Purchasing FAQ

How to Become A Vendor  

Vendors who would like to do business with the City of Sumter may register online to be placed in the City’s vendor database. The City’s vendor registration system alerts the City as to the products and services that each supplier has to offer. The registration process only takes a few minutes and may be done electronically at the link provided below or it may be mailed or faxed in by completing the “Vendor Registration Form”.  Purchasing Department weblink: http://www.sumtersc.gov/purchasing.aspx

As a registered supplier, you will become part of the City’s vendor data base will assist Purchasing in securing various quotes  and bids invitations in order to meet the needs of the City departments . If you supply an email address during the registration process, as a courtesy you will be notified of solicitations for commodities and services for which you are registered. The City of Sumter Purchasing Department conducts its procurement process in a competitive, open and fair environment. 


Who is a Vendor?

A vendor is defined as any general contractor, subcontractor, consultant, person, firm, corporation or organization engaging in or seeking to do business with City of Sumter.  


Minority and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MBE/DBE)
Participation in Flood Recovery Projects?

The City encourages Minority and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MBE/DBE) participation in flood recovery projects. The City of Sumter will begin long term federally funded recovery and improvement projects related to the October 2015 floods.  Many of these projects will completed by contractors through a competitive Invitation to Bid and Request for Proposal (RFP) processes.  The City encourages minority owned and disadvantaged business enterprise participation in the recovery process and is taking proactive steps to fulfill this goal. 


The City posts all ITB’S AND RFP’s to the City website: http://www.sumtersc.gov/purchasing.aspx. MBE/DBE firms are encouraged to visit this site regularly to view current solicitations.  In addition, potential bidders may contact the City of Sumter Purchasing Department at 803-436-2587 for more information.  


What is a AITB, IFB, ITB, and a RFP?


“Annual Invitation to Bid” is a competitive solicitation to request pricing for certain items that the City will order on a repetitive basis and is requesting a fix price for a set period of time. The responses are evaluated and awarded to the responsive, responsible bidder with the lowest price.



“Informal Bid” is a informal competitive solicitation for purchases below $25,000 and can be submitted via mail phone, fax, email, or hand delivered by a specific date and time. The bids are not submitted as a sealed bid. The responses are evaluated and awarded to the responsive, responsible bidder with the lowest price.



“Invitation to Bid” is a formal competitive solicitation, sometimes referred to as “sealed bid”. Solicitations are for purchases in excess of $25,000.  Bids are submitted in sealed envelopes via mail or hand delivery by a specific date and time then opened public at a designated place, date and time. The responses are evaluated and awarded to the responsive, responsible bidder with the lowest price. 



“Request for Proposal” is a formal written request asking vendors to submit specifications and pricing that fit the City’s requirements included in the RFP.  RFP includes a description of the project, the evaluation factors by which the proposals will be scored, and is reviewed by a selection committee.  RFP’s are scored and ranking assigned to each proposal.  The City will start negotiations with highest ranked proposer, if a satisfactory contract can not be negotiated, the City will move the second highest ranked until a successful contract has ben reached. Price may be one of the evaluation criteria but it is not the dominate criteria in determination of the most responsive responsible proposal. 


Does the City sell used equipment, vehicles or other items? 

Yes. The City of Sumter has partnered with GovDeals.com to sell City assets that are surplus to the highest bidder via online public auctions. Anyone can register to bid on these items. Please use this link to register https://www.govdeals.com/


What are the requirements to do business with the City of Sumter?

You must obtain a City of Sumter or Sumter County Business License. You can visit our website at http://www.sumtersc.gov/depts-business-license.aspx


What are the City’s Insurance Requirements?

The Contractor agrees to secure at Contractor’s own expense all personnel necessary to carry out Contractor’s obligations under this Contract. Such personnel shall not be deemed to be employees of the City nor shall they or any of them have or is deemed to have any direct contractual relationship with the City. The City shall not be responsible for withholding taxes with respect to the Contractor’s compensation hereunder. Contractor shall not hold himself out as an employee of the City, and shall have no power or authority to bind or obligate the City in any manner, except the City shall make payment to Contractor for services as herein provided. Contractor shall obtain and maintain all licenses and permits required by law for performance of this contract by him. The Contractor shall have no claim against the City hereunder or otherwise for vacation pay, sick leave, retirement benefits, social security, worker’s compensation, health or disability benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, or employee benefits of any kind, State or Federal governments’ benefits, including but not limited to Social Security, workmen's compensation, Employment Security, sales or use tax and any other taxes and licenses or insurance premiums required by law. The City shall pay no employee benefits or insurance premiums of any kind to or for the benefit of Contractor or his employees, agents, and servants by reason of this contract. The Contractor will carry liability insurance relative to any service that he performs for the City. A certificate of insurance must be submitted to the purchasing office prior to services performed, with the requested coverage and limits per the City, with City of Sumter listed as additional insured.  


What is a Bid Bond?

A bid bond is important to show proof of guarantee to the project owner that you can comply with the bid contract and also that you can accomplish the job as laid out in the contract. A bid bond is a guarantee that you provide to the project owner stating that you have the capability to take on and implement the project once you are selected during the bidding process. 


What are Payment and Performance Bonds? 

Payment bonds are a type of contract bond that assures completion of the obligee´s requirements in a satisfactory manner. This bond guarantees all participants (suppliers, subcontractors, and laborers) will be paid should the contractor default. 


A performance bond guarantees satisfactory performance of all duties specified in the contract. Examples would the labor of all sub-contractors, suppliers, and payment of materials. The principal will require the performance bond once awarded the contract.


So in short, the difference is payment bonds cover payment of materials and workers, and performance bonds make sure the work is done to specification and per the terms of the contract.



If you have additional questions or concerns,
please contact the purchasing manager, Alice Bailey, at (803) 436-2587.





The posting of bid opportunities is no guarantee of an award to a contract. The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to accept, reject or cancel in part, or in entirety, any or all submissions. In addition, the City reserves the right to reissue, terminate, restructure, or amend the solicitation and/or procurement process, at any time. Once a bidder downloads a solicitation and proceeds to bid, it is each bidder’s responsibility to review all governing terms and conditions, submit complete and accurate bid responses in the proper format, and to periodically check the site for updates and/or addendums.


While every effort is made to ensure that all information is accurate, data found on this site is provided as is and without any warranty of any kind.  The City shall not be responsible or liable in any way for errors, inaccuracies or omissions in any documents or information retrieved or downloaded from this site. Further, there may be recent addenda or changes in the Request for Proposals (“RFP”) or Bid Documents including, among other things, the bidding instructions, general conditions, technical specifications, and exhibits that may not be currently reflected at this site. Postings on this site may change and/or be deleted without notice.


For a complete set of specifications and the applicable RFP or Bid Documents, all interested bidders are directed to contact the appropriate person identified in the solicitation or contact the Purchasing Department located at the City of Sumter, 21 N. Main Street, Sumter, SC 29150.


In the event of a conflict or discrepancy between the information or documents posted at this website and the RFP or Bid Documents published and contained in the Purchasing Department, the RFP or Bid Documents in the City’s Purchasing Department shall control.