Doing Business With Plainsboro

Plainsboro Purchasing
Plainsboro Township purchases a variety of products and services to support its facilities and programs. As a public entity, the township is required to comply with numerous state regulations regarding purchasing because of the high level of scrutiny involved with the use of public funds.

Plainsboro strives to be compliant with all applicable laws and statutes throughout the purchasing process while promoting full, free, fair, open competition. As an equal opportunity employer, the Township encourages all vendors including small and minority owned businesses to respond to the township’s needs for goods and services.

Please Note

State law requires that all vendors who receive payment above $5,400 annually from the township, must have a New Jersey Business Registration Certificate. Vendors can secure this certificate from the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Revenue.

Purchasing Guidelines

There are several guidelines the township follows when the need to purchase goods and services arises. They are based on the type of good or service and thresholds related to dollar amounts (or cost).
  • Purchases below $5,400 can be obtained without soliciting more than 1 price. However, sound business practices often lead the township to solicit more than 1 quote to ensure resources are being used as efficiently as possible.
  • Purchases between $5,400 and $36,000 will generally require price quotes. As a general rule, we obtain 3 quotes whenever possible. Sometimes obtaining quotes can be as simple as contacting several vendors and recording the prices received. On some items, quotes may require the vendor to respond in writing. In these cases, the Purchasing Office will provide forms to be submitted, along with a time and date on which they are due if they are to be considered.
  • Purchases over $36,000 are generally subject to the receipt of bids. When bids are sought, the township publishes a newspaper advertisement notifying vendors and the public that bids are needed. Bid packets are distributed to interested parties upon request. Vendors may write, call or email for a bid packet. Generally, there is no charge for a set of specifications. However, some larger projects, such as infrastructure and roadway improvements that contain plans or detailed specifications, would require the potential bidder to pay a fee to offset the cost of the production of the packets. Vendors are encouraged to check our website or the Princeton Packet and Trenton Times for publications of “Notice to Bidders” for current bids.
Public Bids
Bids are publicly opened and read aloud on the date, time and location specified in the advertisement and specifications. Vendors are invited to attend all bid openings. Results are available for public inspection after bids have been opened. After opening, bids are tabulated and evaluated for price, compliance with specifications, and other relevant factors. Once the analysis is complete, a staff recommendation is submitted to the Plainsboro Township Committee, who then award the contract. Awards are required to be made to the lowest responsible responsive bidder within sixty days of the date bids were publicly opened. Notification of an award and/or rejection will be made in writing.

Professional Services
In some cases, a Request for Proposals (RFP) may be utilized for the procurement of specialized professional services. Similar to bids, the township publishes a newspaper advertisement notifying potential vendors of the type of services required. RFP packets will be distributed to interested parties upon request. Similar to bids, RFP’s are opened and read aloud at the date, time and location specified in the advertisement. One main difference in the evaluation of RFP’s compared to bids is that with an RFP, evaluations can be made considering price and other factors. Like bids, RFP’s are analyzed and submitted to the Plainsboro Township Committee for award with a recommendation from township staff.

State Contracts
The township often purchases from state contract vendors. The New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Purchase and Property uses their buying power to secure prices from vendors on a variety of goods and commodities. View state contracts to bid on or review state contract prices.

Further Information
Contact the Purchasing Office for information. Please call the Purchasing Office prior to coming to insure that someone will be available. Vendors are requested to make the Purchasing Office their first point of contact. When appropriate, they will arrange contacts with other departments.