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General Information

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Firefox 3.6 and Internet Explorer 7 and 8 have been tested on the site. We are testing other browsers to ensure all users have an optimal experience. While you can use any browser of your choice, please be aware that pages render differently in different browsers and browser versions.

What is Financial Services Mission? 
Finance and Administrative Services mission is to maintain the financial integrity of the City. This is accomplished through comprehensive and integrated financial management services.

How do I submit a Public Information Request? 
The Texas Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552), gives you the right to access government records; the officer for public information may not ask you why you want them. All government information is presumed to be available to the public, although certain exceptions may apply. Governmental bodies shall release requested information as promptly as possible, unless the information is exempt from disclosure under the Public Information Act. Please visit the following website for more information on how to submit a Public Information Request to the City of Austin: http://www.austintexas.gov/online-form/public-information-request

Budget & Finance

What is the difference between the Proposed Budget and the Approved Budget?
The Proposed Budget is the original submission to the City Council for review and consideration. The Approved Budget includes any amendments or corrections made by staff or the City Council during budget adoption, which generally occurs at least six weeks after the original submission.

What are Performance Reports?
Performance Reports highlight the non-financial performance of a department. They include trend information on key performance measures identified by the departments as the most important to the success of their operations. For information on all of a department’s measures, refer to the Performance Measures Database link in the Performance Reports section.

What are Council's Budget Questions?
These are questions about the Proposed Budget or financial trends made by the City Council. These questions can allow for more a detailed understanding of a budget issue and give the City Council a formal means of asking questions about the Proposed Budget submission.

Where can I find information on the Capital Budget and the Capital Improvement Program?
The Capital Budget for each department can be found in Volume II of the Approved Budget Document. To view the most recent five-year Capital Improvement Plan and find additional information on bond elections and other major City capital improvements, refer to the Capital Improvement Program website.(http://www.austintexas.gov/department/capital-planning)

What is the City of Austin's Fiscal Reporting Period?
The City of Austin operates on a Fiscal Year basis. The Citys Fiscal Year is from October 1st  September 30th each year. As an example, if you see a report or item that states FY2012, then that means the period from October 1st, 2011 to September 30th, 2012. FY2011 would be from October 1st, 2010 to September 30th, 2011.

Official Statements

What if I find a discrepancy between the PDF version of the Official Statement online and original printed Official Statement?
The following Official Statements are placed on the Internet by the City of Austin, Texas (the "City") as a matter of convenience. The Official Statements have been reformatted to PDF for use on the Internet; physical appearance may differ from that of the printed Official Statement. In the event of discrepancies, individuals should refer to the printed Official Statement. The Official Statements each speak as of their date and the City will not supplement or modify them for subsequent events. The annual operating data and event disclosures will be posted as filed at this website.

MBE/WBE Reports

What is MBE/WBE?
A MBE/WBE (Minority-Owned Business Enterprise/Woman-Owned Business Enterprise) is a business that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more minority persons. A minority is generally defined as an individual who is African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American, a Woman.

Where can I get more information about MBE/WBE resources?
The Small & Minority Business Resources Department(SMBR) assists small, minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises (MBE and WBE) as they pursue contracting opportunities with the City of Austin. You can visit their FAQ page at the following link: http://www.austintexas.gov/smbr/dsmbrfaq.htm

Payment Register

What is the Payment Register?
The Payment Register is a PDF report listing of payments made to vendors. There are five Check Registers available: the three Previous Fiscal Years, the Current Fiscal Year to Date, and the previous week's payments.

How often is the Check Status updated on the Payment Register Reports?
The status on Payment Register reports will either show Paid or Outstanding. The City of Austin reconciles and updates their Financial system with the check status from the Bank once per month. Therefore, a check may have actually cleared the bank and may have been paid, but, would still potentially show as Outstanding until the City does their monthly check status update to the Financial System.

What data is included in the Payment Register Reports?
The data in the Payment Register Reports represent purchases of goods and services made by City departments from third parties. The Payment Register Reports do include ACH, wire, and check activity. The Payment Register Reports do not include employee payroll data.

