Section 287.057, Florida Statutes 2003
287.057 Procurement of commodities or contractual services.--
(1)(a) Unless otherwise authorized by law, all contracts for the purchase of commodities or contractual services in excess of the threshold amount provided in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY TWO shall be awarded by competitive sealed bidding. An invitation to bid shall be made available simultaneously to all vendors and must include a detailed description of the commodities or contractual services sought; the time and date for the receipt of bids and of the public opening; and all contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement, including the criteria to be used in determining acceptability of the bid. If the agency contemplates renewal of the contract, that fact must be stated in the invitation to bid. The bid shall include the price for each year for which the contract may be renewed. Evaluation of bids shall include consideration of the total cost for each year as submitted by the vendor. Criteria that were not set forth in the invitation to bid may not be used in determining acceptability of the bid.
(b) The contract shall be awarded with reasonable promptness by written notice to the responsible and responsive vendor that submits the lowest responsive bid. This bid must be determined in writing to meet the requirements and criteria set forth in the invitation to bid.
(2)(a) If an agency determines in writing that the use of an invitation to bid is not practicable, commodities or contractual services shall be procured by competitive sealed proposals. A request for proposals shall be made available simultaneously to all vendors, and must include a statement of the commodities or contractual services sought; the time and date for the receipt of proposals and of the public opening; and all contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement, including the criteria, which shall include, but need not be limited to, price, to be used in determining acceptability of the proposal. The relative importance of price and other evaluation criteria shall be indicated. If the agency contemplates renewal of the commodities or contractual services contract, that fact must be stated in the request for proposals. The proposal shall include the price for each year for which the contract may be renewed. Evaluation of proposals shall include consideration of the total cost for each year as submitted by the vendor.
(b) The contract shall be awarded to the responsible and responsive vendor whose proposal is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the state, taking into consideration the price and the other criteria set forth in the request for proposals. The contract file shall contain documentation supporting the basis on which the award is made.
(3)(a) If the agency determines in writing that the use of an invitation to bid or a request for proposals will not result in the best value to the state, the agency may procure commodities and contractual services by competitive sealed replies. The agency's written determination must specify reasons that explain why negotiation may be necessary in order for the state to achieve the best value and must be approved in writing by the agency head or his or her designee prior to the advertisement of an invitation to negotiate. An invitation to negotiate shall be made available to all vendors simultaneously and must include a statement of the commodities or contractual services sought; the time and date for the receipt of replies and of the public opening; and all terms and conditions applicable to the procurement, including the criteria to be used in determining the acceptability of the reply. If the agency contemplates renewal of the contract, that fact must be stated in the invitation to negotiate. The reply shall include the price for each year for which the contract may be renewed.
(b) The agency shall evaluate and rank responsive replies against all evaluation criteria set forth in the invitation to negotiate and shall select, based on the ranking, one or more vendors with which to commence negotiations. After negotiations are conducted, the agency shall award the contract to the responsible and responsive vendor that the agency determines will provide the best value to the state. The contract file must contain a short plain statement that explains the basis for vendor selection and that sets forth the vendor's deliverables and price, pursuant to the contract, with an explanation of how these deliverables and price provide the best value to the state.
(4) Prior to the time for receipt of bids, proposals, or replies, an agency may conduct a conference or written question and answer period for purposes of assuring the vendor's full understanding of the solicitation requirements. The vendors shall be accorded fair and equal treatment.
(5) When the purchase price of commodities or contractual services exceeds the threshold amount provided in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY TWO, no purchase of commodities or contractual services may be made without receiving competitive sealed bids, competitive sealed proposals, or competitive sealed replies unless:
(a) The agency head determines in writing that an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare or other substantial loss to the state requires emergency action. After the agency head makes such a written determination, the agency may proceed with the procurement of commodities or contractual services necessitated by the immediate danger, without receiving competitive sealed bids, competitive sealed proposals, or competitive sealed replies. However, such emergency procurement shall be made by obtaining pricing information from at least two prospective vendors, which must be retained in the contract file, unless the agency determines in writing that the time required to obtain pricing information will increase the immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare or other substantial loss to the state. The agency shall furnish copies of all written determinations certified under oath and any other documents relating to the emergency action to the department. A copy of the statement shall be furnished to the Chief Financial Officer with the voucher authorizing payment. The individual purchase of personal clothing, shelter, or supplies which are needed on an emergency basis to avoid institutionalization or placement in a more restrictive setting is an emergency for the purposes of this paragraph, and the filing with the department of such statement is not required in such circumstances. In the case of the emergency purchase of insurance, the period of coverage of such insurance shall not exceed a period of 30 days, and all such emergency purchases shall be reported to the department.
