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Policy Manual

6320 - Procurement Procedures

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Purpose

These procedures are publicized in accordance with District policy, applicable State statutory and administrative laws.

Application

These rules shall apply to every school, department, office, or other unit of the District, except as set forth below:

A.      When procurement involves the expenditure of Federal assistance or grant funds, the District shall follow any mandatory requirements of applicable Federal law and regulations, as stipulated by the language in the actual grant.

B.      Nothing in these rules shall prevent the District from complying with the terms and conditions of any grant, gift, bequest, or cooperative agreement, providing that competitive procedures as described in these rules shall be followed whenever possible.

C.      Procurement of professional services is exempt from formal solicitation methods. However, the preferred method for procuring these services will be using either a Request for Proposals (RFP) or Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) under the guidelines set forth in these procedures.

D.     These rules shall not be applicable to the leasing, rental, acquisition, or disposition of real property.

E.       Procurement for new construction or major renovations/repairs.

Administrative Matters

Authority

Procurement shall have the power, responsibility, and duty to purchase or contract for all supplies and contractual services needed by any using school/department, division office, or agency which derives its support wholly or in part from the District.

Purchase Order/Contract Signatory Authorities and Approval Thresholds

The following personnel, in conjunction with the table below, are authorized to be approving officials or the actual authority on the specified procurements:

A.      School Board

The Board must approve all contracts using sealed bids, Invitation to Bid (ITB’s), Request for Proposals (RFP’s), or Invitation to Negotiate (ITNs). The Board shall approve and execute all contracts on behalf of the District involving expenditure of public funds in an amount greater than the amount established for purchase in F.A.C. 6A-1.012(7); furthermore, the Board must approve all Agreements for Technical Services (ATS’s) over $10,000.

B.      General Manager of Procurement

The General Manager of Procurement (GM) or designee is responsible for all procurements and contracts which exceed the formal bid threshold.

C.      Authority is vested in the site administrator of each department to contract for goods and services in an amount not to exceed $5,000.

D.      Authority is vested in the principal of each school to contract for goods and services in an amount not to exceed $5,000. Principals may also approve purchases of commodities, which are to be paid from the internal funds of the school, when the total amount of each purchase does not exceed $10,000 and is currently not under contract. Principals must utilize District contracts if available. The Procurement Department must process all equipment purchases.

E.       Authority is vested in the Superintendent to approve consultant agreements between $5,000 and $10,000. However, when the contract amount will exceed $10,000 for any one (1) fiscal year utilizing budgeted funds, the consultant agreement must be approved by the Board prior to services being provided.

Procurement Thresholds

These minimum competition requirements apply to the purchase of goods and services, which are not exempt from competition as set forth above.

A.      Purchases not exceeding $5,000 that are not covered by an existing competitive solicitation do not require written quotes; however, best business practices are highly encouraged.

B.      Purchases over $5,000.00 and up to $9,999.99 require a minimum of three (3) telephone quotes if not covered by an existing competitive solicitation. The quotes may be informally solicited telephonically or in writing and may be received via fax, e-mail, or hand delivered. Quotes must be requested from at least one (1) District registered SBE, if available. Quote information must be included in the requisition comments. Documentation for informal quotes is maintained at the site. The Procurement Department reserves the right to verify, re-quote the items, or require written quotes. If three (3) quotes are not received, the file must be documented showing the effort made to obtain at least three (3) quotes. The Procurement Department shall approve the purchase order and documentation prior to issuance. If the award is not made to the lowest bidder, supporting documentation must be included in the file.

C.      Purchases over $10,000 and up to $49,999 require an Invitation to Quote (ITQ) by the Procurement Department if not covered by an existing competitive solicitation. Quote information must be included in the requisition comments. Documentation for ITQ’s is maintained in the Procurement Department. If the award is not made to the lowest bidder, supporting documentation must be included in the file.        

D.      The Procurement Department will solicit competitive solicitations for all purchases over $50,000 using formal bid procedures. The Procurement Department shall follow the formal bid procedures unless otherwise waived as per Department of Education (DOE) purchasing rules.

Contract Duration

The length or duration of contracts for goods or services may be written for a period up to, but not to exceed, five (5) years unless circumstances are deemed to be in the best interest of the District and approved by the Board. Multi-year commitment contracts shall have a yearly renewal date, contain a "funding out clause", and/or a convenience out clause.