What is the Payroll Register?
The Payroll Register is a PDF summary report showing the City's Payroll Expenditures by pay period. The Register shows the number of employees, gross payroll, Taxes, and also includes expenditures to ERS (Employee Retirement System), PRS (Police Retirement System), and FRS (Fire Retirement System).

Contract Catalog General Information

 What is a Contract?
For the purposes of the Online Contract Catalog, a contract is a long-term (multi-year) contract for goods and services, and contracts for Construction activity. Within the City, these are referred to as Master Agreements and Central Purchase Contracts.

What information is being reported?
Information about City''s authorized spending limit, contract lifetime (called inception-to-date) ordering and spending, as well as individual contract and contract ordering activity. Contracts are visible only while active.

How recent is the Online Contract Catalog data?
The contract counts, amounts and other information is updated every Monday morning.

Can I download this information?
Yes. Please click the Excel Logo icon to download the information displayed on the screen.

Why does information I previously downloaded not match my download today?
The system is refreshed each Monday morning. The City''s financial operations are conducted each day. As contracts are created, they will be added to this site. As contracts expire, they will be removed from this site. Each download provides a time and date stamp to ensure that you can always identify when your download was performed.

What are the Contracting Categories?
The City's Minority and Woman-Owned Business Procurement Ordinance divides competitive procurement activity into four (4) categories:

  • Construction and Construction Related Professional Services
  • Commodities (Goods)
  • Non-Professional Services
  • Professional Services

For completeness, we've provided three (3) additional categories for City contracts that are not competitively acquired or awarded:

  • Cooperative contracting with other public entities
  • Sole Source, Single Source and Similar Exemptions
  • Other Government Contracts

I am having trouble with the Online Contract Catalog. Who can help me?
Please call 3-1-1 (512-974-2000), or contact us by email @Purchasing. We will make sure that your request is routed to the appropriate staff section for assistance.

eCheckbook General Information

I am having trouble with the eCheckbook - who can help me?
Please contact the City of Austin Public Information Office by dialing 3-1-1, or (512) 974-2000, or contacting us at http://austintexas.gov/email/coacommunications.

How often is eCheckbook updated?
The eCheckbook is refreshed each Monday morning with transactions processed during the last seven days.

What is the Department button on the eCheckbook?
The City has a number of departments. You may want to see the payment activity for the Neighborhood Housing Department. The Department search will allow you to look at the spending activities of our major business units.

What is the Category button on the eCheckbook?
The City's Check Category represents a grouping of expenses by type. If you use a home accounting program, you may group expenses, such as mortgage and home repairs, differently than food and purchases to support your transportation needs.

What is the Payee button on the eCheckbook?
Payment activity can be seen related to a specific Payee. Selecting the Payee option provides a way to see who the City is conducting business by Payee. This could be the business/vendor that you represent, or a business/vendor that you are interested in viewing the payment activity.

What is the Payment Register button on the eCheckbook?
The Payment Register is a PDF report listing of payments made to vendors. There are three Payment Registers available: the Previous Fiscal Year, the Current Fiscal Year to Date, and the previous week's payments.

What if I see more than one payee with the same name?
Because the City of Austin Online Checkbook is a virtual checkbook, all transactions are recorded by the payee as it appeared on the check. The City of Austin also does business with companies that have multiple branch addresses which we pay as separate payee vendor codes, but the payee name is the same. The City also identifies each Payee by a unique identification number know as a Vendor Code and it is possible that two vendors have the same name but each have their own unique Vendor Code.

Can I do a partial name search?
Yes. The City's Payee search tool is built with the understanding that you may not know a full or exact name. You can enter a portion of the name. However, please be aware that you may be requested to enter more specific information if the result set is very large.

Why would the Purchase Order be blank?
The expenditure did not require a purchase order or contract. Not all payments are the result of orders and contracts. The City has several financial processes that create payment activities.

Why is detail information by payee not always available?
The payee information is on the payment request at the time the payment is made. However, department financial managers may reclassify payments to different funds and categories in order to comply with a variety of laws, regulations, and federal grant requirements.

