What Happens After Filing A Bid Protest In A Florida Construction Case?
Whenever the government seeks to purchase goods or services for public projects, the agency is required by law to hold a competition among potential sellers. This aspect of the procurement process ensures fairness among the entities seeking to provide goods or services, but also to promote fiscal responsibility through appropriate use of taxpayer funds. Still, when the government awards a contract to a bidder, there are others who will be dissatisfied with the decision. A bid protest is the remedy through which these entities challenge the agency’s action. In the context of construction projects, the Florida Administrative Procedure Act (APA) applies to the bid protest process.
If you do not agree with the government’s decision to award a construction contract to another company, you have 72 hours to take action by submitting a notice of intent to file a bid protest. Doing so triggers additional steps in the process, and a Florida bid protests and disputes attorney can guide you in terms of requirements and details. Plus, it is useful to understand the basics on what happens next.
Next Stages After Filing a Bid Protest
The 72-hour deadline mentioned above applies to the notice of intent to file a bid protest, but keep in mind that you have up to 10 days afterward to file the formal protest documents. It is critical to include specifics and details upon which the bid protest is based, so your paperwork should state all facts showing that you would prevail in your claim for improper government action. You will also need to secure a protest bond for 1 percent of the contract amount.
From there, you can expect additional steps in bid protests:
- The agency must hold a settlement conference within 7 days after the formal protest, which could result in an agreement resolving all disputes.
- Upon receipt of the formal bid protest, the government body must impose an automatic stay on the solicitation or contract award process until resolution.
Options for Resolutions of Bid Protests
One of the central points in the settlement conference is discussions of “voluntary corrective action” by the agency accused of misconduct in the procurement process. Government bodies are authorized to:
- Reject some or all offers that adversely affect the protester’s interests;
- Directly award the construction contract to the protester;
- Reassess certain offers, focusing on specific factors raised by the protester;
- Amend the invitation to bid, request for proposal, or invitation to negotiate to correct errors; and,
- Take any other remedial action that is not precluded by law.
If you are unable to work out a resolution at the settlement conference, the next step is going before an administrative law judge for a decision – a proceeding similar to a trial in court.
A Jupiter, FL Bid Protests and Disputes Lawyer Will Guide You Through the Process
These tips are useful, but you can better leverage your options in a bid dispute when you have experienced counsel on your side. For additional details about the process, please call 561-626-8880 or go online to reach Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. We are happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your circumstances.