Doing Business with Harris County

Purchasing Operations

The Harris County Purchasing Agent is responsible for purchases of goods and services for Harris County; Harris County Flood Control District; Harris County Hospital District dba Harris Health System; Harris County Toll Road Authority; Community Supervision & Corrections; and Harris County Juvenile Probation.

The Office of the Purchasing Agent is divided into three major divisions: Harris County Procurement Services, Harris Health Procurement Services and Harris County Purchasing Services.

The Purchasing Agent supervises the procurement of products and services necessary to support Harris County and other governmental entities. Most purchases are initiated by a request from an end user. The County has term contracts for goods and services which are utilized on a regular basis. These contracts result from competitive bids and requests for proposals (RFPs) and generally are one year in length with one (1) or more renewal options.


Harris County Procurement Services

Responsible for procurement of all products and services necessary to support Harris County departments, Harris County Flood Control District and Harris County Toll Road Authority.

Purchases $50,000 or less (Informal Procurements)

Purchases of goods and services for $50,000 or less are posted here.  Bids will be received online at the date and time specified unless otherwise specified.   

Purchases $50,001 and over (Formal Procurements)

The County Purchasing Act (Texas Local Government Code, §262.021 et seq.), as amended, provides that notice of a proposed purchase exceeding $50,000 must be published at least once a week in a newspaper of general circulation with the first day of publication being at least 14 days before the date of bid opening. Generally, projects exceeding $50,000 are advertised in the Houston Chronicle, Friday edition, in the Classified Section under Bids and Proposals.

A bid, RFP or RFQ package may be obtained by one of the following methods:

1.    Go to the Bonfire vendor portal  to register online with Bonfire.  This site has the ability to notify vendors by commodity when an advertised bid/RFP/RFQ has been placed on the site. Once registered, a password will be assigned to the vendor and bid/RFP/RFQ documents may be downloaded. Using this system enables a timely review and receipt of bid/RFP documents. Since more than 90 percent of purchasing jobs are downloaded utilizing the purchasing website, vendors must keep their registration data, such as email addresses, current in order to receive timely updates concerning documents they have downloaded.

2.    Visit the Purchasing Office and pick up the bid/RFP document.

Opening of Bids

Bids / Proposals 

Review of Bids

After bids are read and tabulated, they are analyzed to determine the lowest responsive and responsible bid that meets specifications.  The County Purchasing Agent will make the determination of the apparent lowest responsive and responsible bidder.  Bids deemed responsive and responsible are then reviewed by the using department and the Office of Economic, Equity and Opportunity.  To be responsive, a bidder must complete all applicable portions of the Bid as instructed, including any requested supporting documentation, and must meet specifications. The vendor must have the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirements. In addition, all goods or services must meet the minimum acceptance quality level as stated in the specifications. Failure to meet the specifications will result in disqualification of the bid.

Notice of Acceptance of Formal Procurements

After the review of the bids, proposals and qualifications, the using department will submit a recommendation for award to the County Purchasing Agent for presentation to the Harris County Commissioners Court, as appropriate. Upon approval of the contract by Commissioners Court (if required), the County Purchasing Agent will notify the successful bidder via issuance of a Notice of Award letter followed by a purchase order. The department for which the service and/or material is provided will then administer the performance of the contract to its completion.

Minority/Women Business Enterprises

Harris County strives to engage with prime contractors and subcontractors that represent the diverse businesses of the County. We will ensure that historically underutilized minority- and woman-owned businesses (M/WBEs) receive a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the County's procurement process.  The County expects Vendors to make a good faith effort and the Vendor agrees to reasonably assist the County to meet or exceed goals for awarding contracts associated with a project the County procures, operates, maintains, or constructs to M/WBEs. Minority owned and women-owned businesses are encouraged to contact the Office of Economic, Equity and Opportunity for more information for the County's M/WBE program.

Office of Economic, Equity and Opportunity website 

Phone: 713-274-1400