Welcome to the official website of Jefferson County New York

Purchasing FAQ"s


What Do I need in order to do business with the County and what is the process?

Vendors seeking information about County contracts can request specific details and register for any future bids of interest.  Copies of the Jefferson County Purchasing Policy are available, please contact our office.  

How can I receive future Bids or RFP notices?

All vendors who wish to receive notification of Bid and/or RFP opportunities must register using the County Vendor Application form available on this website. (Vendor Form and W-9 Link here)  Vendor _ W-9 form.pdf 

How do I obtain a copy of a bidder’s proposal for a past bid?

Once a bid and/or RFP has been awarded, and in some cases, a required formal contract is signed, you may obtain a copy of submitted proposals by sending a letter making such a request along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Jefferson County Purchasing Department, 195 Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY  13601.  We will promptly respond to your request, according to the Freedom of Information Law. 

May I fax my bid proposal and/or submit my bid proposal online?

New York State General Municipal Law 103 requires that all Bid/RFP proposals be delivered in a sealed envelope by the time and date indicated in the specifications. However, all Requests for Quotes may be submitted via fax or online.  Quotations are generally requested for purchases valued at less than $10,000.

What are formal bids? 

Whenever a single purchase or group of the same or similar products will cost the County at least $20,000.00, NYS General Municipal Law dictates that municipalities must procure these commodities through the “formal” competitive bidding process.  In addition, all public works contracts in excess of $35,000, must follow the same guidelines. 

The “formal” competitive bidding process begins when the County publishes a legal notice in the official County Newspapers.  The legal notice will list the commodity requested, where to pick up the bid packet, and the time and date of the opening of the bid.  The vendor then returns their response in a sealed envelope marked with the required information prior to the bid opening date.  On the date and the time listed in the legal notice, all sealed bids will be opened and read publicly.  All bids will be reviewed for conformance to specifications as well as other factors and a decision is usually made shortly after opening.  By law the bid award must go to the lowest responsive, responsible vendor (bidder).

It is important to note that all bids must be received by the time and date indicated.  Any bids arriving after the scheduled bid time will be rejected and returned to the bidder. 

Are there any exceptions to the formal bid purchasing rules listed above?

The New York State Office of General Services (NYS OGS) located in Albany, New York, establishes contracts for commodities, services, technology and telecommunications for use by all state and political subdivisions.   OGS leverages the states buying power by combining state and local government agency requirement to establish contracts for considerable quantities.  As a political subdivision, Jefferson County is entitled to purchase from these contracts.  However, we are not required to use these contracts, but must follow applicable purchasing requirements if not using them.  The use of NYS contracts allows us to purchase items that are listed at a price already obtained by following the requirements of NYS General Municipal Law.