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Contractor Prequalification Program

The program ensures compliance with Municipal Code §22.3004(a) (PDF). The code requires contractors desiring to bid as a prime contractor on City of San Diego Public Works projects to be qualified based on:

  • financial strength
  • technical expertise
  • experience
  • a satisfactory record of past performance
  • compliance with the law

Prime contractors certified as an emerging or small local business under the City's Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) program may be automatically prequalified to bid up to $1 million or their single-project bond limit, whichever is less. For more information and detailed requirements visit the SLBE Program.

Small Projects

These projects are valued at $1 million or less. To become prequalified to bid only on small projects, prime contractors who are not SLBE certified must complete the online Prequalification Program Questionnaire for Small Projects (PDF) and submit a current financial statement, and current bond letter.

Large Projects

These projects are valued at more than $1 million. To become prequalified to bid on large projects, prime contractors must complete the online Prequalification Program Questionnaire for Large Projects (PDF) with a list of prior completed construction projects and submit a current bond letter and complete reviewed or audited financial statement.

The range of projects on which the prime contractor will be prequalified to bid is determined by the following:

Project Range Financial Information Type
Up to $1,000,000 Financial Statement and Bond Letter
$1,000,001 - $15,000,000 Reviewed Financial Statement and Bond Letter
$15,000,001 and above Audited Financial Statement and Bond Letter

Prequalification Process

  1. Prime contractors desiring to prequalify to bid on projects valued at up to $1 million will complete the online Prequalification Program Questionnaire for Small Projects (PDF) and submit current financial statements and a current bond letter.
  2. Prime contractors desiring to bid on projects valued at over $1 million must complete the online Prequalification Program Questionnaire for Large Projects (PDF) with references and submit a current bond letter and complete reviewed or audited financial statements.
  3. To continue eligibility, bi-annual renewal of prequalification is required by submitting a Prequalification Program Renewal Questionnaire (PDF) with updated financial statements and bond letter.
  4. City staff will verify the information submitted in the questionnaire, bond letter, and financial statements, and interview the prime contractor's previous clients. City staff will use standardized rating criteria to evaluate the questionnaire and interviews, and will determine the prime contractor's maximum bidding capacity. Once prequalified, prime contractors will be eligible to bid on City projects for two years.
  5. The completed prequalification program packet, consisting of the Prequalification Program Questionnaire, completed construction projects, current bond letter, and current financial statements must be submitted.
  6. Complete and accurate answers to the questions in the Prequalification Program Questionnaire are required. These documents will be the basis of rating prime contractors with respect to the size and scope of contracts for which prime contractors are qualified to bid. The City reserves the right to check other available sources. Omission of requested information can result in automatic disqualification.
  7. The prequalification program documents are not public records, subject to the Public Records Act, and are not open for public inspection. All information provided will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. The City reserves the right to reject any and all submittals and to waive any irregularities in the information contained therein.
  8. Each Prequalification Program Questionnaire and any other submitted pages must be signed under penalty of perjury by an individual who has the legal authority to bind the prime contractor on whose behalf that person is signing. If any information provided by a prime contractor changes, the prime contractor must immediately notify the City and provide updated, accurate information in writing and under penalty of perjury.
  9. When announced at Bids & Contracts, the prime contractors may submit the supporting documentation via the City of San Diego Vendor Portal.

Note: A complete prequalification program package must be received at least 10 City working days prior to any bid opening on which the prime contractor wishes to bid in order to allow time for review, verification and approval.