Program Overview

If you purchase technology products and services for a public agency, FOCUS is your ticket to streamlining the procurement process.

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.


FOCUS is the result of five years of work in attempting to bring technology choices from multiple sources to our own and other public agencies.

Originally formed as a result of dire budgetary constraints in the early 1990s, FOCUS has emerged as a tool to procure technology goods and services, quickly and from multiple sources.

Competitively bid nationally, all contract awards required at least two vendors be selected. Merced County's objective was to infuse economical technology, immediately, into a shrinking workforce situation.

In one form or another, Merced has been administering technology procurement programs since 1992, and administering FOCUS since 1997. Over the life of the program, more than $50,000,000 in technology purchases have been made by numerous local jurisdictions, schools and special districts, as well as state and federal agencies.


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. Fully compliant with public and state procurement law, FOCUS is:

  • Efficient: Pre-qualified, pre-quoted, legally compliant products and services eliminate the need for a formal vendor bid process -- saving you work-hours and calendar days.
  • Economical: Competitive bidding and the power of volume purchasing yield more product and service for less cost.
  • Reliable: With a proven record of accountability since its inception in 1997, FOCUS ensures value and quality through constant monitoring of its vendor-partners' pricing, quality and service.
  • Flexible: Our pool of vendor-partners offers a broad spectrum of information technology products and services to meet a wide range of needs.

There is no charge for you to take advantage of the benefits of FOCUS — no associations to join or administrative fees to be paid. Costs for program management are borne by our vendor-partners.

Legal Compliance

We are in full compliance with California Government Code Sections 6500 and 6502.

6500: "As used in this article, 'public agency' includes, but is not limited to, the federal government or any federal department or agency, this state, another state or any state department or agency, a county, county board of education, county superintendent of schools, city, public corporation, public district, regional transportation commission of this state or another state, or any joint powers authority formed pursuant to this article by any of these agencies."

6502: "If authorized by their legislative or other governing bodies, two or more public agencies by agreement may jointly exercise any power common to the contracting parties, even though one or more of the contracting agencies may be located outside this state."

FOCUS ensures participation in minority-based programs.