What is the City of Austin's Fiscal Reporting Period?
The City of Austin operates on a Fiscal Year basis. The City’s Fiscal Year is from October 1st – September 30th each year. As an example, if you see a report or item that states FY2012, then that means the period from October 1st, 2011 to September 30th, 2012. FY2011 would be from October 1st, 2010 to September 30th, 2011.

Why is there no payment information prior to October 1, 2009 and are the dates in fiscal or calendar year?
The City of Austin operates on a Fiscal Year basis. The City’s Fiscal Year is from October 1st – September 30th each year. Currently, the eCheckbook contains data beginning with Fiscal Year 2010 which started on October 1st, 2009. The City’s current Fiscal Year, FY2012, began on October 1st, 2011. Please be aware that the year and month drop-down picklist selection in the eCheckbook is for the calendar year and calendar month.

What is a Department?
A department is a primary organizational unit used by the City of Austin. Examples of various departments are Parks and Recreation and Austin Police Department.

What is a Fund?
A fund is a high level chart of accounts structure. Funds help organize the City's finances. Some examples include the General Fund, Solid Waste Services Fund, and the Airport Operating Fund.

What is a Program?
A program is the secondary organizational unit used by the City of Austin. Each department has one or more programs within it. For example, Parks and Recreation have Acquatics, Cultural Arts Services, Facilities Services, etc. A program can be an organizational entity within a department, or an administrative entity in which expenses can be captured and tracked.

What is an Activity?
An activity is a sub-group under programs that further segregates the organization to track the City of Austin's functions and expenses.

What is an Expense Category?
An expense category describes the types of expenses. For example, Computer Software, Salaries, and Architectural Services.

What is a Payee?
A payee is a vendor who provides goods or services and is paid by the City of Austin.

What is a Payment Request?
A payment request is the transaction that authorizes a payment for goods or services in the City of Austin.

What is a Purchase Order?
A purchase order is the transaction that authorizes the purchase of goods or services.

What is a Category?
A category is a high level grouping of expenses. Some examples are Commodities, Contractual Services, and Expense Refunds.

What does REF. LINE on the purchase order mean?
Payment requests can contain multiple vendor, commodity and accounting reference lines. Purchase orders refer to a particular line on the payment request.

How often is the Check Status updated?
The Check Status for a payment line in the eCheckbook will either show Paid or Outstanding. The City of Austin reconciles and updates their Financial system with the check status from the Bank once per month. Therefore, a check may have actually cleared the bank and may have been paid, but, would still potentially show as Outstanding until the City does their monthly check status update to the Financial System.

What data is included in the eCheckbook?
The data in the eCheckbook represents purchases of goods and services made by City departments from third parties. eCheckbook does include ACH, wire, and check activity. eCheckbook does not include employee payroll data.

 

Unclaimed Property General Information

What property is listed on the City of Austin's Unclaimed Property site? 
Every year various Department of the City of Austin report unclaimed cash and valuables, from uncashed checks, deposits, refunds, overpayments or any other transactions creating a credit balance valued at $100.00 or less. All property listed on the City of Austin Unclaimed Property site is cash resulting from City of Austin business such as utilities, Municipal Court, Accounts Payable and payroll. We don't have any other physical property such as what would be confiscated in an arrest or lost due to theft.

 

Offices General Information

What is the mission of the Treasury Office for the City of Austin?
To protect the financial resources of the City, to optimize revenue through the pursuit of effective cash management policies, to invest in conformance with the Investment Policy and to manage the City's debt by continually evaluating financing alternatives in order to obtain the most favorable prevailing financial rates. The Treasury program shall be designed and managed in a manner that is responsive to the public trust and consistent with local, state and federal law, with an emphasis on providing quality customer service.

What is the role of the Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs division?
The Office of Telecommunications & Regulatory Affairs (TARA) is a division of the Financial & Administrative Services Department. TARA oversees the private use of public rights-of-way, ensuring fair use and compensation for this valuable public asset. We are responsible for the administration of cable, electric and gas utility franchises, as well as the licensing of telecommunications services that use the rights-of-way.

