County Procurement Officials Discuss Purchasing Process

Los Alamos County Municipal Building at 1000 Central Ave. Photo by John McHale/

Los Alamos Daily Post

When it comes to procuring goods and services for Los Alamos County, local businesses are utilized but there are challenges.

One challenge is that often there is not a business in town that provides the goods or service being sought by the County, Chief Purchasing Officer Annalisa Miranda said.

“We get responses from Los Alamos businesses that are in that business (the County is looking for) but probably the biggest challenge for Los Alamos is that for a good amount of business that we do – there aren’t businesses who happen to have the capacity or happen to be in that business in Los Alamos …,” she said.

For example, she said the County will solicit for certain types of construction, technical services, engineering or architectural services and there are not that many of those particular services in Los Alamos. Los Alamos is not alone in this challenge, she said this is a challenge many municipalities face. It requires the County to reach out to a wider market.

However, this is an issue that is being looked at deeply by economic development, Miranda said. The department is investigating what can be done to attract more different types of businesses to Los Alamos.

Despite the challenges, Miranda reported that as of this week, the County has 243 active contracts. Of that number, 163 are New Mexican contractors and 42 of those are Los Alamos-based contractors.

Additionally, she said the County does business with purchase orders and credit cards (P-card). In fact, it has placed more than 1,300 purchase orders this year to date. Of those purchase orders 800 are from New Mexican suppliers and of that number 85 are from Los Alamos suppliers. These include Metzger’s, NAPA, Los Alamos Flooring, Robert Vigil Painting, Ridgeview Veterinary and Los Alamos Home Improvement. P-card transactions are handled by the County’s Finance Department so Miranda said she does not have that information.

The County does business in a variety of ways, she said. There are a huge number of transactions and a large amount of business conducted via purchase orders and credit cards. Credit cards tend to be small dollar amounts for a high volume of purchases. The number of purchase orders are in between for various goods and services and then contracts are issued for construction, consulting, or various professional services such as engineering and architecture.
So how does the procurement process work?

“We have a procedure that we follow that keeps us in conformance with the County Procurement Code … and in the case of doing business with vendors in a certain geographic area, we also comply with state law,” Miranda said. “The way we make people aware that we have a solicitation pending is we advertise in the newspaper and typically we advertise in more than one … as a courtesy to the supplier community we also put our information about our solicitations in our public website so people can go there and get information about any of our solicitations so that is one of things we do … and all our open solicitations are listed here. That is not a legal requirement … we do it as a way of reaching out …”

To comply with state law, she added solicitations include the following information about preference, meaning if a vendor is in the state, it qualifies for preference in certain areas. Another method of outreach is to participate in meetings and conferences that various entities offer for small business, veteran-owned business, women-owned business and minority-owned businesses.

To keep updated on the County’s solicitations, she encourages everyone to check the website, which in addition to the solicitations, provides contact information.

“That’s probably the single most important thing we can do to make sure we are reaching out to the Los Alamos Community and anyone else,” Miranda said.

“As procurement professionals, we’re always committed to having the best possible supplier relationships and making it easy for suppliers to have access to information about how to do business with Los Alamos County and how to respond to a bid or RRP,” Miranda added.

“Our goal is to promote free, fair and open competition,” Deputy Chief Purchasing Officer Derrill Rodgers said.

LOCAL CONTRACTORS (Some hold more than one contract; P.O. procurements not listed )

  • Anna Zhang- Swim Lessons
  • Family YMCA – Teen Center
  • Los Alamos Commerce Development Corporation – MainStreet services, Visitor Center management and services
  • Los Alamos Family Council – Substance Abuse Assessment and Youth Activity Center and Smart Recovery
  • Los Alamos Landscaping and More – Hanging flower baskets, On-Call Concrete and Relate, Pinon Park Splash Pad
  • Nectar Property -Leases Building to Los Alamos Fire Department
  • Pajarito Environmental Education Center – Education and Nature Center Staffing
  • Parker Construction
  • Los Alamos Juvenile Justice – Restorative Justice Services, Early intervention Family Resource
  • Family Strengths Network – Resources/Support
  • PAC8 – Video
  • Los Alamos Historical Society
  • Los Alamos Arts Council – Programs, staff and operation of Art Center, Step Up Gallery
  • Jose Arellano – Leases Portion of 999 Central Avenue to Los Alamos Fire Department Administration
  • Catherine Taylor – Teen Court Case Manager
  • Corliss Linda – Swim Lessons
  • Jay Elson – Scuba Instruction
  • Gina Jorgenson – Pharmacist Services
  • Kevin Bankens – Martial Arts Instruction
  • LA Scottish Country Dancers – Dance Instruction
  • Los Alamos Housing Partnerships – Housing Rehabilitation and Homebuyer Assistance Program
  • New Mexico Square and Round Dance Assoc. – Dance instruction
  • Rita Brake – LMHC Juvenile Instruction Services
  • USA Taekwondo Masters Assn. – Taekwondo Instruction
  • Lloyd Hunt – Airport Purchase and Sale Agreement
  • Los Alamos Public Schools  – Facilities Joint Use Agreement, Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention
  • Los Alamos Senior Retired Organization – Homebased Care and Adult Day Care Services
  • Los Alamos Visiting Services – Services to the Detention Center
  • Medical Associates of Northern New Mexico – Occupational and Environmental Medical Services
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