Welcome to the Office of Purchasing

Thank you for your interest in the Howard County Office of Purchasing. The Office of Purchasing operates within the Department of County Administration and in accordance with Article VIII of the Howard County Charter and Title 4, Subtitle 1 of the Howard County Code. The office is responsible for procuring all equipment, supplies and services necessary to sustain the County’s operations; capital construction; procurement card program; fixed assets and surplus property; wage requirements, the purchase of recycled and environmentally preferable products and equipment, the Equal Business Opportunity and Local Business Initiative Programs.

The Office of Purchasing maintains approximately 660 annual contracts for the goods and services that allow departments to serve the citizens of Howard County. The professional staff provides procurement advice and counsel to the departments of Howard County regarding methods for legally, effectively, efficiently and strategically procuring the highest quality of goods and services.


BID OPPORTUNITIES! Check for bid opportunities by clicking on Current Solicitations. Information is posted on this site as quickly as it becomes available, so check often! The County is utilizing PlanetBidsan electronic bidding system, for some of our procurements. PlanetBids  (PB System) is provided at no cost to all interested businesses. The PB System allows suppliers to self-register online and to receive automated email notifications of solicitations for goods and services pertinent to their business. The PB system allows registered suppliers to download bid documents, receive addenda, submit electronic bids, and view bid results. You will find more information on the PB System by clicking on Current Solicitations. The County will post solicitations on the County's website, PlanetBids, or both. Suppliers are encouraged to check the County's Current Solicitations regularly and to register on PlanetBids


CURRENT CONTRACTS! Check the listing of current contracts by clicking on Current Contracts. CALL US for more information on an existing contract.

COME ON IN! Learn more! Take advantage of our “open door policy” and STOP BY to talk to a Buyer. For a directory of our staff click on the link to Contact Us.

KEEP IN TOUCH!!! As your business grows, UPDATE US with new contact information, as well as services your company provides! Email us at purchasing@howardcountymd.gov.

Local Business Initiative

Local businesses in Howard County are a pivotal driver in our local economy. Whenever possible, Howard County procurement dollars should be spent to support the local businesses that serve as a strong pillar in our economy.

Howard County is committed to creating a competitive and balanced economic environment within the County by ensuring community growth through the Local Business Initiative. The goal of the Local Business Initiative is to promote the growth and success of local businesses and to increase the percentage of County procurement dollars flowing to local businesses. Under the Local Business Initiative, County Departments and agencies are encouraged to select local businesses when purchasing goods or services that are under $10,000.00.

For purposes of the Local Business Initiative, a local business is defined as an Applicant that maintains its principal place of business in Howard County.If your business meets this eligibility criterion, and you are interested in certifying with Howard County as a local business, please complete the Local Business Initiative Certification Application using the link below:



The Office of Purchasing provides centralized procurement with integrity and transparency by promoting broad competition and using collaborative and cost effective methods to provide timely customer support.


The Office of Purchasing shall foster a diverse workforce and vendor community, motivated by integrity and teamwork, to procure goods and services that increase operational readiness, embody innovative technology, enhance mission performance and drive efficiency and effectiveness.


Winner of NIGP's prestigious "Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award"



Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award (OA4)
The Office of Purchasing holds re-accreditation from the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. through June 2018. Accreditation requires the Office of Purchasing to evaluate its performance in areas such as authority, cooperative purchasing, audit, property management, standardization, automation and e-commerce every three years.



Winner of the National Procurement Institute's "Achievement of Excellence 2017 Award"



Achievement of Excellence in Purchasing
As part of the ongoing accreditation process, the Office of Purchasing’s was again awarded the National Procurement Institute’s Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award for the seventh consecutive year by the National Procurement Institute (NPI). The award is earned by demonstrating excellence in innovation, professionalism, productivity, e-procurement and leadership attributes of the procurement organization.


Disclaimer: In preparing this material, every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is correct. The information is being provided as a public service and Howard County assumes no liability for any inaccuracies that it may contain.