Option Periods

Vendors should be notified in writing of the District’s intent to exercise an option period within ninety (90) calendar days from the expiration date of the current contract period. The District will consider the following criteria prior to exercising or entering into an extension of a contract under an option provision:

A.      Vendor has performed satisfactorily under the original contract term.

B.      Services are still required under the contract.

C.      Current market conditions have not changed from original contract; therefore, the contractor’s prices under the option period are still considered fair and reasonable.

D.      Scopes of services have not significantly changed from the original contract. (If scope of service has significantly changed then a re-bid of the contract is recommended.)

Bidding Option Periods

The District may require vendors to bid fixed prices for an indicated time period. Vendors will not be allowed to increase their prices unless the bid allows for a price adjustment and there have been significant economic changes. In such cases, the vendor must submit proper justification of their proposed increase prior to entering into the option period. The GM will then determine if the vendor’s request is reasonable or if it is in the best interest of the District to re-bid the requirement.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when judgment, action, or non-action taken by an employee benefits the same. Any employee who knowingly is in a capacity to influence, approve, or cause the purchase of any item to the Board that can render him/her or an immediate relative personal gain must immediately disclose that fact to the Procurement Department. Any violation of this policy by an employee of the Board may be grounds for dismissal.

Complete the disclosure form found in IDEAS/District/District Forms/Conflict of Interest Information Form.

It shall be a violation of policy for any employee to participate directly or indirectly in a procurement when the employee knows that:

A.      the employee or any member of the employee’s immediate family has a financial interest pertaining to the procurement;

B.      a business or organization in which the employee, or any member of the employee’s immediate family, has a financial interest pertaining to the procurement.

Within the context of this issue, there are three (3) types of conflict of interest.

A.       Actual Conflict of Interest

This occurs when a decision or action would be compromised without taking appropriate action to eliminate the conflict.

B.      Potential Conflict of Interest

This is a situation where the employee has outside, private influence and/or interests that could influence public decisions, actions, or responsibilities.

C.      Appearance of a Conflict of Interest

This is any situation in which a reasonable person would conclude that the employee has an outside influence and/or interest, which conflicts with their public duties or responsibilities.

Estimated Values for Solicitations

The District thresholds are as follows:

A.      Over $50,000 – Formal Solicitations (ITB, RFP, or ITN)

B.      $10,000 - $49,999 – Formal quote (processed by the Procurement Department)

C.      $5,000 - $9,999.99 – Informal quotes (3)

D.      Under $5,000 – Use best business practices

Legal Review

The General Manager of Procurement or designee shall solicit, sign, and issue the notice of intent for awards on all contracts over $50,000.

The Procurement Department will review all agreements that monetarily obligate the District for funds greater than $10,000 for goods and services.

Addenda, Changes, and Modifications

All addenda, changes, and modification approvals for a contract shall follow the same authority as the original document.

Change Orders and Changes in Scope of Contract

The District may make written changes to the plans, specifications, scheduling, and performance period of a contract as long as the change is determined to be within the original scope of the contract.

Competition Exceptions

All purchases and contracts shall be procured competitively if the aggregate total is more than $5,000 with the exception of purchases or contracts made using the following exemptions:

A.      Purchases made off of another contract or agreement written by another governmental or public agency for identical goods or services. This includes GSA contracts up to the limits specified in the GSA schedule.

B.      Purchases directly from Federal, State, county, or other local government units.

C.      Purchases made off of competitively bid contracts awarded by a government agency through a joint procurement alliance or cooperative.

D.      Purchase of professional services which shall include, without limitation, artistic services; academic program reviews; lectures by individuals; auditing services not subject to F.S. 218.391; legal services, including attorney, paralegal, expert witness, court reporting, appraisal or mediator services; and health services involving examination, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, medical consultation, or administration.

E.       Purchase of educational services and any type of copyrighted materials including, without limitation, educational tests, textbooks, printed instructional materials, computer software, films, filmstrips, videotapes, DVDs, disc or tape recordings, digital recordings, or similar audio-visual materials, and for library and reference books, and printed library cards where such materials are purchased directly from the producer or publisher, the owner of the copyright, an exclusive agent within the State, a governmental agency or a recognized educational institution.

F.       Purchase of commodities or contractual services available only from a single source may be exempted from the competitive solicitation requirements. When the Board believes that commodities or contractual services are available only from a single source, the Board shall electronically or otherwise publicly post a description of the commodities or contractual services sought for a period of at least seven (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 Board, after reviewing any information received from prospective vendors, that the commodities or contractual services are available only from a single source, the Board shall provide notice of its intended decision to enter a single source contract in the manner specified in F.S. 120.57(3), and may negotiate on the best terms and conditions with the single source vendor.