(b) The purchase is made by an agency from a state term contract procured, pursuant to this section, by the department or by an agency, after receiving approval from the department, from a contract procured, pursuant to subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (3), by another agency.
(c) Commodities or contractual services available only from a single source may be excepted from the competitive-solicitation requirements. When an agency believes that commodities or contractual services are available only from a single source, the agency shall electronically post a description of the commodities or contractual services sought for a period of at least 7 business days. The description must include a request that prospective vendors provide information regarding their ability to supply the commodities or contractual services described. If it is determined in writing by the agency, after reviewing any information received from prospective vendors, that the commodities or contractual services are available only from a single source, the agency shall:
1. Provide notice of its intended decision to enter a single-source purchase contract in the manner specified in s. 120.57(3), if the amount of the contract does not exceed the threshold amount provided in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY FOUR.
2. Request approval from the department for the single-source purchase, if the amount of the contract exceeds the threshold amount provided in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY FOUR. The agency shall initiate its request for approval in a form prescribed by the department, which request may be electronically transmitted. The failure of the department to approve or disapprove the agency's request for approval within 21 days after receiving such request shall constitute prior approval of the department. If the department approves the agency's request, the agency shall provide notice of its intended decision to enter a single-source contract in the manner specified in s. 120.57(3).
(d) When it is in the best interest of the state, the secretary of the department or his or her designee may authorize the Support Program to purchase insurance by negotiation, but such purchase shall be made only under conditions most favorable to the public interest.
(e) Prescriptive assistive devices for the purpose of medical, developmental, or vocational rehabilitation of clients are excepted from competitive-solicitation requirements and shall be procured pursuant to an established fee schedule or by any other method which ensures the best price for the state, taking into consideration the needs of the client. Prescriptive assistive devices include, but are not limited to, prosthetics, orthotics, and wheelchairs. For purchases made pursuant to this paragraph, state agencies shall annually file with the department a description of the purchases and methods of procurement.
(f) The following contractual services and commodities are not subject to the competitive-solicitation requirements of this section:
1. Artistic services.
2. Academic program reviews.
3. Lectures by individuals.
4. Auditing services.
5. Legal services, including attorney, paralegal, expert witness, appraisal, or mediator services.
6. Health services involving examination, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, medical consultation, or administration.
7. Services provided to persons with mental or physical disabilities by not-for-profit corporations which have obtained exemptions under the provisions of s. 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code or when such services are governed by the provisions of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-122. However, in acquiring such services, the agency shall consider the ability of the vendor, past performance, willingness to meet time requirements, and price.
8. Medicaid services delivered to an eligible Medicaid recipient by a health care provider who has not previously applied for and received a Medicaid provider number from the Agency for Health Care Administration. However, this exception shall be valid for a period not to exceed 90 days after the date of delivery to the Medicaid recipient and shall not be renewed by the agency.
9. Family placement services.
10. Prevention services related to mental health, including drug abuse prevention programs, child abuse prevention programs, and shelters for runaways, operated by not-for-profit corporations. However, in acquiring such services, the agency shall consider the ability of the vendor, past performance, willingness to meet time requirements, and price.
11. Training and education services provided to injured employees pursuant to s. 440.49(1).
12. Contracts entered into pursuant to s. 337.11.
13. Services or commodities provided by governmental agencies.
(g) Continuing education events or programs that are offered to the general public and for which fees have been collected that pay all expenses associated with the event or program are exempt from requirements for competitive solicitation.
(6) If less than two responsive bids, proposals, or replies for commodity or contractual services purchases are received, the department or other agency may negotiate on the best terms and conditions. The department or other agency shall document the reasons that such action is in the best interest of the state in lieu of resoliciting competitive sealed bids, proposals, or replies. Each agency shall report all such actions to the department on a quarterly basis, in a manner and form prescribed by the department.
(7) Upon issuance of any solicitation, an agency shall, upon request by the department, forward to the department one copy of each solicitation for all commodity and contractual services purchases in excess of the threshold amount provided in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY TWO. An agency shall also, upon request, furnish a copy of all competitive-solicitation tabulations. The Office of Supplier Diversity may also request from the agencies any information submitted to the department pursuant to this subsection.
