FOCUS: Fast Open Contracts Utilization Service
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Program Overview: FAQ
FAQ
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What is FOCUS?

FOCUS -- Fast Open Contracts Utilization Services -- is California's only nationwide, local government-to-government purchasing program. It allows cities, counties, schools, special districts and other public entities to acquire technology products and services -- quickly, easily, and at competitive rates.

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What are the benefits of participating in FOCUS?

FOCUS gives you access to pre-screened, competitively bid vendors in the technology industry, so that you can avoid the expense and delay of a protracted government RFP process. There is no charge for you to take advantage of the benefits of FOCUS -- no associations to join or administrative fees to be paid. Most favored public agency pricing is offered by all FOCUS vendors.

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Can my public agency use this program without going out to bid?

Yes, in most states. Each state has its own laws addressing intergovernmental purchasing. We recommend the local jurisdiction's elected body approve the use of the program, unless the power to decide has already been delegated.

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What is a joint powers agreement?

It is an agreement between two or more public entities for some joint purpose. For the purpose of FOCUS, a joint powers agreement is required to use Merced County's technology contracts. The execution document is the signed public agency's purchase order that references the specific FOCUS vendor contract number. The original is forwarded to the specific FOCUS vendor and an information copy is forwarded to the Merced County Department of Business-Economic Opportunities via U.S. Mail, facsimile or e-mail. That's it!

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How can I obtain copies of the legal documentation associated with each contract?

Call 209.385.7686 or fill in the form on our Information Request page.

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How does a public agency participate in FOCUS?

It's easy to get started with FOCUS. The first step is to seek a right to use the basic FOCUS contract from your administrative authority. In order for a public agency to participate in FOCUS, the public agency must complete a joint powers agreement with Merced County. Merced County has determined that agreements are accomplished by referencing the specific FOCUS contract number on each public agency's purchase order, forwarding the original to the FOCUS vendor-partner, and providing an information copy to the Merced County Department of Business-Economic Opportunities via U.S. mail, fax or e-mail.

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How much does it cost a public agency to participate in FOCUS?

There is no charge for you to take advantage of the benefits of FOCUS -- no associations to join or administrative fees to be paid. The price you get from the vendor is all you pay.

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