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Common Questions About Quotes and Bidding with Dutchess County

Below are common questions about quotes and bidding with Dutchess County.

Still have questions?   Please contact the Division of Central Services at 845-486-3670 or email


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 Doing Business with the County for further information. 

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.

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 on Doing Business with the County.

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.

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, 378 Violet Avenue, Suite 2, 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.

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.

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.

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:

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.