Contact Us
Gary Watahira
Purchasing Manager
2600 Fresno Street
Room 2156
Fresno CA 93721-3622
(559) 621-1332 Phone
(559) 488-1069 FAX
E-Mail Us
Department Home

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To Fresno City Hall
2600 Fresno Street
Room 2156
2nd Floor (North End) within Finance

Mission Statement

The Purchasing Division is committed to provide prompt and effective procurement services which meet the needs of City departments, in accordance with the spirit and requirements of the City Charter and Municipal Code while affording equal access to all entities seeking to do business with the City of Fresno.

Surplus Sales Auctions                                                                     

The City Council recognized the Purchasing Division on March 29, 2012 during National Purchasing Month. The Purchasing Division with a staff of 9 dedicated employees is responsible for all procurement city wide totaling nearly $200 million dollars a year for goods, materials, equipment and public works of improvement. This staff represents 173 years of experience with the city. Read the Proclamation.

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To Contact Us:
2600 Fresno Street
Room 2156
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 621-1332 Phone
(559) 488-1069 FAX

E-Mail the Purchasing Division

Bid Opportunities (Bids online)

Statement of Qualifications

Anticipated Formal Bid Awards

Gary Watahira

Purchasing Manager

Procurement Handbook

Executive Summary

Purchasing is a division of the Finance Department. The Purchasing Division operates as an internal service fund and is funded by billing clients for services rendered. It is comprised of two sections:

     1.  Purchasing
     2.  Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE Program)

Purchasing is responsible for the timely procurement of the very diverse needs of the City in supplies, materials, equipment services (excluding consulting services which are purchased directly by City departments). In the City of Fresno, Purchasing also bids all public works projects. The division is further responsible for the disposal of surplus inventory. Purchasing activities are governed by the City Charter and the Municipal Code.

Purchasing’s annual procurement volume is about $145 million, which is facilitated by a staff team of 10 members, including management. Approximately 200 requirements contracts are in place to streamline procurement.

The federal DBE Program is an integral part of the procurement process for federally funded projects. It is an outreach program to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) which is a prerequisite for receiving federal funds, particularly from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In FY 08, the City anticipates receiving approximately $30 million in federal funds from that agency. The program is carried out by a staff of two.


The division strives to be valued and recognized as a provider of timely, high quality, low-cost procurement services to City departments to enable optimum efficiency and cost accountability.

Key Services

Purchasing provides the following services:
  • Conducts various competitive bidding processes to obtain best pricing for the City. Processes vary with the estimated dollar amount of the procurement/project from same-day purchases to a three-month process for a large and complex construction project, such as the Surface Water Treatment Plant.
  • Submits all procurement/projects over $133,000 (current formal bid threshold) and all Requests for Proposals for services over $50,000 to the City Council for award.
  • If needed, coordinates appeals hearings and represents the City.
  • Offers online purchasing management system that allows vendors from all over the country to register online, to receive automated e-mail notices, to receive City solicitations for services and commodities, and to submit bids online.
  • Provides Divisions with use of a Cal Card (Visa Card), the City's office purchase card, to make small dollar purchases of materials, parts and supplies for their immediate needs up to $5,000 per transaction.
  • Advises customers on best and fastest procurement methods, lay-out and content of formal bid specifications and, if requested, provides on-site services to advise customers on a regular basis on procurement issues
  • Partners with customers in the development and refinement of complex Requests for Proposals.
  • Provides a handbook with procedures and maintains standardized bidding documents for use by customers.
  • Facilitates problem solving between clients and vendors/contractors (excluding public works projects) during contract administration;
  • Administers citywide contracts, such as stationery and uniforms.
  • Arranges for auctions or individual sales to dispose of surplus.

The DBE Program:

  • Certifies Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
  • Administers the race-neutral DBE program for projects funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Assists DBEs during the bidding process.
  • Monitors DBE participation in Federal funded projects.
  • Holds at least one seminar per year for DBEs and/or prime contractors.
  • Provides general outreach to the community through participation in local associations, organizations, including ethnic chambers of commerce, and groups interested in small business development.