G.      Purchase of emergency commodities or contractual services are exempt when the superintendent determines in writing that an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare or other substantial loss to the School District requires emergency action. After the superintendent makes such a written determination, the Board may proceed with the procurement of commodities or contractual services necessitated by the immediate danger, without requesting competitive solicitations. However, such an emergency purchase shall be made by obtaining pricing information from at least two (2) prospective vendors, which must be retained in the contract file, unless the superintendent 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 School District.

H.      Purchase of commodities or contractual services may be awarded without competitive solicitations if State or Federal law, a grant, or a State or Federal agency contract prescribes with whom the Board must contract or if the rate of payment is established during the appropriations process.

I.         A contract for regulated utilities or government franchised services may be awarded without competitive solicitations.

J.        Purchase of insurance, risk management programs, or contracts with third-party administrators may make any such acquisitions through the competitive solicitation process, as described herein, or by direct negotiations and contract.

K.       Purchase, lease, lease with option to purchase, or rental of information technology, as defined in F.S. 282.0041(15), may make any acquisition through the competitive solicitation process or by direct negotiation and contract with a vendor or supplier, as best fits the needs of the District.

L.       Nothing in these procedures allows the District to violate purchasing rules found in Department of Florida Education F.A.C. 6A-1.012.

Minimum Competition Requirements

Invitations to Bid, Request for Proposals, Invitations to Negotiate and all associated notice to bidders or advertisements shall contain an estimated project value to inform potential bidders of an estimated worth of the contract and in no way commits the District to any monetary obligations. To obtain these estimates the District will utilize an average of the prior two (2) years actual expenditures.

Procurement Sub-Committees

A procurement sub-committee is a body of diverse stakeholders formed to explore varying procurement opportunities prior to a formal solicitation process.

Procurement sub-committees should be established, but are not limited to the following:

A.      New substantial District wide services and/or products that require specifications be established.

B.      Large dollar reoccurring purchases exceeding $50,000 including those without clear budget allocation.

C.      Complex procurements that include broader issues (life cycle cost or total cost of ownership, equipment replacement procedures, lease/purchase decisions, make or buy decisions).

Procurement sub-committee stakeholders should include but are not exclusive to:

A.      responsible end users;

B.      competent practitioners/professionals from end user department;

C.      risk assessment experts, if applicable;

D.      financial managers;

E.       procurement advisors;

F.       cross division members (including principals and teachers), if applicable;

G.      experts from the public;

H.      parents, if applicable;

I.        union representatives, if applicable.

Clear procurement sub-committee goals and deliverables should be established. Recommendations from the procurement sub-committee will be shared with management and potentially guide future solicitations.

If the procurement sub-committee requires additional information regarding market conditions, supply, potential costs, etc., information can be gathered through the formal solicitation process of Request for Information, obtaining quotes, market research, etc.

Note: Sole-source, educational copyright products, and agreements for technical services do not apply.

Invitation to Bid

Invitation to Bid (ITB’s)- Sealed Competitive Bids

Procurement, in conjunction with the requisitioning school/department, shall develop the bid specifications. The ITB must address all applicable terms and conditions prescribed by Federal, State, and Board rules and regulations.

The Invitation to Bid (ITB) is posted to vendorbid.net. Vendorbid.net is the District vendor registration and bid notification system. A notice is sent to all vendors, who have registered to receive notification for this particular commodity or service, based on the referenced National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) codes. The vendors download the bid document, complete the required paperwork, and either mail or deliver their bid response to the Procurement Department. All bids are due in the Procurement Department at a specific date and time. After the bids are opened, the Procurement Department, with the aid of the requesting school/department, will evaluate the received bids to determine the lowest, responsive, responsible bid that meets all specifications, terms, and conditions. A notice of intent to award to vendor(s) must be posted for no less than seventy-two (72) hours on vendorbid.net, not including weekends or holidays, prior to final approval by the Board. Other bidders may protest any intent, or notice of intent, within seventy-two (72) hours of posting or in accordance with F.S. 120.57. A recommendation to award will be submitted to the Board.

Responsive and Responsible Bidder

Under DOE Rule 6A-1.012, Purchasing rules, the District is required to award an ITB to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. A bidder on the ITB shall be considered responsive if the bidder's proposal responds to bid specifications in all material respects and contains no significant irregularities or deviations from the specifications. The factors that the Procurement Department shall consider in determining whether a bidder on the ITB is responsible include, but are not limited to, the experience of the bidder, facilities, and ability to execute the bid properly.

