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Construction Law Authority / Procurement (Page 2)

Bidding: What Does Responsive and Responsible Mean?

We have all heard the phrase "lowest responsive and responsible bid", but what does it mean? In the context of a public agency's award of a contract pursuant to an Invitation for Bids ("IFB"), the award will generally be made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Pursuant to Florida Statutes, a “responsible vendor” means a vendor who has the capability in all respects to fully perform the contract requirements and the integrity and reliability that will assure good faith performance. Additionally, a “responsive bid” means a bid, or proposal, or reply submitted by a responsive and responsible vendor that conforms in all material respects to the solicitation. Accordingly, being the "lowest" bidder is not the end of the analysis. The low bidder must also demonstrate that it is qualified to do the work (i.e. responsible), and it must submit all required information and documents that are required...

Protect Awards By Intervention in Bid Protests

As competition for public contract awards continues to intensify, consider intervention in the event that an award to your firm is protested. If an administrative protest is filed, the particular agency rules and regulations may provide for intervention. In the context of a bid protest, intervention means having the chance to directly participate in the defense of a protest and participate in the proceedings. Florida case law has held that an awardee has a significant interest in the outcome of an award challenge, and therefore, standing to participate in proceedings. By intervening, you will have the opportunity to directly influence the outcome of a protest, and may in the process, be of significant assistance to the public agency in defense of the award. Don't sit on the sidelines while other parties dispute whether your firm should receive the contract award. Bear in mind, however, that there may be strict time limitations on...

New State Law Requires Public Bid Openings

During the several years, there has been some controversy concerning whether bid openings should be open to the public and what information bidders should have access to. In 2011, the Florida Legislature expanded the exemptions to the Public Records Law enlarging the time for bids to be exempt from inspection and copying from ten days to thirty days from the opening of the bids, or until the time of a notice of intended award, whichever is earlier. Concerns were raised as to access to information, and whether bid openings should be open to the public. This year, the Florida Legislature enacted Section 255.0518, Florida Statutes which requires state and local agencies to open sealed bids for the construction or repairs on a public building or public work during an open meeting conducted in accordance with the Sunshine Law. The agency is further required to announce the name of each bidder and the price submitted in...

Did You Include All Costs In Your Bid?

So it is time to sign your price proposal and get your bid in to a public agency. Have you considered all costs to perform the work, and those that are in addition to the cost of labor and materials? The public agency's terms and conditions should spell out all of the costs that are to be included in the price proposal. Such costs may go well beyond the cost of the work itself. For example, it may be that the cost of bonds, additional insurance coverage, permits and inspections are to be included in the cost of the work, and therefore the bid amount. It is also important to include all required elements as part of your pricing to make sure that your bid is responsive. Accordingly, it is imperative that bidders carefully consider all requirements that have a cost when estimating and calculating a bid. Generally, a public agency may...

Prominent Investor in P3 Projects Speaks About Florida’s Prospects


Jane Garvey, the North American Chair of Meridiam Infrastructure, knows a thing or two about public/private partnerships (“P3”). Meridiam is one of the country’s leaders in P3 projects, from compiling the P3 team and fertilizing it with ideas and experience to investing in the enterprise as a shareholder or lender. Jane is their top person in North America and shared her thoughts with me about Florida’s potential for P3 development. In this blog post and some that will follow, I will share her thoughts with you.

P3s are not ideal for every job. They’re more appropriate for large, complex, innovative projects not neatly fitting into traditional capital programs. The project must be critical to the public owner, as criticality will ensure the facility will be operated for the long-term, thus generating the necessary operational revenue to repay private investors and contractors for their risks. Criticality also ensures strong public sector buy-in, as lack of public commitment to the job may dilute the prospects of success. Historically, critical projects have included transportation as well as social infrastructure, such as schools, courthouses, and teaching hospitals.


The proposed P3 project must have a good revenue stream or it won’t attract investors or lenders. Stable revenue tied to the job, such as shares of federal funds, sales taxes or impact fees, will lure investors. Riskier prospects may deter investors. Without private funding, the P3 delivery method will fail, so it is important for funding to be attracted through assurances of stable revenue sources from which investors may earn an appropriate return on their investment.