Purchasing Guidelines

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The Purchasing Division processes purchase requisitions from a City Department/Division in compliance with the following guidelines:

Purchase awards are based on the lowest overall cost, product/service availability, discounts, past vendor performance, and a 1% sales tax rebate for Torrance vendors is considered. (see Buy Local).

Purchases up to $999.99 (Informal Price Quotes) are awarded based on a fair market price. Multiple quotes may be necessary to determine a fair market price. City Departments make these purchases using a Purchasing-Card (Visa).

Purchases of $1,000.00 to $9,999.99 (Informal Price Quotes) are awarded based on competitive quotes whenever possible. The quotes may be obtained either in writing (email) or by telephone. Telephone quotations are documented in writing by Purchasing and kept with the Purchase Agreement.  When a vendor/contractor is contacted for a telephone quote, we look for a firm price, FOB Destination, delivery time, and cash discount terms. You may be asked to confirm your price in writing.  

Purchases of $10,000.00 to $39,999.99 (Informal Price Quotes) are awarded based on competitive quotes from at least three companies whenever possible from the City's Bidder's List and/or other known sources. Companies must submit a written quotation to the City.

Purchases of $40,000.00 or more (Formal Bid) are awarded based on the City's Formal Bid Procedures unless otherwise noted as an exception in the Torrance Municipal Code. Such purchases require approval from the City Council of the City of Torrance. A formal bid package is prepared with written specifications describing the minimum standards for the product or service being solicited. Bid packages are mailed to vendors that have previously submitted a vendor registration form and from other sources. Formal bids are published in a local newspaper. Bids are opened publicly by the City Clerk's Office in the City Council Chamber in City Hall, 3031 Torrance Boulevard on the date and time specified in the bid package.