Applicability

Any acquisition for supplies, equipment, materials, or services which are estimated to exceed $50,000 shall be processed formally in accordance with internal competitive sealed bid procedures. Sealed competitive bids may be used to acquire any goods or services at lower dollar amounts if the GM determines it to be in the best interest of the District.

Invitation to Bid Content

The Invitation to Bid shall include the following:

A.      Instructions and information to bidders concerning the bid submission requirements (furnished by the Procurement Department) including the time, closing date, and the address of the department to which bids are to be delivered.

B.      The project description (furnished by the requesting school/department), basis of award, delivery or performance schedule, inspection and acceptance requirements.

C.      The contract terms and conditions, including warranty and bonding or security requirements as applicable.

Incorporation by Reference

The Invitation to Bid (ITB) may incorporate documents by reference if the ITB specifies where such documents may be obtained.

Bidder Submissions-Bid Form

The ITB shall provide a form which shall include space(s) in which the bid price(s) shall be inserted and which the bidder shall sign and submit along with all other necessary submissions.

Multiple or Alternate Bids

The ITB shall prohibit multiple or "alternate" bids unless such bids are specifically provided for in the ITB. When prohibited, the multiple or alternate bids shall be rejected and a clearly indicated base bid will be considered for award as though it were the only bid or offer submitted by the bidder.

Vendor Registrations

The Procurement Department shall offer vendors who may be interested in competing for various types of District contracts the opportunity to register via the District website through https://www.vendorbid.net/hillsborough/.

This registration allows vendors to be automatically notified when a formal solicitation is advertised for the service or commodity they registered to provide. Furthermore, vendors will also be encouraged to complete an application for the Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD) Small Business Encouragement Program.

Small Business Enterprises

No provision is made in these rules for preferences or set-asides for small, minority, or women-owned businesses. It is, however, the policy of the District to encourage small business participation for District procurement or contracts. Information regarding OSD’s policies may be found in the District website’s Quick Links under Policy Manual (Policy 6320.02-Supplier Diversity). The District has established a Small Business Enterprise Encouragement Program to ensure registration of small businesses, to track business activities, and to provide assistance to such businesses in participating in the district’s procurement and contracting process. The Office of Supplier Diversity has established and maintains a Small Business Enterprise Directory located at: http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/OSD/.

Local Business Preferences

No provision is made in these rules for dollar percentage or other types of preferential considerations for local vendors or contractors. It is, however, the policy of the District to solicit bids from local suppliers whenever such competitive local sources exist.

Equal Opportunity

The Procurement Department shall be responsible for ensuring the procurement of products, commodities, and services in a manner that affords all responsible businesses a fair and equal opportunity to compete.

Specifications

Schools/Departments and the Procurement Department shall issue product, supply, and service specifications, which are not unduly restrictive. This may include the utilization of life cycle costing and/or value analysis in determining the lowest responsive/responsible bidder, provided the specifications indicate the procedure and evaluative factors to be used. Performance specifications may be used provided they include evaluative criteria to be used in making the award.

Adequate Competition

It is the responsibility of the Procurement Department to ensure that an adequate selection of bidders is solicited for achieving optimum competition. This responsibility includes selecting other advertising methods or vehicles when sources may be limited.

Solicitation Time

The standard solicitation time for an ITB is twenty-one (21) calendar days, however, it may be longer. The minimum time for solicitation of bids shall be ten (10) calendar days from the date the advertisement is posted on the vendorbid.net website. In no case shall the time cycle be shortened if it will reduce competition.

Receipt of Bids

Upon receipt, each bid shall be time-stamped by machine or by hand and shall be stored in a secure place until bid opening time. Bids shall not be opened upon receipt, with the exception of bids that cannot be visibly identified by the information on the envelope. If bids are opened for identification purposes only, they will be opened and resealed in the presence of witness(s) and documented as such on the front of the envelope. The only exception to this is when bidders are specifically requested in the ITB to transmit ITB responses electronically.

Opening and Recording of Bids

A member of the Procurement staff, in the presence of one (1) or more witnesses, shall open bids publicly at the time and place designated in the formal solicitation. The clock in the Procurement Department will be used as the official clock for calling the time for bids. Except as authorized by F.S. 119.071, the name of each bidder, the bid price(s), and other information as is deemed appropriate by the GM shall be read aloud or otherwise be made available. The record shall be available for public inspection and distribution for those items identified under F.S. 119.071. All data regarding any particular bid becomes public information immediately after a decision or award relating to that bid has been made.

