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The Purchasing Department handles procurement and contract management duties for Winnebago County.  Purchasing staff is responsible for most purchasing greater than $25K, except for the Highway Department’s professional services and road and bridge construction.  Purchasing policies and procedures are set forth in Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 3, of the County Code of Ordinances. Click Here for Full Details

If interested in doing business with the County, you can register with Vendor Self Services.   Vendors are always welcome to visit the Purchasing Department office.  We want to know about your products and services.  To arrange a visit, contact the Department at 815-319-4380 or The Purchasing Department office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm.  Closed for Federal holidays.

To extent permitted by law, the County will spend taxpayer money wisely and fairly; encourage fair and equitable treatment through broad-based competition; protect against fraud, favoritism, extravagance and corruption; obtain the best commodities and services at the lowest price practicable; provide safeguards for the maintenance of a procurement system of quality and integrity; meet the needs of the County of Winnebago through continuous improvement of purchasing systems and procedures; promote economic development by encouraging the participation of Winnebago County businesses, by providing equal opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses, for veterans, and local businesses; and by applying environmentally sound practices in the procurement process.


  • Purchasing Department is responsible for Central Services, all purchasing, bidding, executions of contracts and purchasing orders, contract management and handling of surplus and obsolete equipment and supplies. 

Central Services

  • Central Services provides shipping, mail services, print services, purchasing-card, copier management, and vehicle pool services for County departments.

Surplus and Obsolete Supplies

  • Purchasing is responsible for stocks of all supplies, materials and equipment, which are no longer used or which have become obsolete, worn out or scrapped.  The Director of Purchasing can sell supplies, materials and equipment which cannot be used by any department; or which have been found not to be required for public use; or to exchange or trade-in such articles in part or full payment of new supplies, material or equipment of a similar nature.

Surplus Sales

  • Purchasing also handles the Sheriff’s Evidence Locker items, which can be anything from golf clubs, bikes, watches, electronics, hand tools, sporting goods, collectibles, jewelry, high-end shoes, and clothing.   
  • GovDeals handles the surplus sales for the County.  GovDeals' online auction platform provides services to government, educational, and related entities for the sale of surplus assets to the public. Details on how to bid on County surplus items are explained on the GovDeals website. 
  • Please visit for more information.  Use GovDeals’ Advanced Search tool to locate Winnebago County items.

Vendor Self Service (VSS)

Starting in late 2019, the County developed an on-line Vendor Self Service (VSS) database for potential bidders. Vendors also have the ability to update their profile, including address, contact information and commodities information. Vendor Self Service (VSS) 

How the County Buys

The Purchasing Ordinance, with few exceptions, requires free and open competitive bidding for all requirements for goods, services and construction exceeding the cost of $25,000. This type of procurement is called "Competitive Bidding." If the amount of the purchase is less than $25,000, such purchase shall be let in the open market after soliciting quotes by e-procurement, telephone or email. This is called "Small Purchases or Open Market."

Professional services contracts, which, by their nature, are not adapted to award to the low, responsive bid, are awarded by approval of the County Board when they exceed $50,000 in value.

Micro Purchases:  Micro purchases are procurements of that which are less than $5,000. There is no requirement to obtain competitive quotes, but efforts should be made to distribute purchases equitably among local qualified providers.

Small Purchases: Small purchases that are at least $5,000 and less than $25,000 may be obtained and awarded by Department Heads and/or the Director of Purchasing where there has been a competitive price quotation process and at least three (3) informal quotations have been sought prior to selection. No formal bids are required.

Solicitation Types

Invitation for Bids (IFB) and Request for Proposals (RFP) and Request for Quotes (RFQ) are posted on this website under "Bid Opportunities - current"

Emergency Purchases

The purchase of goods, services, or construction items, when there exists a threat to public health, welfare, or safety, or to prevent or minimize serious disruption of government services, are considered “Emergency Purchases”.   A written determination is submitted to the County Board for all emergency purchases over $25,000, or $50,000 for professional services.

Specifications and Scope of Work in Proposals or Bids

When you receive the detailed specification or scope of work for a requirement, read it carefully.  A specification or scope of work is a formal statement of the County’s needs. If you offer substitutions to a brand name cited in the specification, you must obtain an approval for the substitution prior to bidding, otherwise your bid may be disqualified. The specification or scope of work communicates to the Bidder the details of the product or service required, and it regulates the execution of the contract.  Prior to submitting your bid/proposal/quote, submit all question(s) or inquiries regarding the specification in writing to the Director of Purchasing prior to Bid opening date, or the deadline date or time for inquiries; whichever is earlier.

Contract Agreements & Purchasing Orders

A signed contract or purchase order containing a contract, award agreement or purchase order number are the primary methods of obligating the County. The authority for administration of these contracts and purchase orders is vested in the Director of Purchasing. A verbal or written instruction issued by a County employee regarding orders without a County purchase order or contract, are the responsibility of the person placing the order, not the County.  The unauthorized action will not be recognized by the County, and payment will not be made.

Cooperative Joint Purchasing and State Contracts

State Contracts and other Cooperative Joint Purchasing Contracts may be utilized by the Purchasing Department when it is in the best interest of the County to purchase from these agreements. Subject to applicable State statutes, the County may either participate in, sponsor, conduct, or administer a Cooperative Purchasing Agreement for the procurement of goods, services, or construction with one or more public agencies.  Such cooperative purchasing may include, but is not limited to, joint or multi-party contracts between public procurement units and open-ended state public procurement unit contracts and Federal contracts, which are made available to other public procurement units after having been bid by another public procurement unit where required. These cooperative purchases may be done without the formality of bidding. County Board award procedures must still be followed.

Contract Compliance

Contract compliance is the process of reviewing and managing contracts and agreements that bind the County.  Policies that determine how contracts will be processed fall under the responsibility of the County Board and shall be enforced by County Administration and administered through the Purchasing Department.

Contract Administration

Contract Administration is the ongoing process of ensuring that the terms and conditions of contracts are being implemented as agreed to by the parties. Contract Administration is the responsibility of the Purchasing Department and the requesting Department Head or Elected Official. The Department Head or Elected Official is the individual responsible for promoting the contract; including ensuring that appropriate approval are obtained.   

In Conclusion

The Purchasing Department staff are committed to honesty, fairness, accountability and customer service. We conduct ourselves in such a way as to build trust. We are dedicated to open and competitive bidding as a means to obtain our requirements for all goods and services. It is important that you understand that we operate in accordance with the Winnebago County Code.  

Neither the Director of Purchasing, nor any County employee, shall participate directly or indirectly in a procurement.

Neither the Director of Purchasing, nor any County employee, shall accept any payment, gratuity, or offer of employment as an inducement for the award of a contract or an order.   The offer or delivery of any such gratuity to any official or employee by any vendor or contractor, shall be cause for declaring such individual or firm to be an irresponsible bidder, and for debarring him/her from the all future bid opportunities.

Contact Information


Purchasing Department                                        Purchasing Staff

County Administration Building                                  Ann Johns, Director of Purchasing

404 Elm Street                                                         Melinda Macias, Purchasing Specialist

Room 202                                                                Deanna Severson, Purchasing Assistant

Rockford, IL 61101                                                   Traci Crane, Administrative Assistant


Hours: Daily 8:00am - 5:00pm

Phone: 815-319-4380




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