Construction Contractor Pre-Qualification


The WHCCD Board of Trustees passed a resolution to participate in the California Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act (CUPCCAA).

CUPCCAA is a useful tool for the district as it raises informal bidding thresholds, simplifies the informal quote process for small projects, reduces advertising costs, expedites the bidding processes, and increases the likelihood that bids received will be from responsive, responsible contractors. While CUPCCAA allows the district to have a less formal bid process it still contains appropriate guidelines, checks, and balances. Additionally, in conjunction with Board Policy 6350, these new CUPCCAA procedures will help to promote an increase in procurement opportunities for local and diverse construction contractors and consultants.

Under CUPCCAA, the District is required to create and maintain a list of qualified construction contractors by the category of work performed.  Each year in November, the District will publicly invite licensed contractors to submit their information and qualification for inclusion on the list.  To pre-qualify with the West Hills Community College District as a CUPCCAA vendor, please download and complete the CUPCCAA Pre-Qualification Form (PDF).  

As outlined in CUPCCAA, the thresholds for Public Works Projects are listed below.

Public Works Projects
Under $60,000

Contracting for construction services may be bid but are exempt from bidding requirements. Projects may be performed by negotiated contract or by purchase order

The district may select a qualified contractor from the list for project without going through an informal or formal bidding process

Public works projects in excess of $25,000 require payment and performance bonds (Civil Code section 9550-9566)

$60,000 - $200,000

Contracts for public works projects will be awarded to the qualified contractor submitting the lowest bid through the informal bidding process

A Notice of Invitation requesting informal bids is sent to the list of qualified contractors maintained by the purchasing department. Invitations must be sent at least ten days prior to the informal bid closing date.  Bids must be awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible contractor

The purchasing department prepares an informal bid package which includes specifications, bid and contract forms for distribution to pre-qualified contractors

The purchasing department obtains and verifies required documentation including certificates of insurance, payment and performance bonds, and appropriate licensing. The signed agreement, purchase order and notice to proceed are issued to the successful bidder

Over $200,000

Contracts for public works projects in excess of $200,000 remain subject to standard formal bidding procedures.

To pre-qualify with the West Hills Community College District as a CUPCCAA vendor (for public works projects less than $200,000), please download and complete the


Types of Purchases

It is the practice of the District to price all purchases whenever practical. This is accomplished by soliciting competitive quotations, bidding procedures, or by negotiated pricing arrangements. Decisions in awarding purchase orders are based upon a vendor's compliance with District specifications, price, delivery, service, terms and conditions, location, or other relevant factors. Different types of purchase awards are as follows:

Formal Bids and Contracts. Consistent with the California Public Contract Code, the District solicits Invitations to Bid, Requests for Proposals (RFP) or other formal methods of procurement for contracts exceeding $87,800 for equipment, goods, or services, and exceeding $15,000 for public works projects. Formal bids utilize legal advertising, detailed specifications or statements of work, and a formal bid opening at a prescribed date and time. Formal bids are awarded by the Board of Trustees of the West Hills Community College District. Contracts resulting from the formal bid process may be of several types:

Firm or Fixed Price Contracts. Awarded for a specified quantity of goods or services. According to the terms of the contract, delivery may be in one or several shipments.

Price Agreements. Awarded for anticipated amounts during a certain time period. These contracts are binding for the full time period regardless of quantity.

Construction Contracts. Awarded for a specific public works project. These contracts have additional requirements such as bid, performance and payment bonds, insurance requirements, and must be performed by a licensed contractor.

Service Contracts. Awarded for services such as maintenance of equipment or professional services. These contracts are awarded based upon the criteria set forth in the Request for Proposal.

Informal Quotations and Contracts. The informal quotation and bid process is used for purchases under the formal bid limits. Purchase orders and contracts resulting from the informal bid process are for a wide variety of goods and services. The award of informal purchases is made by the Director of Purchasing. There are two types of informal quotations normally used:

Written Quotations. Informal written quotations are solicited by mail or fax without the formalities of a public bid opening or advertising.

Telephone Quotations. In many situations, telephone quotations are used to purchase goods and services. You may be assured that all telephone quotations will merit the same integrity as a written quotation.

Open Purchase Orders. Occasionally, open or blanket purchase orders are set up to allow authorized individuals or departments to purchase low cost/emergency items on an as-needed basis. Open purchase orders are typically for a designated period and based upon annual fixed pricing or discount schedules offered to the District.