Bid Protests – Public Procurement

A bid protest is a tool available to bidders on public projects who feel that they have been aggrieved by the bid process. However, to properly bring a bid protest you need to have standing. Generally, only the second lowest bidder has standing to challenge the award to the lowest bidder. There are some exceptions to that rule if there is a global problem with the bid selection process or several lower bidders are guilty of irregularities in their bids and there is a legal basis to deem such bids defective due to non-waivable irregularities.

This post is not meant to go in depth on the current status of Florida Laws regarding public bid letting. However, if you believe you are aggrieved bidder here are some questions you may want to ask, in the following order:
1. Is my bid responsive to the bid documents? Did I provide all necessary information, and forms. Do I meet each and every requirement set forth on the request for bids, request for proposal?
2. Are lower bids then yours somehow defective and should be thrown out? Did such lower bidders comply with all material terms of the request for bids.

Challenging Bids

1. Did the purchasing body apply its Small Business Bonus/ Minority Business Bonus/Women’s Business Bonus/ Local preference correctly? Are entities receiving such bonuses qualified to receive such bid bonuses?

2.Did the bidder list its subcontractors it intends on using? Did the bid documents require the listing of the sub-contractors? Does Florida Law require listing of the subcontractors?

3. Did the bidder comply with conditions set forth by the funding authority? Are federal funds involved? State funds involved?

These are just some of the points of inquiry which could lead to a basis for a bid protest.

Be sure to carefully review the bid protest procedures in place from the authority letting bids. Usually there are strict timing deadlines which need to be complied with.

Feel free to contact Andrew Douglas, P.A. 954.474.4420 to discuss any bid protest issue you may have.

Article by: Andrew Douglas, Esq., Andrew Douglas, P.A., 954.474.4420

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