Monmouth County's Purchasing Division
Have you ever wondered how Monmouth County obtains the goods and services necessary to carry out its programs for taxpayers? Or where you can learn what the county buys?
Do you know that the county also assists municipalities with their purchasing needs, or wonder how you can do business with the county?
If these are questions that you need answered, your primary point of contact is the county’s Purchasing Division. While the division’s 16-member staff works to obtain the best commodities and services available in the fulfillment county business, they also seek out the least possible cost in the most timely and efficient manner possible.
The most up-to-date information about county purchasing operations can be answered online on the Purchasing Division’s Web pages. There you will find the most current listing of upcoming “formal bids” and proposals for “extraordinary, unspecifiable services” (EUS) contracts.
If you are unsure of the difference between quotations, bids and proposals, the Web pages are a great resource. You can get an updated “How to do business with Monmouth County” booklet and on the “Links” page you can quickly access state resources that includes the how-to’s of obtaining a New Jersey Business Registration Certificate. You can also download and complete a Bidder’s Application and become a county vendor; there are currently more than 16,000 vendors in the purchasing database.
These Web pages also let you see the most recent contracts to have been awarded by the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
You can browse through the list of current County contracts as well. Some of the contracts are extended to entities within the county, for their use, without having to do their own bids. This is called the County Co-Op program. It has been expanded over the years to enhance Monmouth County’s ongoing shared services initiatives that have amounted to millions of dollars in savings to the county, municipalities and other government agencies.
Each year, the Purchasing staff produces about 300 formal bids, 100 requests for proposals, 50 competitive contracts, 5,000 informal quotations and process thousands of bills for payment, with an annual total of some $100 million for the county’s 62 departments and agencies.
Some of the larger agencies and departments that rely on the division’s services are the Correctional Institution, county Care Centers, county Clerk, Libraries, Elections, county Surrogate, Buildings & Grounds, the county Reclamation Center, and all of the county Health and Human Service agencies.
Purchasing prepares and maintains the Fixed Assets report for the annual county audits and helps with the county’s two annual online surplus public property auctions. Since the first online auction in 2008 the county has recouped more than $1.9 million. The division also conducts online, reverse auctions for the county’s electric and natural gas supplies, which results in additional savings each year.
The county’s Purchasing Division works closely with the Finance Department. Together they obtained a “perfect” audit in 2009 and continue to achieve other positive assessments and examinations of their records over the years.
The division’s workload has grown and increased in complexity over the years. Yet, with more than 250 years of collective public procurement experience, the staff keeps up with the latest information and conforms to all state statutes, employs the principles of Fair & Open Competitive Procurements and operates under Monmouth County’s established policies and procedures.
“We stand ready to assist county departments, the vendor community, administration and the public,” Purchasing Director Gerri C. Popkin explains. “Whether it’s connecting and coordinating department bid requests, evaluations, awards and payments, OPRA requests for pubic records, staff training on our in-house Purchasing System or other contract management issues, the county’s Purchasing Division is works to provide efficient county services.”
Popkin holds both national and state public purchasing certifications, the Certified Public Manager and Qualified Purchasing Agent designations. She serves on several county’s working groups and committees to provide a purchasing perspective to the work at hand. Popkin is also an advocate for public procurement who speaks regularly to business, government and professional groups.
In addition to the normal workload, Purchasing is responsible for maintaining seven years’ worth of legally required records pertinent to the procurement function. The staff reports to and interacts with the state Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services, Office of State Comptroller, and Division of Purchase and Property, regarding State and National Co-op contracts.
Monmouth County Purchasing Division is the “one-stop” shop for all things public procurement, and anyone interested in “doing business with the county” is invited to call, make an appointment or visit a public bid opening for further information.
The county’s Purchasing Division has offices located at the Special Services Complex, 300 Halls Mill Road, 2nd Floor, Freehold, New Jersey. The telephone number is 732-431-7370.