 

General Information

How do I access Vendor Connection? 
Vendor Connection could be access through the City of Austin Website/ Austin Finance Online. The direct link is https://www.ci.austin.tx.us/financeonline/vendor_connection/index.cfm

Is the Vendor Connection application internet browser specific?
Vendor Connection was designed and coded by the City of Austin staff to be browser and OS independent. 

Where can I find help on Vendor Connection?
Vendor Connection homepage has different self-help sections covering the most common questions we get from vendors as well videos on how to navigate throughout the application.  For specific questions or information please email us at Vendorreg@austintexas.gov or call us at 512-974-2018. 

What is the Vendor Registration Help Desk contact information and hours?
Vendor Registration Help Desk

Phone: (512) 974-2018
Fax: (512) 978-7643
Email: vendorreg@austintexas.gov
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time

What is a Registered Vendor?
A Registered Vendor has provided information to the City of Austin so that we can award contracts to the vendor and notify them of bid opportunities. As part of the registration process, the vendor will provide their Tax Identification Number and an IRS form W9 (form W8 for foreign companies). Vendors can select which goods and services they offer from the National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) commodity code list. Registered vendors receive notification via their choice of email or fax when new solicitations are posted with their commodity codes.

Why should I register my company in Vendor Connection?
In order to do business with the City of Austin you must be a registered and approved vendor.  Registering on Vendor Connection also guarantee vendors to receive notifications on business opportunities with the City of Austin. 

I forgot my User Name. What do I do?
You could click on the “Retrieve Username” link on Vendor Connection homepage.  Please enter the account email address once you are prompted.  If you are not sure whose email is on the account please email or call Vendor Registration Help Desk at vendorreg@austintexas.gov / (512) 974-2018? You will need to supply your Tax Identification Number (TIN) for verification.

I forgot my password, how do I reset it?
You could reset your own password by just clicking on the “Reset Password” link on the Vendor Connection homepage.  It will prompt the user to enter the use-name on the account and send an email to the email address on file.  If you don’t receive an email within a reasonable amount of time with a link to reset your password, it might be because email address on file is different one.  In that case please contact the Vendor Registration Help Desk at vendorreg@austintexas.gov or (512) 974-2018 for assistance in resetting your password.

How do I know if I have an existing account?
If you are unsure about your registration status, please contact the Vendor Registration Help Desk at vendorreg@austintexas.gov or (512) 974-2018.  Please have your business  Tax ID ready when you call.

Am I finished after I complete the online registration?
Yes if you attached your W-9 form during the registration.  If you did not attach the form, you will need to submit a W-9 Form for the account to be approved, found at the IRS website www.irs.gov. You could either email the form to vendorreg@austintexas.gov or fax it to 512-978-7643.  Or by mail at

Vendor Registration
PO Box 1088
Austin, TX 78767

Or

City of Austin Vendor Registration
124 West 8th Street, 3rd Floor
Austin, TX 78701

My company is not 1099 reportable. Do I still have to submit a W-9?
Yes, any vendor registering to do business with the City of Austin must submit a signed W-9 form.

Is there a fee to register?
There is no registration fee.

I am an individual, not a company. Do I need to register?
Yes, individual is an option to select in the registration process.

Do I need to login to find what solicitations are currently posted?
Yes, you need to create a Subscriber account to find out what is already posted.

How can I receive email notices about newly posted or amended solicitations?
Emails are sent to vendors based on their registered commodity codes and the email address set up in your account. It is very important your email account is current to receive notices. To make sure that City of Austin email is not blocked by anti-SPAM programs, please add vendorreg@austintexas.gov to your email address book.

If I do not want to be notified of business opportunities with the City by fax and / or email, what do I need to do?
Notifications are automatically sent based on commodity codes. To avoid being notified, you would need to remove the commodity codes. Please check with Vendor Registration Help desk.

Where do I go to find the City's Standard Purchasing Terms and Conditions?
They are available on the Purchasing Website for download at http://assets.austintexas.gov/purchase/standard.htm

What type of insurance do I need to do business with the City?
Insurance requirements are called out in Section 0300 of the Standard Purchase Terms and conditions. Section 0400, Supplemental Purchase Provisions may list additional requirements identified in the solicitation documents.