One Bid Received

In accordance with Florida Department of Education (DOE) Rule F.A.C. 6A-1.012 Purchasing rules, if less than two (2) responsive proposals for commodity or contractual services are received, the Procurement Department may negotiate on the best terms and conditions or decide to reject all proposals. The Procurement Department shall document the reasons that negotiating terms and conditions with the sole proposer is in the best interest of the District in lieu of re-soliciting proposals.

Extension of Time for Bid or Proposal Acceptance

After opening of bids, the GM may request low bidder(s) to extend the time during which the District may evaluate their bids, provided that no other change is permitted. The reasons for requesting such extensions shall be documented.

Rejection of Bids

The GM has the authority to reject any bid based on, but not limited to, the following:

A.       Any bid that fails to conform to the essential requirements of the Invitation to Bid shall be rejected.

B.      Any bid that does not conform to the applicable specifications shall be rejected unless the ITB specifically authorizes the submission of alternate bids or deviations.    

C.      Any bid that fails to conform to the specified delivery schedule.

D.      A bid shall be rejected when the bidder imposes conditions that would modify the requirements of the invitation or limit the bidder’s liability to the District.

E.       Bids received from any person or vendor that is suspended or debarred.

Bid Evaluation

All products or services shall be evaluated against the requirements stated in the District’s solicitation. In addition to price, the following factors may be considered in evaluating any bid response:

A.      delivery date after receipt of order;

B.      cash discounts;

C.      warranties (type/length);

D.      future availability;

E.       results of product testing;

F.       cost of maintenance agreements;

G.      future trade-in value or availability of re-purchase agreement;

H.      payment terms;

I.         space limitations;

J.        esthetics;

K.       adaptability to environment;

L.       cost of operation (if any);

M.    safety and health features relating to regulatory codes or requirements.

Bid Evaluation - Product Acceptability

The ITB may require the submission of bid samples, descriptive literature, technical data, or other material necessary to determine product acceptability. The acceptability evaluation is not conducted for the purpose of determining whether one bidder’s item is superior to another, but only to determine whether a bidder’s offering will meet the District’s needs as set forth in the ITB. Any bidder’s offering, which does not meet acceptability requirements, will be rejected as non-responsive.

Award Using Sealed Bidding

The contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder whose bid meets the requirements and the criteria set forth in the ITB and are determined to be in the best interest of the District. Negotiations are not allowed when using sealed bidding unless only one bid was received. The GM may determine to make whole or partial awards or may reject all bids if prices are determined to be unreasonably high, unrealistically low, or out of budget range. If insufficient funds are available to award a contract, the solicitation may be canceled or the GM may choose to re-scope the project and re-solicit bids, if it is determined to be in the best interest of the District.

Tie Bids

Tie bids are low responsive bids from responsible bidders that are identical in price and meet all the requirements and criteria set forth in the ITB. When identical prices are received from two (2) or more vendors and all other factors are equal, priority for award shall be given to vendors in the following sequence:

A.      business that certifies that it has implemented a drug-free workplace in accordance with the provision of F.S. 287.087;

B.      Office of Supplier Diversity certified small business vendor;

C.      small/business certified by a governmental entity in Hillsborough County;

D.      small/business certified by a governmental entity in the Tampa Bay area;

E.       Florida certified small/business;

F.       business located in Hillsborough County;

G.      business receiving the larger dollar award on other items within the bid;

H.      business located in Florida;

I.         flip of a coin.

Telephone Bids

Telephone bids will not be accepted in formal solicitations unless the GM shall make a written determination that market conditions are of such a nature that it is in the best interest of the District to solicit telephone bids, such as the purchase of petroleum fuels on a daily basis, under changing market conditions, or under solicitations during a declared emergency.

Electronic and Facsimile Bids

Bids submitted by facsimile to the Procurement Department prior to the bid opening shall not be accepted unless the ITB specifically requests electronic submittal.

Modification or Withdrawal of Bids

Bids may be modified or withdrawn by written correspondence or electronic notice to the Procurement Department prior to the time set for bid opening.

Withdrawal of Bid Prior to Bid Opening

The bidder, prior to the specified bid opening time and date, may withdraw any bid if the bidder’s representative submits to the GM a written request for withdrawal at the Procurement Department.

