Published 12 August 2019

How to Use the San Francisco Tier 3 Marketplace

Here’s what we’ve learned about how civic agencies and tech vendors can work together, leveraging the SF Tier 3 Marketplace. Please note that the information here is based on our own experiences. This blog post is not affiliated with or commissioned by the City and County of San Francisco Office of Contract Administration.

1. How can a civic agency in the City and County of SF use the Tier 3 Marketplace?

The City and County of San Francisco’s Office of Contract Administration has published Technology Purchasing Guidelines (look under “OCA Technology Purchasing Guidelines,” on this resource page.  Appendix B (page 14) in particular, is a checklist of all of the steps and documents that the civic agency has to take to procure through the Tier 3 Marketplace.

2. Does every procurement through the Tier 3 Marketplace have to be competitive?

No. The Tier 3 Marketplace is created to make it easier for smaller vendors to work with civic agencies. Any scope of work that is $110K or less can be procured through a direct purchase order. There is no need for a competitive bidding process. However, if the scope of work is greater than $110K, then it has to go through a competitive procurement process. The cap for any contract that goes through Tier 3 is $600K. 

3. What is the timeline for a non-competitive purchase order ($110K or less)?

Once the city agency has received a scope of work and quote from the vendor, the rest of the process should take no more than 2-3 weeks. There are a number of internal steps to follow to get the purchase order signed off. Below are a few of the key steps:

1.Department of Technology reviews the purchase orders (about 5 days)

2. Local 21 Union conducts their reviews (10 days minimum)

3. Once everything has been approved, processing can take 1-7 days

Please consult Appendix B in the Technology Purchasing Guidebook for the comprehensive step by step instructions.

4. How many times can a vendor or civic agency engage through the Tier 3 marketplace?

There are no limitations to the number of times that a vendor can engage with one or more civic agencies under this vehicle. The only limitation is set by the contract cap of $600K. However, since there are multiple categories a vendor can qualify for under the Tier 3 Marketplace, each category has a contract cap of $600K.

Since Exygy has qualified into 3 different categories, we are able to engage in a total of $1.8M across these categories. The categories Exygy is qualified into are: Computer System Services; Computer Training Services; and Database Development and Analysis. These categories are each fairly broadly defined, and there are many types of projects that can fit into the category descriptions.


Aashna Shah
Aashna Shah
Business Growth Strategist

While Aashna is passionate about all things social impact, feminism, and behavioral health care, immigrants rights get her particularly fired up.