Construction Bid Protests In Florida: Quick Facts For Contractors
When it comes to Florida construction projects between a government body and a private contractor, the law is clear that fairness depends upon open competition. In enacting the statute on public procurement, lawmakers expressed their intent that allowing a bidding process for these projects reduces the potential for perceived favoritism. It is only when companies are allowed to compete with each other that the public will have confidence that their tax dollars are spent responsibly. Bidding for construction services requires a uniform set of procedures to further this objective.
However, though the legal rules are strict, improprieties in the bidding process can occur. The bid you thought would result in the contract being awarded to you could go to another company, and you may have suspicions about a lack of fairness. The statute does provide a means for challenging the process, so it is critical to retain a Florida bid protests, bid disputes & public contracting attorney for assistance with the complicated laws. A few quick facts may also be informative.
Bid Rules Vary by Government Agency
Ideally, the legal requirements and procedural rules would be the same across the board for all government bodies executing construction contracts with private companies. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Not only are there distinctions between Florida and federal agencies, but you will also need to know the rules that apply to individual state and local agencies. Plus, the regulations vary when it comes to soliciting bids and considering bid protests.
Criteria for Raising a Bid Protest
Though they have discretion in awarding bids, government agencies are still bound by the statutory requirements. They are required to consider all bids submitted by a “responsive” and “responsible “contractor. Specifically,
- A responsive contractor is one that delivers a bid which conforms in all material respects to the solicitation published by the agency.
- A responsible contractor possesses sufficient skill and has access to appropriate resources, enabling it to complete the construction project in a workmanlike manner and on time.
As a result, you only have standing to pursue a bid protest if you meet these requirements.
Differences Between Pre- and Post-Award Bid Protests
The rules related to bid protests may also vary based upon what stage you want to dispute. For instance, a pre-award protest aims to challenge the selection requirements the agency employs when granting the bid to a contractor. After the winning company is announced, you could have grounds for a post-award bid protest that disputes the selection process.
Proof for a Successful Bid Protest
Documents are the most effective evidence for proving improprieties with public construction contract bids, including:
- The solicitation for bids;
- The winning bid;
- Emails and other communications;
- Pricing schedules; and
- Any paperwork revealing deviations from the bid process.
Contact a South Florida Bid Protests Lawyer to Learn More
As you can see, construction bid protests can lead to a win for Florida contractors – but there are also many risks and pitfalls that impact success. For more information about the pros and cons, please contact Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. We can schedule a consultation at our Jupiter, FL offices to discuss details.