New Handbook to Make Doing Business with City Easier
Hartley, Tim, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Doing business in Oklahoma City just got a little easier.
Imagine this: a big buyer of equipment, supplies and services comes out with a new handbook, telling you exactly how you can make this buyer one of your customers.
"How to Sell Equipment, Supplies and Related Services to the City of Oklahoma City" is ready for the printers and soon will be available to help business owners through the process of getting a piece of the government spending pie.
Approved without fanfare this week by the Oklahoma City Council, the 38-page handbook is an easy-to-understand guide to the sometimes complex world of government bidding. Prepared by the city finance department and the municipal counselor's office, the book explains the laws, rules and regulations which surround the use of public funds in buying from private business.
The book contains a "glossary of terms," which shines new, layman's light on the bureaucratic jargon which also happens to surround the government buying game. It is well organized, with a table of contents - no frantic hunting for information on specific issues.
A guide for vendors was identified as a need by the Mayor's Business Committee, and the finance department made the guide one of its top goals for fiscal 1989-90.
"The understanding of the legal requirements will create a more educated vendor base," according to City Manager Paula Hearn, "and will contribute to the streamlining of the payment process."
It is also hoped that the guide will "decrease the occurrence of non-responsive bids," Hearn told the council.
It's true. The city frequently advertises the opportunity for local companies to bid for new business, and nobody responds.
"Our aim is to have each vendor armed with the same information, and make it easier for them to bid," said Helen Gigger, assistant municipal counselor for the city and an author of the guide. "It is in line with the state guide, so vendors who are used to working with state government won't have any trouble dealing with the city."
She said she researched local, state and national government bidding regulations in compiling the guide, which has been in the works "on and off" since 1986.
Gigger said it could take six weeks for the books to arrive from the printers. In the meantime, she said photo-copies can be obtained through the office of the city clerk. She said all copies likely will be available for reproduction costs.
One of the stated goals of the program is to encourage local vendors to bid on city contracts for goods and services. Good plan. Nobody is going to heal our ills for us. We have to do it ourselves. . .
City's Foreign Trade Zone Expanded Organon Teknika Inc., a leading producer of medical instrumentation equipment, dialysis machines and related supplies, is now part of Oklahoma City's Foreign Trade Zone 106.
The National Foreign Trade Zones Board has approved expansion of the local zone to include 236 acres at Will Rogers World Airport, where Organon Teknika leases its 120,000-square-foot manufacturing and field service facility.
In a foreign trade zone, domestic and foreign goods are considered by the U.S. Customs Service to be in international commerce, and imported goods are not subject to formal customs entry. Payment of duty is deferred, and under some circumstances reduced or eliminated.
The Oklahoma City Port Authority, administrator of the Foreign Trade Zone, had sought approval of the expansion since late 1986. The expansion also includes six acres in the Lakeside Business Park, which will be available for growth of the zone's general purpose warehouse at 3501 Melcat Drive.
"We're full, but we don't have immediate plans to expand," said Scott E. McLain, general manager of Foreign Trade Zone 106. …