Frequently Asked Questions

Division of Central Services
Christopher Barclay, Director

  Doing Business with Dutchess County   

Q.  Does Dutchess County ever offer its surplus equipment to other municipalities?

Recycled items that have been declared surplus equipment by Dutchess County are initially offered free to Dutchess County Departments only. Items that are not claimed are then offered free to municipalities of Dutchess County.

Please see Central Services Recycled Equipment webpage for a list of recycled equipment and how to obtain these items.

Q.  When are County auctions held?

The County holds auctions periodically throughout the year or as the need arises. The large County Vehicle and Equipment auction is usually held sometime between mid-August and late October, although necessity may dictate an earlier or later time. County auctions are currently conducted online by Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc. (AAR). You may visit their website: and register to keep updated regarding the latest news on the Dutchess County auctions.

Q.  Can anyone bid in the County auction of surplus vehicles and equipment?

You must be of legal age to register with AAR: to bid on our auctions.

Q.  What items are offered for sale at the County auctions?

An auction may contain a wide variety of items ranging from furniture, equipment and tools, computer equipment, vehicles and heavy machinery to surplus materials.

Q.  Are the surplus vehicles and equipment available for inspection prior to the County auction?

Yes. Times and locations for viewing will be posted on AAR's website at Note: some items may have viewing by appointment only; please follow instructions listed on the website.  For vehicle auctions, prospective buyers may open the hoods and inspect the vehicle as thoroughly as desired; however, we do not hand out keys so that you may start the vehicles. County personnel will start the vehicles ONCE on the day stated on AAR's website. Please arrive promptly at the start time, as items may not be started in the order listed on the website. Due to insurance purposes, cars cannot be put into gear or driven at this time.

Q.  Are mechanical problems disclosed for vehicles and equipment offered for sale at the County auction?

Yes. Any known defects (other than obviously visible defects) are noted on AAR's website at prior to sale; however, this is not a guarantee that these are the only defects. The County sells all items and vehicles "as is". No warranty of any type is expressed or implied.

Q.  I've purchased an item from the County auction, what do I have to do to receive my item?

To receive your item/s, you must first pay AAR and receive a paid in full receipt (if the item is a vehicle, AAR will issue you the title and keys at this time). They will instruct you to where the item is located and the times you are able to receive your item/s. At the location given to you by AAR, you will have to show a paid receipt to the personnel working there and they will show you where the item is located. Note: items must be removed promptly after payment. "Remove by dates" will be listed on the auction website. Failure to remove items by the specified date may incur buyer storage charges.

Q.  How much time do I have to pay for items I purchased at the County auction?

All payments must be made by the time listed on AAR's website Note: Payment due dates may vary per auction.

Q.  Some vehicles at the County auction of surplus vehicles and equipment have "NO TITLE" written in the description. Will a title be issued at a later date?

No. If a vehicle has "NO TITLE" written on the website, you will not be able to register this vehicle. Such a vehicle would only be useful if you intend to use it off road or for parts. If a vehicle has "WAITING FOR TITLE" written in the description, this means that we are in the process of obtaining the title through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); however, it may take a few weeks before the title arrives.

Q.  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 Dutchess County Vendor Procedures Manual (.pdf) are also available.  View Bid Information for further information.

Q.  When can I sell merchandise to the County without being awarded a bid or quote?

When the County has requirements for supplies or materials that are not expected to exceed $5,000 annually across all County Departments and there is no preferred source, state contract, or GSA contract, the County may elect to purchase without a bid or quote.

Q.  How can I receive future Bids or RFP notices?

All vendors who wish to receive notification of Bid and/or RFP opportunities must register on the regional bid notification system for the Empire State Purchasing Group. Vendors with internet access can register online by visiting the Empire State Purchasing Group website - click on the Register button and follow the prompts.  More information can be found by clicking on the "Bidding Opportunities and Vendor Registration" item on the left side of the Division of Central Service homepage. For vendors without internet access, you may call BidNet at 1-800-835-4603 ext. 2 (Vendor Support Department) and they will be happy to register you over the telephone.

Q.  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 signed formal contract, you may obtain a copy of submitted proposals by sending a letter making such a request to Dutchess County Division of Central Services, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 or by email:  We will promptly respond to your request, according to the Freedom of Information Law. Our cost to copy is $0.25 per page.

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

All Bid and RFP submissions shall be delivered in a sealed envelope by the time and date indicated in the specifications. In addition, on the outside of the sealed bid envelope, the bidder shall note the name of the Bid or RFP, the Bid or RFP number, the date and time of the bid opening and name of the bidder submitting the bid.

Q.  What are formal bids?


Whenever a single purchase or group of the same or similar products will cost the County at least $20,000, NYS 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 type of commodity requested and the time and date of the opening of the bid.  The vendor then fills out the pertinent bid proposal information and returns it in a sealed envelope marked with the required information prior to the bid opening.  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 than 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.

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

Yes, NYS Finance Law explains that Preferred Source Vendors must first be checked prior to any purchase. If a product is available in the form, function and utility desired by the County, we must proceed with the purchase from one of the preferred source vendors who by law are exempt from any of the competitive bidding processes noted.

NYS Preferred Source Vendors:

    * CORCRAFT (NYS Department of Correctional Services)
    * Industries for the Blind of New York State, Inc
    * New York State Industries for the Disabled
    * BUY OMH (NYS Office of Mental Health)

Q.  What is a State Contract?

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 requirements to establish contracts for considerable quantities. As a political subdivision, Dutchess 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 the NYS Municipal Law.

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