Goods (Materials, Supplies and Equipment) - Process

The terms ‘goods’ and ‘materials, supplies and equipment’ are used synonymously and interchangeably. ‘Goods’ refers collectively to the various materials, supplies and equipment purchased by Spokane County and which are not in connection with a public work project or improvement. As an example, goods are things like office furniture and supplies, computers, copiers, firearms, vehicles, tools, lawn equipment, appliances, etc.

The authority of Spokane County to purchase goods is found in Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 36.32.235(1) and RCW 36.32.245 and 39.04.190, as well as, in County Code Chapter 1.04. These laws authorize two approaches to procuring goods which may be broadly identified as: 
  1. A ‘formal’ process (more appropriately referred to as ‘formal, advertised, sealed competitive responses opened at a public bid opening or public meeting’); and
  2. An ‘informal’ process (more appropriately referred to as the uniform process).
The U.S. marketplace offers hundreds of thousands of varieties of products and services. At the highest level, state law breaks down this vast array of products and services into four broad classifications as: (a) Materials Supplies and Equipment (‘Goods’); (b) Public Works; (c) A/E Services; and (d) Services (i.e., all services other than A/E Services). U.S. industry and commerce uses various code systems to further subdivide these four broad classifications into distinct product and services classifications or categories. As an example only, two code systems generally accepted and used in industry and commerce are the Standard Industrial Classification (or SIC) and the North American Industry Classification System (or NAICS). 
The code system adapted and used by the Spokane County Purchasing Department is called the NIGP Code, which is also commonly used by many state and local governments in the U.S. The Spokane County Purchasing Department uses its adapted version of the NIGP Code to: (i) offer subscription services at the category level via this website to alert interested parties (subject to restrictions and limitations) whenever competitive solicitations are posted or changed; and (ii) classify at the item level its competitive solicitations.