department of Education decide who gets a contract?
A Contracts are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. This means that while competitive price is the critical factor, the Department of Education will also determine if the lowest bidder can responsibly fulfill the contract. Delivery performance, quality, and ability to meet bid specifications are all-important considerations in evaluating a bidder's level of responsiveness.
Q Why should a small business look on the Department of Education as a good prospect for a customer?
A The Department of Education is a major purchaser or the types of products and services sold by small businesses. Moreover, it's always seeking new businesses to compete for its supply and service contracts and is committed to increasing opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses. Our purchasing agents will work with new firms to help them
understand our procurement process.
Q Doesn't Department of Education contracting involve a lot of paperwork?
A The large, complex contracts may require substantial paperwork. However, that shouldn't discourage you since some informal contracts do not, particularly small procurements of under $10,000. Again, we want your business - ask for help.
Q If I sell to the Department of Education, will my products be inspected and tested?
A Yes. Inspection and testing are necessary to determine whether all technical requirements have been met.
Q What can I do to increase my chances of being paid on time?
A Read the contract instructions and double check your invoice and other required documents to see that they are filled in correctly and addressed to the right individual and/ or office. Make certain that all identifying numbers are included.
Q What is the Vendor Hotline number ?
A (718) 935-2300