The state of California’s Department of General Services (DGS) serves as business manager for the state. It’s a good place to start for prospective vendors who want to sell goods and services to the Golden State. The agency has served California agencies for 50 years, since 1963.

The DGS provides a variety of services to state agencies including:
Procurement and acquisition solutions;
Real estate management and facility design;
Delivering environmentally friendly transportation;
Professional printing, design and Web services; and
Design oversight and funding for the creation and construction of schools.

For prospective vendors, the state has a few options on its website to view contracts. The first is through BidSync. DGS also has State Contract & Procurement Registration System (SCPRS) data. Another source of information is the State Contracts Index listing.

Government Product News got the views of Monica Hassan, who is information officer 
at the state of California’s Department of General Services on selling opportunities at the DGS.

GPN: Does DGS have any advice for businesses on how to land contracts with DGS and other Calif state agencies?

Monica Hassan: Yes. DGS sponsors and attends more than 125 outreach events each year, where we encourage small and disabled veteran owned businesses to get certified with the state. Here is a current listing of events. At these events, DGS also offers seminars on how to do business with the state, providing instruction and resources for bidders seeking to win state contracts.

GPN: What are some good information sources for vendors who want to do business with the state?

MH: DGS provides information on several sites on how to do business with the state, as well as how to become a certified small business or disabled veteran business enterprise (SB/DVBE). Go to this site first to get started in doing business with the DGS. Another useful link to get started is here.

GPN: Does the DGS ever buy direct from manufacturers?

MH: There are times when DGS buys directly from manufacturers. In those instances, the purchase is generally under the delegated authority amount, is done through a non-competitive bid (meaning the purchase is either an emergency purchase, where immediate acquisition is necessary for the protection of the public health, welfare, or safety; or proposed acquisition of goods and services are the only goods and services that meet the state’s need), or the manufacturer has been awarded a state contract.

More information regarding procurement policies can be found in the State Contracting Manual, Volume 2.

GPN: Thank you, Monica Hassan, for information on the California DGS.

This video shows the expanding role of the DGS over the past 50 years.

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