Why are you requiring insurance now? We have been doing business with the City for the past year?
A Certificate of Insurance has always been required by the City (please reference section 0400 of your contract for detailed insurance requirements). I cannot answer as to why this was overlooked in the past, but we are not able to move forward with your renewal without the proper Certificate of Insurance.

Do I have to pay for employee health benefits in order to get a contract with the City?
Health Benefits have to be offered to the employee. We do not dictate who funds the plan.

Where do I go to find the Consumer Price Index mentioned in the City contract?
The CPI is published Federal Government, Bureau of Labor Statistics Indicator, Consumer Price Index U.S. City Average. http://www.bls.gov/ro1/9130.htm

What is the process for getting City approval if I need to assign a contract to another vendor?
Contact the Contract Administration group in the Purchasing Office at (512)974-2500

What does the contractor have to supply to the City of Austin in reference to the Living Wage Employee Certification Form and how often?
For all Contract Employees (including all tiers of subcontracting) directly assigned to the contract, the contractor shall provide with the first invoice and as requested by the Department’s assigned Contract Manager, Individual Employee Certifications containing the employee’s name and job title with a signed statement certifying that the employee is paid at a rate equal to or greater than the City of Austin’s current Living Wage. The City of Austin’s Living Wage rate amount is located on Vendor Connection.

Employee Certifications shall be signed by each employee directly assigned to the contract.

The contractor shall submit employee certifications annually with the respective invoice to verify that employees are paid the Living Wage throughout the term of the contract.

My company is not 1099 reportable. Do I still have to submit a W-9?
Yes, any vendor registering to do business with the City of Austin must submit a signed W-9 form.

Is Commodities the last section of the registration?
No.  In the Commodities section, select the Continue Registration button to move to the final section, Verify.

Will I receive notification my registration is complete? 
You will not receive an email notification when your registration is complete, but you can monitor your status by checking account type. After completing the online registration, your account type is Subscriber Vendor.  Once the account is approved by Vendor Registration staff, your account type is Vendor.

We do not know who created our registration.  May we register again? 
No, only one account is allowed per tax ID.  Please contact Vendor Registration at 512-974-2018 to get access to your existing account. 

How can we update the Business section of our account? 
Additional information is required to update fields in the Business section.  Please contact Vendor Registration for more information.

What is a Subscriber?
A Subscriber is an individual or company that has created a basic account in order to download solicitation documents. Subscribers provide either an email or a fax to receive notification of addenda for solicitations to which they have subscribed.

How do I subscribe to a solicitation?
Click on the solicitation that interests you and read the description. At the top of the screen, to the right of the solicitation number, is a link to Subscribe to the solicitation. Then provide your username and password. If you don't have an account, click the Create Account link. You will be asked to provide you name and an email or fax number so that we can notify you of solicitation addenda.

How can we link the subscriber accounts of our employees to our primary account?
Subscriber accounts created before logging into your primary account cannot be linked. To create sub-accounts, log in to your primary account, and select Additional Accounts.

What is the difference between sales and payment addresses? I only have one address, do I need both?
Sales addresses are used for contracts and purchase orders, and payment addresses are used for issuing checks. Both types of addresses are required, even if the same address is used twice.

Do I need to register to receive a refund? I am not selling goods or providing services to the City.
To receive payment from the City, you must register as a vendor.

How do I know the W9 version/revision date?
The revision date is in the top, left corner of the W9 document.

How long is my account active?
Accounts do not have inactive dates. You will be notified with the contact information on file if your account is closed or placed on hold.

What information can I find in reports?
The report information is tailored to you as the Vendor and your business relationship with the City of Austin. You may not have information in any or all of the sections, especially if you are a new Vendor or if you have not had a prime or subcontract award yet. The Reports section contains 7 report screens:

  • Payments as a Prime
  • Awards as a Prime
  • Master Agreements
  • Compliance Plans as Prime
  • Prime Payments to Sub
  • Compliance Plan as Sub
  • Payments as Sub

What is the date range for information in Reports?
The Prime award information is current as of last night and stretches back in time to October 1, 2006. Subcontractor payment information is entered from reports submitted by Prime Contractors, so there is a lag in reporting the subcontractor payments.