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Frequently Asked Purchasing Questions

  1. What are the most common types of goods and services CPA procures?
  2. How do I sell to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts?
  3. How can I reach the folks who do the buying?
  4. How can I make my line of products/services known in the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts?
  5. Where do the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Purchasers go to find vendors?
  6. What's the deal on Procurement Cards?
  7. What are the specific bidding requirements the agency must follow?
  8. How do you hire consultants?
  9. Are there any “tips” for contracting with state agencies?

Purchasing FAQs

  1. What are the most common types of goods and services the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts procures?

    Goods and services most frequently purchased from qualified vendors include those listed below:

    Computer Hardware/Maintenance
    Computer Software/Maintenance
    Consulting Services
    Financial and Accounting Services
    Furniture
    IT Programming Services
    Office Equipment/Supplies
    Printing Services
    Security Systems/Maintenance
    Recycled Products
    Telecommunications/Cell Phones/Pager Rentals
    Temporary Personnel Services
    Videotaping Services
  2. How do I sell to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts?

    To sell to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, you must be on the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL). You may contact one of our Purchasers. Let us know what you are selling sell and ask us what we are buying. Watch the Electronic State Business Daily for large dollar purchases coming up (over $25,000).

    The CMBL HUB Certification application can be viewed and printed from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website. The CMBL consists of CMBL statewide bidders and Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs).

  3. How can I reach the folks who do the buying?

    Contact one of the Purchasers listed on our staff listing.

  4. How can I make my line of products/services known in the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts?

    Contact one of the Purchasers listed on our staff listing.

  5. Where do the Purchasers go to find Vendors?

    The Purchasers access the Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL). They also refer to previous Vendors who have performed well, and to new Vendors who contact them.

  6. What's the deal on Procurement Cards and Procurement Card use?

    Procurement Cards are issued to Division Managers/Field Office Managers. Division Managers/Field Office Managers are referred to as Cardholders. Managers are responsible for the Procurement Card and will be held accountable for any purchases made using the Procurement Card. Managers may delegate the use of the Procurement Card to another person within their Division. This person is referred to as the Delegated Cardholder. The Procurement Card may be used for authorized purchases that do not exceed $2,000.00.

  7. What are the specific bidding requirements the Agency must follow (dollar thresholds, etc.)?
    • Up to $5,000.00 (Goods/Services) - No bids required (non-competitive); state entities may contact one vendor directly;
    • $5,000.01 to $25,000.00 (Goods/Services) - Three informal bids required;
    • More than $25,000.01 for Information Technology (IT)-related goods/services (not available through the Department of Information Resources) - Formal Request for Offers (RFOs) must be advertised statewide on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) at http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/.
    • More than $25,000.01 for non-IT Goods - Formal Invitation for Bids (IFBs) must be solicited by the Comptroller's TPASS division through the state's Open market Process
    • More than $100,000.00 for non-IT Services - Handled by the Comptroller's TPASS division for processing and/or delegation back to the state entity.

    Vendors are solicited from the CMBL.
    Bids must be delivered to the Purchasing Section before the specified Bid Opening Date and Time.

  8. How do you hire consultants?

    The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts process for hiring consultants can be accessed at http://www.window.state.tx.us/ssv/consult.htm.

  9. Are there any “tips” for contracting with State Agencies?
    1. Register on the Centralized Masters Bidders List (CMBL) ($70 annual fee).

      This list is used by state purchasing entities to develop a mailing list for vendors to receive bids based on the products or services they can provide to the State of Texas. The CMBL is administered by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and you may register online at: http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/cmbl/index.html.

    2. Certify your business as a State of Texas HUB.
      Please visit the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts web site to download the HUB Application at http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/hub/hub-forms/

      Benefits:

      This HUB certification is free of charge and is valid up to 4 years if all eligibility requirements are met and maintained.

      Increases your exposure to State Agencies and Universities via procurement processes that are designed to facilitate greater participation by certified HUBs.

      Certified HUBs are listed in the State of Texas HUB Directory, which provides additional exposure to State Agencies and their procurement processes.

      Your certification allows State Agencies and Universities to document their spending with HUBs and gauge their progress/performance in meeting HUB expenditure goals.

    3. Search the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) on a weekly basis.

      All State agencies are required to electronically advertise all procurements of goods and services over $25,000 at least 14 days prior to bid opening. The Comptroller's office will post notices for all solicitations for consultant services which are anticipated to exceed $15,000. The ESBD is maintained by the Texas Procurement and Support Services and is a free online tool that the State of Texas uses to facilitate electronic commerce, including government procurement and private-sector trade opportunities.

      You can search all entries by Class/Item number at: http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/

    4. For small purchases (under $25,000), contact the HUB Staff and they can direct you to the Purchaser responsible for purchasing specific goods or services. Purchasers determine who will receive the solicitations. Contact us at 1/800/991-BIDS or email at cpa.hub@cpa.state.tx.us.

      For purchases over $5,000.00, agencies are required to get 3 bids, two of the three must be HUB vendors.

    5. If you receive a BID, vendors are reminded to ALWAYS respond.

      Even if you can not provide the requested pricing, respond that you can not bid on the requested goods or service at this time, because agencies must track the number bids received. A “No Bid” counts like a bid. This also tells the purchaser that their bid was received and given due consideration. If you do not respond at all, the purchaser may assume that you are not interested in their business. Not responding to a bid is a sure way to ensure that you stop receiving bids.

This information was updated October 24, 2013.

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