5 Reasons To Pursue A Florida Construction Bid Protest
As a Florida construction contractor going through the competitive bidding process, you know the ball is in your court when it comes to identifying and taking action for misconduct. It is rare that the improprieties in soliciting bids or awarding contracts will be open and obvious. Florida’s Little Miller Act provides details on the bid process and requirements when a public entity seeks the services of a contractor. It starts with soliciting proposals, followed by contractors submitting bids on the specifications and cost. The contract is awarded to the entity that meets the criteria at the best price.
Interference with the process may give rise to a bid protest for the contractors who were turned down by the government, but time is of the essence to take action. You might have just 72 hours from the public agency notifying bidders that it has made a decision. A Florida bid protests, bid disputes and public contracting attorney will handle the details related to:
- Non-Responsive Contractor
A public body can only award a contract to a bidder who describes the work to be performed in the same way as the bid solicitation. A responsive bid is one that conforms in all material respects to what the procuring agency seeks, so minor deviations are not sufficient for a successful bid protest.
- Improper Communications
A “cone of silence” applies to all government procurements, meaning that prospective bidders cannot communicate with representatives from the public agency – other than the point of contact listed in the bid solicitation. There may also be rules on proper communications, such as the requirement for all exchanges to be in writing. Violations of the law might be a reason to file a bid protest.
- Bid Mistakes
An error in the bid may be actionable, but these claims are very case-specific. For instance, mistakes in calculations or typos can be corrected rather than lead to cancellation of the contract. However, blunders in evaluating project specification could provide solid grounds for a successful bid protest.
- Violations of the “Sunshine” Law
The entire bid process is aimed at transparency when a public body will be paying for a Florida construction project with taxpayer money. As such, the Sunshine Law imposes requirements for meetings where a government agency will take official action; these sessions must be property noticed and open to the public. If the meeting did not comply with the law, any bids awarded to a contractor are null and void.
- Late Bid Submissions
The deadline for delivering bids will be included in the solicitation, so it is possible to file a bid protest against a contractor who won on a late submission.
Our South Florida Bid Protests Lawyers Will Guide You Through the Process
If you have concerns about a lost bid and believe misconduct tainted the process, please contact Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. to learn more about your options. You can reach us at 561-626-8880 or go online to set up a consultation with an attorney. Our offices serve clients throughout Palm Beach County and the surrounding region, so we are happy to help with bid protests.