Procurement Overview

Work with Us!

We welcome vendors to participate in providing goods and services to the Santa Monica community.  The sections below guide vendors through the registration and proposal / bid submission process.  The Bidding Thresholds website page includes a definition of each type and the dollar amounts determining when Council's approval is required.  At any time, you can contact the Procurement Division with questions.

About PlanetBids

Santa Monica contracts with PlanetBids to manage its purchasing process with vendors.  Registration is simple and free.  Many neighboring Southern California cities use the same service.  Once you enter the PlanetBids site, you can view a general description of bid opportunities without registering.  To receive email notifications about bid opportunities, and to download a bid information package, you must register as a vendor.

The links below provide access to Santa Monica's information in PlanetBids:

Register & Find Opportunities

PlanetBids registration is your first step to participating in Santa Monica opportunities.  The City has prepared a PlanetBids User Guide with step-by-step instructions for vendor registration.  Register; then follow the steps below to assist in successfully submitting a bid or proposal for Santa Monica opportunities.  

Identify Required Documents

The City requires certain forms depending on the type and / or dollar value of contract or proposal.  You can download and read about these forms on the Forms and Standard Agreements website page.  This page also provides the City's standard professional and contractual services agreement templates.  

Submit your Bid!

How and where to submit your bid will be described in each bidding package.  Check these details, and make sure to allow enough time for delivery.  The City will not accept bids received after stated deadlines.  You can call or email the City contact listed on the bid information package to verify that the City has received your bid before the deadline.  

What happens next? 

The City will review all submissions according to the process described for each bid / proposal, and will award the contract to the Best Bidder (goods or contractual services) or Best Qualified Person or Firm (professional services).  This means that the lowest bidder may not necessarily receive the award.  

Final approval processes depend on the type of service (professional services or goods/contractual services) and on the amount of the contract.  

  • City staff can award an informal bid or proposal without City Council approval.  This means that the process will likely move more quickly, and as staff can execute the contract with the City Manager's approval.
  • A formal bid or proposal requires City Council approval.  This means that staff will prepare a report recommending the award, and will move forward upon Council's approval.  

Points to Remember

For the best chance at succeeding in the City's bidding process:

  • Register on PlanetBids as a vendor, and keep your company email and address current
  • Follow all bid requirements and include all required forms
  • Submit your bid on time!