(8)(a) In order to strive to meet the minority business enterprise procurement goals set forth in s. 287.09451, an agency may reserve any contract for competitive solicitation only among certified minority business enterprises. Agencies shall review all their contracts each fiscal year and shall determine which contracts may be reserved for solicitation only among certified minority business enterprises. This reservation may only be used when it is determined, by reasonable and objective means, before the solicitation that there are capable, qualified certified minority business enterprises available to submit a bid, proposal, or reply on a contract to provide for effective competition. The Office of Supplier Diversity shall consult with any agency in reaching such determination when deemed appropriate.
(b) Before a contract may be reserved for solicitation only among certified minority business enterprises, the agency head must find that such a reservation is in the best interests of the state. All determinations shall be subject to s. 287.09451(5). Once a decision has been made to reserve a contract, but before sealed bids, proposals, or replies are requested, the agency shall estimate what it expects the amount of the contract to be, based on the nature of the services or commodities involved and their value under prevailing market conditions. If all the sealed bids, proposals, or replies received are over this estimate, the agency may reject the bids, proposals, or replies and request new ones from certified minority business enterprises, or the agency may reject the bids, proposals, or replies and reopen the bidding to all eligible vendors.
(c) All agencies shall consider the use of price preferences of up to 10 percent, weighted preference formulas, or other preferences for vendors as determined appropriate pursuant to guidelines established in accordance with s. 287.09451(4) to increase the participation of minority business enterprises.
(d) All agencies shall avoid any undue concentration of contracts or purchases in categories of commodities or contractual services in order to meet the minority business enterprise purchasing goals in s. 287.09451.
(9) An agency may reserve any contract for competitive solicitation only among vendors who agree to use certified minority business enterprises as subcontractors or subvendors. The percentage of funds, in terms of gross contract amount and revenues, which must be expended with the certified minority business enterprise subcontractors and subvendors shall be determined by the agency before such contracts may be reserved. In order to bid on a contract so reserved, the vendor shall identify those certified minority business enterprises which will be utilized as subcontractors or subvendors by sworn statement. At the time of performance or project completion, the contractor shall report by sworn statement the payments and completion of work for all certified minority business enterprises used in the contract.
(10) An agency shall not divide the procurement of commodities or contractual services so as to avoid the requirements of subsections (1) through (5).
(11) A contract for commodities or contractual services may be awarded without competition if state or federal law prescribes with whom the agency must contract or if the rate of payment is established during the appropriations process.
(12) If two equal responses to a solicitation or a request for quote are received and one response is from a certified minority business enterprise, the agency shall enter into a contract with the certified minority business enterprise.
(13) Extension of a contract for contractual services shall be in writing for a period not to exceed 6 months and shall be subject to the same terms and conditions set forth in the initial contract. There shall be only one extension of a contract unless the failure to meet the criteria set forth in the contract for completion of the contract is due to events beyond the control of the contractor.
(14) Contracts for commodities or contractual services may be renewed for a period that may not exceed 3 years or the term of the original contract, whichever period is longer. Renewal of a contract for commodities or contractual services shall be in writing and shall be subject to the same terms and conditions set forth in the initial contract. If the commodity or contractual service is purchased as a result of the solicitation of bids, proposals, or replies, the price of the commodity or contractual service to be renewed shall be specified in the bid, proposal, or reply. A renewal contract may not include any compensation for costs associated with the renewal. Renewals shall be contingent upon satisfactory performance evaluations by the agency and subject to the availability of funds. Exceptional purchase contracts pursuant to s. 287.057(5)(a) and (c) may not be renewed.
(15) For each contractual services contract, the agency shall designate an employee to function as contract manager who shall be responsible for enforcing performance of the contract terms and conditions and serve as a liaison with the contractor. The agency shall establish procedures to ensure that contractual services have been rendered in accordance with the contract terms prior to processing the invoice for payment.
(16) Each agency shall designate at least one employee who shall serve as a contract administrator responsible for maintaining a contract file and financial information on all contractual services contracts and who shall serve as a liaison with the contract managers and the department.
(17) For a contract in excess of the threshold amount provided in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY FOUR, the agency head shall appoint:
(a) At least three persons to evaluate proposals and replies who collectively have experience and knowledge in the program areas and service requirements for which commodities or contractual services are sought.
(b) At least three persons to conduct negotiations during a competitive sealed reply procurement who collectively have experience and knowledge in negotiating contracts, contract procurement, and the program areas and service requirements for which commodities or contractual services are sought.
