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Construction Law Authority / Posts tagged "Procurement"

Getting Started with Public Bidding

Do you provide goods or services that public agencies purchase? Do you want to pursue public contract awards? Do you know how to get started? These are questions that you may have asked yourself. If you are looking to bid on public contracts, then there are some steps that you can take to put a plan into action. First, you should identify public agencies that need your goods and services. Some agencies may have purchasing cycles for particular goods and services and knowing when those opportunities will be advertised is critical. Most agencies maintain websites with links to their purchasing departments and/or purchasing procedures. They may also have representatives that can provide guidance on doing business with the agency and whether there are any registration or pre-qualifications requirements. The websites may also list the pending advertisements and bidding deadlines. Prior to contacting an agency, however, be mindful that there may be...

New Public Records Requirements for Contracts with Public Agencies

The Florida Legislature recently enacted Florida Statutes, Section 119.0701 (Chapter 2013-154) which requires that contracts for services with public agencies, where the contractor is acting on behalf of the agency, must provide a provision mandating compliance with the public records laws.  Specifically, Section 119.0701(2) mandates that the provision require the contractor to: (a) Keep and maintain public records that ordinarily and necessarily would be required by the public agency in order to perform the service. (b) Provide the public with access to public records on the same terms and conditions that the public agency would provide the records and at a cost that does not exceed the cost provided in this chapter [119] or as otherwise provided by law. (c) Ensure that public records that are exempt or confidential and exempt from public records disclosure requirements are not disclosed except as authorized by law. (d) Meet all requirements for retaining public records and transfer,...

Are You A Design-Build Firm?

Based upon weekly bid reports, the trend in Florida continues to emphasize design-build requests for proposals ("RFP") for public works projects. Public agencies view the design-build model as a means to streamline the procurement process as well as an opportunity to contract with one firm which has the responsibility for both the design and construction of a project....

Court Finds Late Bid Was Not Late

By: Mark J. Stempler


The court: The United States Court of Federal Claims


A computer glitch forced disqualified proposers to challenge a U.S. government agency.  Here is an abridged version of what happened.  The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) advertised a Request for Quotations (RFQ).  Eventually during the process, proposers were allowed to submit their revised final quotes either in hard copy form, or electronically via email.  If the proposer submitted the quote electronically, it was its proposer’s responsibility to send in the appropriate information, and to do so timely to the people designated to receive it. 


The two Plaintiffs in this case submitted quotations in response, and did so electronically and in their opinion, before the deadline.  The way the system was set up, emails from outside sources directed to the specified USAID email addresses pass from the outside mail server through a sequence of three (3) agency-controlled computer servers, before they are ultimately delivered to the recipients.  To make a long story short, the emails were received by the first USAID server, but due to technical error, were not passed on to the ultimate recipients until after the submittal deadline.  USAID notified the proposers that their proposals would not be considered because they were received after the deadline.  Arguing that late is late, the USAID felt that it did not matter whether the perceived lateness was due to technological malfunctions with its own computer system.

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...