Purchasing Organization

Each department in the city has unique needs and are therefore has primary responsibility for their purchasing decisions. We do not maintain an approved vendor list. Instead, each department should make their purchasing choices based on price, availability, quality and overall value to the city. The Purchasing Division is part of the Finance Department and helps coordinate purchasing activity and review department purchasing activity for compliance to procurement procedures.

Purchase Requirements

Purchasing procedures are governed by Boulder Revised Code (Purchasing Ordinance). In general, the following requirements apply to City purchases:

AmountPurchase Requirement
Up to $9,999Comparison shopping by the user department is recommended
$10,000 - $49,999Minimum of 3 informal bids or quotes managed by the user department is required
$50,000 and overFormal bidding required and managed through the Purchasing Department

All formal solicitations will be posted and managed through Bidnet (also known as Rocky Mountain E-Purchasing). To access our solicitation documents on Bidnet, you will be required to register as a user using either a free or fee-based subscription. A notice of formal bids will also be posted in the Legal Notices section of the Daily Camera newspaper.

Bid Plans and Specifications

Official, updated, and accurate plans and specifications for formal bids are only available through the Bidnet website. In most cases, vendor responses to solicitations must also be submitted through the Bidnet website.

Plans and specifications received through third-party “plan-rooms” are not official specifications. Plans and specifications obtained via “plan-rooms” may not be current, accurate, and should not be used to formulate a response to a solicitation.


Vendors should submit invoices directly to the department that received the goods/services. Payments to new vendors will not be made until the vendor has submitted a completed W-9 Form and a vendor information form to our Accounts Payable department.

Invoices must:

  • include the vendor's IRS address for remitting
  • indicate the purchase order number,
  • detail the good and/or service that was provided
  • indicate the designated department
  • be only for goods delivered or services rendered
  • not be combined with two or more orders

The City will pay on partial shipments if invoiced for a good or service that has been previously delivered.

For information on payment of invoices, contact the department that received the good/service. If problems cannot be resolved with the user department, then contact the Accounts Payable Department.


All shipping costs are to be paid by the vendor or prepaid and added to the invoice. If a purchase order initiated the shipment, shipping documents should include the purchase order number.

Tax-Exempt Status

The City of Boulder is exempt from federal, state and local taxes. Pricing on bids should allow for this status unless stated otherwise. The primary exception to this standard is construction contracts where the contractor is considered to be the purchaser for tax purposes. Therefore, City taxes should be included in construction bids. The City's tax-exempt numbers are as follows:

Taxing Agency Tax Exempt Numbers
State of Colorado 98-03489
City of Boulder20225997
Federal Employer Identification Number84-6000566

Digital Accessibility for Vendors

The City of Boulder is committed to fostering a culture that promotes digital inclusivity and accessibility for all. This includes digital accessibility, for which the city is legally required to adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Levels A and AA.

On June 30, 2021, Colorado HB21-1110 strengthened the Colorado law for protection against discrimination against persons with disabilities; specifically, it requires that all information and communications technology be accessible. New Federal rules are implementing similar requirements.

To comply, all applicable digital experiences provided by our vendor partners must meet Level A and AA success criteria of the current non-draft version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Learn more about our digital accessibility requirements for vendors

Recycled and Environmentally Preferred Products

The City of Boulder encourages departments to use recycled and environmentally preferable products whenever possible, and requires certain products be purchased in recycled form.