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State Purchasing

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Centralized Master Bidders List and what are the benefits to my company as a vendor?

The Centralized Master Bidders List is used by state purchasing entities to develop a mailing list for vendors to receive bid opportunities based on class and items selected for the products or services which can be provided to districts specified for the State of Texas. A vendor is not required to be on the CMBL to do business with the State of Texas.

What is the fee to become a CMBL vendor?

The CMBL annual registration fee is $70.00 and may be paid by credit card, debit card or by check.

Note: You cannot pay online with a Credit Card or automatic checking account debit if you do not have a US mailing address. Instead, please print the form at the end of the registration and mail the form with a check or money order (US dollars) for the $70.00 annual registration fee, payable to CPA-CMBL, to:

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
P.O. Box 13186
Austin, Texas
78711-3186

A two (2) year registration is not available.

If I elect to print the online registration form or print the hard copy CMBL application and remit with the $70.00 annual registration fee, when can I expect the CMBL file to be activated?

Please allow up to 30 working days for processing for hard copy applications and payments remitted by check. Each application is reviewed for required information fields and a CMBL customer service representative will contact you either by telephone or e-mail if additional information is needed to process the application. Incomplete applications will result in a delay of record activation.

Will I receive notification that my file is active on the CMBL?

Notifications regarding CMBL status are e-mailed or mailed out weekly to vendors confirming active registration, advising vendors of the CMBL expiration date or the submission of the $70.00 payment for an additional year of active registration. The activation notice will reflect the user ID and password for the CMBL profile to enable vendors to update their profile online.

The vendor has the responsibility of maintaining accurate information on the CMBL profile to include an up to date e-mail address for notice of bid opportunities.

How can I view a vendors' CMBL profile?

Go to the CMBL online search to look up a vendor. Type in the first word of the company name in the space labeled "Vendor Name." Directly underneath vendor name, choose the "contains" option. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Submit Search." On the next page, click "Go." Finally, click on the desired company name to bring up the vendor detail.

Can multiple locations be added to an existing CMBL profile? Is there an additional fee?

The system does not have the ability to process multiple business locations. Each location needs to be registered separately on the Centralized Master Bidders List, and requires a $70.00 annual registration payment fee for each location registered.

What is a vendor identification number? (VID#)

A vendor ID number is made up of your federal tax identification number.

What is a highway district?

The State of Texas is divided into 25 highway districts which include designated counties. Vendors should only select the highway districts based on the areas for the products and/or services selected by commodity class and item(s) listed on the CMBL profile where the products and/or services can actually be provided. Access the Highway District Map.

Where can I obtain my user ID and password to manage the CMBL profile or make payment online?

You may request the password online if you know the VID # or the User ID established for the file by accessing the vendor registration systems or contact 512-463-3459.

When changes are made to an existing CMBL profile or after registration has been completed as a new vendor, how long before the information is posted to the TPASS website?

New registration or profile changes should be reflected on the TPASS website within 30 minutes.

Will I receive a notice regarding the expiration of my CMBL profile?

An expiration notice will be e-mailed or mailed by USPS 40-45 days prior to the CMBL expiration date indicated on the CMBL profile. It is important that the CMBL profile remain active and contain current information to insure receipt of bid notifications by e-mail, fax, or US mail.

What procedures need to be followed if there is a change in my company's name, business structure or VID?

Contact a CMBL representative at 512-463-3459 who will be glad to assist in answering questions regarding changes in the company name or vendor identification number. As a security precaution, the system does not allow vendors to change vendor identification numbers or company names.

What procedures need to be followed for vendors who wish to be removed from active status on the Centralized Master Bidders List or notification that the company is no longer in business?

Vendors who wish to be removed from active status on the Centralized Master Bidders List or vendors whose company is no longer in business should fax a letter signed by an owner, partner or corporate officer stating that they wish to be removed or that the company is no longer in business. The fax should be sent to the attention of CMBL at 512-936-2625.

How can I determine if TPASS has received my payment for CMBL registration?

Payment receipts are not forwarded to vendors once the payment is received. Vendors may use cancelled checks, money order receipts or you may elect to use USPS mail confirmation of receipt by TPASS. A system-generated e-mail will be sent to the contact person on file confirming payment and registration.

What are NIGP Codes?

The NIGP Commodity and Services Coding System was developed by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing to bring efficiency to automated purchasing. Each item purchased by the State of Texas is assigned an NIGP Class-Item code. View a list of class and item codes used by the state of Texas.

Note: By clicking on the class code with the general description closest to the commodity or service which can be provided, you will see items which are designated for that class. You may also scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link "The Whole Commodity Book". You may use the word search function by typing control F for the work search box to appear which will take you through the commodity book with the word entered. The NIGP Commodity Book is licensed and should not be printed.

There is not a specific class and item code for the products or services I provide. How can I determine the correct class and item code to select for the registration process?

Vendors should only select class and item codes closest to the actual products or services which can be provided. The procurement opportunities are e-mailed, faxed or mailed on the class and item codes selected and will contain required specifications. If you need help identifying which class and item codes are applicable to your company, contact the CMBL Help Desk at e.cmbl@cpa.state.tx.us or 512-463-3459.

Why haven't I received any procurement opportunities?

Many times, a vendor is not receiving bids because the vendor's address, contact, or profile information is incorrect. Vendors should always keep the CMBL profiles updated with the required information to insure receipt of bids. Vendors should periodically review the class/items and districts selected to receive the best benefit of the CMBL notification process. It is also possible that the State of Texas may not need to purchase an item from the class that a vendor provides. It is very important that vendors maintain an accurate e-mail address for receipt of bid opportunities.

How long before I can expect to receive a procurement opportunity? What is the process?

The timeframe to receive a procurement opportunity can vary based on an agency's necessity for a product or service, and the procurement method the agency must follow to purchase the product or service. The CMBL must also be used to the fullest extent possible by state agencies that make purchases exempt from TPASS's purchasing authority. For example:

  • Procurement Opportunities over $25,000: State agencies are required to send notice of the procurement opportunity to all the vendors registered (active) on the CMBL with the NIGP Class/Item Codes applicable to the products and/or services being procured by the agency, and are relevant to the Texas Highway District(s) where vendors can provide their products or services.
  • Procurement Opportunities over $5,000 to $25,000: State agencies are required to solicit a minimum of three (3) vendors registered (active) on the CMBL with the NIGP Class/Item Codes applicable to the products and/or services being procured by the agency, and are relevant to the Texas Highway District(s) where vendors can provide their products or services. Two (2) of the three (3) vendors solicited through this process are required to be state of Texas certified HUBs.
  • Procurement Opportunities up to $5,000: Competitive bids are not required, but purchasing from state of Texas certified HUBs is encouraged. In such instances agencies will frequently refer to vendors registered (active) on the CMBL with the NIGP Class/Item Codes applicable to the products and/or services being procured by the agency, and relevant to the Texas Highway District(s) where vendors can provide their products or services.

For additional information on the state's procurement processes, please visit our online Vendor Guide.

Who should I contact for assistance in registration or general questions regarding the CMBL?

Contact the CMBL Help Desk at 512-463-3459 or Procurement Customer Service at (512) 463-3034.