Frequently Asked Questions
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Contracts FAQ

What is an ITB?

An “ITB” is an Invitation to Bid, which is the most frequent form of competition for the City’s procurement of goods and services.  In some cases a bid number may be listed as “ITM”, which reflects a bid initiation issued by Marion County.

How do I locate an ITB document and why do these documents have a “999” number?

In many cases an ITB may be awarded to multiple vendors.  Thus, an original bid file may be scanned into separate files and assigned a searchable identification number.  Searchable identification numbers begin with 999000 and end with the last four digits of the original ITB number.  For instance, original ITB No. ITB-0007413 corresponds to database Identification No. 9990007413.  Original ITB numbers are used as an index for the contract(s) that were awarded based on that competition.

Why may some contracts look different from others and require more time to load electronically?

During the process of imaging thousands of existing files it became necessary to batch and image existing contracts and bids with minimal dividers.  Items scanned prior to November, 2009 will in most cases be larger and will appear only with a “Contract” divider.  Contracts imaged in December, 2009 and thereafter will be divided more thoroughly.

What types of City and County contracts are available online?

      • Term (used for recurring purchases of goods or services)
      • Professional Services (used for procurement of legal, medical, engineering, personal services)
      • Construction (used for public works construction projects) 
      • Outright Purchase (used for the one time purchase of a good or a service)

What is an RFP?

An “RFP” or Request for Proposal is a form of competition generally used when factors other than cost alone are of equal or greater importance to a project and a particular department’s business need.  RFP competitions are also assigned an ITB number.

Why do some contracts include bid responses?

Bid documents provided by a vendor in response to an Outright Purchase or Term Supply of a good may contain terms and conditions required by the City.  These documents represent acceptance of an offer, and the signed bid response and vendor’s pricing submission will serve as the binding agreement.  Some departments may choose to create a formal agreement in addition to these bid and pricing documents.

Why do some contracts have no department or dollar value listed?

The City may compete goods and services on a city-wide basis when the need stretches across departmental lines.  These contracts are established for as needed purchases by multiple departments, so no value is set.  Spending associated with these contracts is monitored closely by the City’s financial and accounting departments and by the auditing of a Broad Purchase Order against which City and County departments make purchases consistent with budget availability.

How long will it take for new contracts to be uploaded?

The City Purchasing Division makes every effort to scan, review and upload all contracts as soon as possible after final execution.  This does require some document review and processing time, as well as evaluation for confidential information redaction as required by state law.  Also, after a bid or proposal time period concludes, there is a period of time in which departmental review, contract creation/execution, and City or County Board review may be required.  These requirements may result in a delay in the time between bid award and contract posting online. 

What if I have questions or need additional assistance?

If you need more information about a contract or if you have questions about a document which may not yet be available online, please send an email to  Each request received will be processed as a public records request.

Information about public records requests is available on the Public Access Counselor’s home page.