(18) A person who receives a contract that has not been procured pursuant to subsections (1) through (5) to perform a feasibility study of the potential implementation of a subsequent contract, who participates in the drafting of a solicitation or who develops a program for future implementation, is not eligible to contract with the agency for any other contracts dealing with that specific subject matter, and any firm in which such person has any interest is not eligible to receive such contract. However, this prohibition does not prevent a vendor who responds to a request for information from being eligible to contract with an agency.
(19) Each agency shall establish a review and approval process for all contractual services contracts costing more than the threshold amount provided for in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY THREE which shall include, but not be limited to, program, financial, and legal review and approval. Such reviews and approvals shall be obtained before the contract is executed.
(20) In any procurement that costs more than the threshold amount provided for in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY TWO and is accomplished without competition, the individuals taking part in the development or selection of criteria for evaluation, the evaluation process, and the award process shall attest in writing that they are independent of, and have no conflict of interest in, the entities evaluated and selected.
(21) Nothing in this section shall affect the validity or effect of any contract in existence on October 1, 1990.
(22) An agency may contract for services with any independent, nonprofit college or university which is located within the state and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, on the same basis as it may contract with any state university and college.
(23)(a) The department, in consultation with the State Technology Office and the Comptroller, shall develop a program for on-line procurement of commodities and contractual services. To enable the state to promote open competition and to leverage its buying power, agencies shall participate in the on-line procurement program, and eligible users may participate in the program. Only vendors prequalified as meeting mandatory requirements and qualifications criteria shall be permitted to participate in on-line procurement. The department, in consultation with the State Technology Office, may contract for equipment and services necessary to develop and implement on-line procurement.
(b) The department, in consultation with the State Technology Office, shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to administer the program for on-line procurement. The rules shall include, but not be limited to:
1. Determining the requirements and qualification criteria for prequalifying vendors.
2. Establishing the procedures for conducting on-line procurement.
3. Establishing the criteria for eligible commodities and contractual services.
4. Establishing the procedures for providing access to on-line procurement.
5. Determining the criteria warranting any exceptions to participation in the on-line procurement program.
(c) The department may collect fees for the use of the on-line procurement systems. The fees may be imposed on an individual transaction basis or as a fixed percentage of the cost savings generated. At a minimum, the fees must be set in an amount sufficient to cover the projected costs of such services, including administrative and project service costs in accordance with the policies of the department. For the purposes of compensating the provider, the department may authorize the provider to collect and retain a portion of the fees. The providers may withhold the portion retained from the amount of fees to be remitted to the department. The department may negotiate the retainage as a percentage of such fees charged to users, as a flat amount, or as any other method the department deems feasible. All fees and surcharges collected under this paragraph shall be deposited in the Grants and Donation Trust Fund as provided by law.
(24)(a) The State Technology Office shall establish, in consultation with the department, state strategic information technology alliances for the acquisition and use of information technology and related material with prequalified contractors or partners to provide the state with efficient, cost-effective, and advanced information technology.
(b) In consultation with and under contract to the State Technology Office, the state strategic information technology alliances shall design, develop, and deploy projects providing the information technology needed to collect, store, and process the state's data and information, provide connectivity, and integrate and standardize computer networks and information systems of the state.
(c) The partners in the state strategic information technology alliances shall be industry leaders with demonstrated experience in the public and private sectors.
(d) The State Technology Office, in consultation with the department, shall adopt rules, pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54, to administer the state strategic information technology alliances.
History.--s. 1, ch. 78-4; s. 2, ch. 80-206; s. 4, ch. 80-374; s. 1, ch. 82-121; s. 9, ch. 82-196; s. 3, ch. 83-99; s. 3, ch. 83-192; s. 7, ch. 86-204; s. 9, ch. 88-384; s. 1, ch. 89-377; s. 17, ch. 90-268; s. 8, ch. 91-162; s. 251, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 7, ch. 93-161; s. 11, ch. 94-322; s. 869, ch. 95-148; s. 6, ch. 96-236; s. 30, ch. 97-153; s. 82, ch. 98-279; s. 11, ch. 99-4; s. 50, ch. 99-8; s. 45, ch. 99-399; s. 33, ch. 2000-164; s. 11, ch. 2000-286; s. 56, ch. 2001-61; s. 4, ch. 2001-278; s. 37, ch. 2002-1; s. 15, ch. 2002-207; s. 331, ch. 2003-261.