Purchasing Office Frequently Asked Questions
1) iSupplier Registration FAQ
Q. How do I get added to the County Supplier (bidder) List?
A. To be added to the County’s Supplier (bidder) List as a “Registered Supplier” go to iSupplier Registration and follow the instructions. If you have previously worked with the County you may receive an error message, if so please call 703-228-3410.
Q. Am I required to have a valid email address to register?
A. Yes, Arlington County requires all suppliers and bidders to have a valid email address.
Q. What if I receive an error message?
A. Please click the “refresh” option on your browser. If the error persists please contact the Purchasing staff at 703-228-3410.
Q. We have more than one division of our company doing business with the County. Do we need separate bidder registrations?
A. No, suppliers may have only one registration per Taxpayer ID Number (TIN). Additional users and locations can be requested after the initial registration is approved.
2) iSupplier Profile Management FAQ
Q. Will suppliers be responsible for updating Supplier Profile Information?
A. Yes, iSupplier is a supplier-managed system. Suppliers are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of their profile information.
Q. What if I have lost or forgotten my login?
A. Your login is your email address, if a problem persists please contact the Purchasing staff at 703-228-3410.
Q. What if I have lost or forgotten my password?
A. Click on the “forgot your password” link beneath the “Login” button on the Arlington County Oracle home page and provide the requested information or contact the Purchasing staff at 703-228-3410.
Q. What if I receive an error message?
A. Please contact the Purchasing staff at 703-228-3410.
3) Responding to a Sourcing (bidding) Event FAQ
Q. How do I get a solicitation document?
A. If you are a Registered Supplier, you will receive a notice of solicitation based on the goods or services (category) codes for which you are registered. You may view/download solicitation documents posted by the County in the Current Solicitation Opportunities.
Q. Will there be any training for the new iSupplier/Sourcing system change?
A. Yes, please refer to the iSupplier Registration & Responding to Bid Opportunities page.
Q. What if my bid/proposal is late?
A. It is the suppliers’ responsibility to insure that a bid/proposal is physically delivered to the correct location, prior to the time and date specified in the solicitation document. Late bids/proposals will not be opened, regardless of the degree of lateness or the reason related to the lateness, including causes beyond the control of the supplier.
Q. I have a question regarding the specifications, can I get an answer from the buyer?
A. Any question(s) concerning the solicitation should be directed, in writing to the person whose name and email is listed in the solicitation document. Correspondence must include the solicitation number and the opening date. No interpretation is binding, unless provided to you in writing.
Q. Will I get a signed contract from the County?
A. The solicitation page, containing the vendor signature, constitutes an offer to the County. The Purchase Order constitutes the acceptance of the offer and together these documents are binding agreements. In some cases, formal contractual agreements will be issued.
Q. The Solicitation document has a recommendation to attend a pre-bid/proposal meeting and site visit. Do I really need to do that?
A. Most pre-bid/proposal conferences and site visits are not mandatory; however, in order to offer a responsible bid/proposal, you should attend these meetings. Ignorance of existing conditions is not an acceptable excuse for non-performance at a later date. Take every opportunity to get to know the project or need.
Q. What does it mean “taking exception” to specifications?
A. Whenever you deviate from a clause or specification in the solicitation documents, it will almost always disqualify your bid or proposal. What that tells the Purchasing Agent is that your firm cannot comply with the minimum requirements of the solicitation. When your proposal exceeds the minimum requirements, this is not considered “taking exception.”
Q. Can I deliver goods and services to a County department before I receive a copy of the purchase order?
A. No, this is not a good idea. Delivering goods and services to the County without a copy of the purchase order actually delays the County’s ability to issue a purchase order and subsequent payment, as it violates County policy and causes additional paperwork to be generated, in order to document a “confirmation” purchase. In an emergency situation, it may be necessary for the County to receive goods and services quickly. In those instances, you should insist on getting “verbal emergency purchase order number” for reference purposes.
Q. What if my firm is having trouble performing, what should I do?
A. As soon as it is apparent to you that your firm is having difficulty fulfilling terms and conditions of a contract, you should contact the Purchasing Agent and arrange a meeting to discuss the problem. Non-performance is treated on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes problems are caused by miscommunication with the user department or misinterpretation of the solicitation requirements, or some other issues that can be easily resolved before the matter deteriorates further.
For additional information or questions about iSupplier registration, please contact the Purchasing staff at 703-228-3410.