Purchasing Business Rules

The Rules

Rules surrounding the use of Purchase Orders, Bids and Quotes when Doing Business with the County.

Purchase Orders

Purchase orders are required for the procurement of goods and services for the County. The only exceptions are items per the Washtenaw County Procurement Procedures Non Purchase Order List effective May 2011.

Purchase orders are generated by the Purchasing Division via contract requisitions from departments for goods, services, equipment, and leased property.

Department Orders

Departmental orders are limited to $5000 and are used when the purchase does not require a contract, blanket order or lease of equipment or property.

Written Quotes

Written Quotes are required for purchase orders that exceed $5000.


Purchase orders are distributed as follows:

  1. Copy 1 (vendor copy) is emailed to the vendor.
  2. Copy 2 (file copy) is kept in Purchasing (PO Files)

Bids / Quotes

If the procurement exceeds $5,000 but does not exceed $25,000, a minimum of three (3) written vendor quotes are required.

If the procurement exceeds $25,000 then the formal Request for Proposal (RFP) bid process must be adhered to and led by Purchasing.

Bid / Quote Summary

A bid / quote summary shall be prepared and forwarded to purchasing for final review, and inclusion in the procurement file.

Bids Awarded

Bids and quotes must be awarded to the most responsive and responsible vendor. And awards are not based solely on low bid alone.

Also see Bid / Quote Method and Procedures.


Contracts are required for the following regardless of the cost:

  • Purchase of services of an individual or a company.
  • Purchase of goods that includes other services of the company such as installation or monitoring of equipment or some other ongoing relationship with the County.

Contracts can only be amended by the originator of the contract and cannot be amended after their expiration date.

Insurance to be Produced by Vendor

When contracting with Washtenaw County, a vendor must provide a Certificate of Insurance evidencing the insurance requirements listed in the contract with the County. The following requirements must be met by the certificate:

  • The Certificate must be produced by an insurance agent and not by the vendor itself, unless the vendor is self-insured;
  • The insurance companies must be rated B or better in order to contract with the County;
  • The named insured on the certificate must match the vendor listed on the contract; and,
  • If during the term of a contract the insurance expires, it is the vendors responsibility to make sure a new certificate is sent to the County with the new expiration dates.

Required Insurance

Required insurance includes:

  • Workers Compensation statutory limit;
  • Automobile Liability - $1,000,000 limit (County must be named additional insured if transportation services are being provided);
  • General Liability - $1,000,000, County must be named as an additional insured; and,
  • Professional Liability - $1,000,000, County must be named as an additional insured, and is only required for professional services contracts.

Certificate of Insurance

The certificate of insurance must include the following:

  • Certificate Holder must be Washtenaw County
  • Type of insurance must be identified, i.e. General, Auto or Workers Compensation
  • Limits of liability carried for each type of insurance
  • Expiration dates for the various insurances

Waivers of Insurance

If any portions of the insurance requirements cannot be met, a written request may be submitted by the vendor to the County Department they are working with. The request should list with specificity which insurances they cannot comply with and why they cannot comply. The Department will submit the request to Risk Management for review and approval. If approved, a waiver will be produced by Risk Management and will be attached to the contract.