Frequently Asked Questions
There are many ways to work with the Department of General Services. The Department’s responsibilities include maintenance of every conceivable type of City building, from firehouses and police departments to office buildings, warehouses, and monuments. All of these structures require maintenance and that is our responsibility.
In order to maintain these various structures, DGS relies as much as possible on locally sourced suppliers and contractors. DGS then has a responsibility to the citizens to verify that each supplier and contractor is capable of providing quality items and services.
To help make that determination, several City divisions are called upon to use their expertise and review an individual or company’s qualifications to provide or perform. Agencies such as the Office of Boards and Commissions pre-qualifies all design consultants and construction contractors performing services totaling $25,000 or more, and the Department of Finance’s Purchasing Department is responsible for purchasing services and goods which are not directly construction related.
The below questions are our best attempt to provide information and links to help you and your business identify opportunities to work with the City.
1. Where are your jobs advertised?
There are two places where a business can look to see if their services are required.
- Department of Finance, Bureau of Purchases. This is not a DGS function, however, you are free to visit the Bureau of Purchases webpage for a listing of all current solicitations.
- Department of General Services consultant and construction projects. On the webpage please be sure to click on the category box and select Currently Advertised Design or Currently Advertised Construction to see projects for both DGS and DPW that are being bid, including general information on the project, type of work to be performed, and bid due dates.
In many cases, small businesses may not be in a position to be the actual bidders on a project, but they can provide services as a sub-consultant or sub-contractor to the prime bidder. For more information on this aspect, see more FAQ’s below.
2. I see something I am interested in, what do I do?
If the item you are interested in is with the Bureau of Purchases, follow the links in item 1 above to find out what documentation and forms are required to be eligible to bid.
If the project is with DGS, there are several steps to take: visit the Office of Boards and Commissions site to check on pre-qualification requirements, get certified as an MBE and/or WBE firm if applicable by visiting the Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office website, and review current projects out for bid on the Boards and Commissions page. More information and details on these are included below.
3. How do I get prequalified?
Whether your firm provides consultant design or construction-related services, the process begins with the Office of Boards and Commissions information page for Contractor Prequalification and Consultant Prequalification. There you will find information such as application documents, fact sheets, FAQ’s, and other related documentation.
- For design consulting-related services, there are seven categories for which a firm can be pre-qualified. They are; Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Property Line Surveying, and Surveying. All other areas of design-related services are not pre-qualified at this time.
- If your firm provides construction- related services, your search still begins at the Office of Boards and Commissions webpage. There are many categories for which a firm can be prequalified. A list of available categories can be downloaded there in addition to applications and a FAQ section. Any firm providing $25,000 or more worth of services must be pre-qualified by the Office of Boards and Commissions before performing any work.
4. I am a subcontractor who wants to work on City work. What do I do?
First, you should review the projects listed on the Boards and Commissions webpage to see if the work being bid includes the services your firm can provide. A brief overview of the project scope is listed in the "Details" section of the Project Announcement webpage. In addition, bid documents can be reviewed at no charge at our Sales office located on the first floor of the Abel Wolman Municipal Building, located at 200 Holliday St., Baltimore MD.
Subcontractors are not eligible to bid directly on DGS Major Projects, however, they can provide prices for services to the Prime (bidding) contractor. These Prime contractors purchase bid documents from DGS which provide details of the work to be performed. The Sales group keeps a list of all firms who purchase bid documents. These prime contractors are the firms subcontractors should contact to offer goods and services. The Sales group can be reached at 410-396-4508. The list changes daily and sometimes hourly, so please contact them for the latest list of who to contact to submit your prices.
5. I am an MBE or WBE firm that wants to work on City work, what do I do?
The Department of General Services strongly supports the MBE/WBE participation program and encourages all MBE and WBE firms to get certified with the City to provide goods and services. The Minority and Women-Owned Business Development division provides information, support, and certification for Baltimore’s MBE and WBE firms. From the Minority and Women-Owned Business Development website, you can learn more about available support, requirements for certification, forms and documents for certification, and additional useful links.
6. I have a small business, how do I get connected to business help?
Visit the Small Business Resource Center as the name states, it is an all-around resource center to help your firm grow and thrive.