Withdrawal of Bid After Opening but Prior to Award

No bid may be withdrawn or contract negated unless the bidder can establish that the bid contains mistakes despite the exercise by the bidder of reasonable care. The test of reasonable care shall be: 1) the mistake relates to a material feature of the contract; 2) the mistake occurred despite the exercise of reasonable care; and 3) withdrawal is deemed by the GM to be in the best interest of the District.

Records

All documents relating to the modification or withdrawal of bids shall be made part of the appropriate procurement file.

Minor Informalities/Irregularities in Bids

A minor informality or irregularity is one that is merely a matter of form and not of substance. It also pertains to some immaterial defect in a bid or variation of a bid from the exact requirements of the ITB that can be corrected or waived without being prejudicial to other bidders. The defect or variation is considered immaterial when the effect on price, quantity, quality, or delivery is negligible when contrasted with the total cost or scope of the services being acquired. If the GM determines that the bid submitted contains a minor informality or irregularity, then s/he shall give the bidder an opportunity to cure any deficiency resulting from a minor informality or irregularity in a bid, or waive the deficiency, whichever is to the advantage of the District. In no event will the bidder be allowed to change the bid amount. Examples of minor informalities or irregularities include, but are not limited to, the following:

A.      Bidder fails to return the number of copies of signed bids required by the Invitation to Bid.

B.      Bidder fails to sign the bid, but only if the unsigned bid is accompanied by other material evidence, which indicates the bidder’s intention to be bound by the unsigned bid (such as bid bond or signed cover letter which references the bid # or title and amount of bid)

C.      Bidder fails to acknowledge an addendum. This may be considered a minor informality only if the addendum, which was not acknowledged, is insignificant and involves only a matter of form or has either no effect or merely a negligible effect on price, quantity, quality, or delivery of the item or services bid upon.

D.      Easily identifiable mathematical or computational errors.

Late Bids

Any bid, withdrawal, or modification to bids received after time and date set for opening shall be considered late and shall be rejected and returned unopened to the bidder, except as provided herein. All sealed competitive bids shall be opened, as soon as possible, after the time designated by the ITB. Bids received after the bid opening time shall not be opened, but shall be rejected as a late bid. The responsibility to insure that bid solicitations are obtained and that bids are received prior to the opening date and time rests with the vendor. Situations such as "flat tires, accidents, or parking problems" shall not be cause for acceptance of late bids. The GM may permit the following exceptions:

A.      In the event of a public labor unrest (strike, work slowdown, etc.) which may affect mail delivery, the GM may develop and issue emergency procedures.

B.      There is conclusive evidence (valid time stamp) that the bid was submitted to the department designated in the ITB, RFP or ITN, on time and was mishandled by the Procurement staff responsible for handling/receiving bids (i.e. lost or misplaced). Mishandling by other units or offices of the District does not constitute Procurement personnel.

The GM shall rule on any other situation, which is beyond the control of both the District and the vendor, as to the acceptability of the bid.

Public Notice-Advertisement

ITB’s or notices of the availability of ITB’s shall be posted on the Vendor Bid website, mailed, faxed, or otherwise furnished to a sufficient number of prospective bidders to secure adequate competition.

Public Availability

A copy of the ITB shall be made available for public inspection at the Procurement Department or via the Vendor Bid website.

Pre-Bid Conferences

Pre-bid conferences may be conducted for the purpose of explaining the procurement requirements. They shall be announced to all prospective bidders known to have received the ITB. The conference should be held long enough after the Invitation has been issued to allow bidders to become familiar with it, but with adequate time before bid opening to allow consideration of the conference results in preparing the bid. The pre-bid conference may be mandatory if determined necessary to insure familiarity of the project prior to bidding by all bidders. Nothing stated at such conference shall change the ITB unless the change is made by written addendum.

Addenda to ITB’s

Addenda to ITB’s shall be identified as such and may require that the bidder acknowledge receipt of all addenda issued. The addendum shall reference the portions of the ITB it amends. Addenda shall be posted on the Vendor Bid website for electronic distribution. Addenda shall be distributed within a reasonable time to allow prospective bidders to consider them in preparing their bids. If the time set for bid opening will not permit such preparation, the bid preparation time shall be increased in the addenda. Questions received by prospective bidders concerning the ITB, both technical and contractual in nature, will be answered in the form of an addendum to allow all potential bidders to share the same information. The Procurement Department shall issue all addenda via Vendor Bid. It is still the overall responsibility of the bidder to ensure they have received all previously issued addenda prior to submission of their bid.

Confidential Data

The GM shall examine all bids to determine the validity of any requests for nondisclosure of "trade secrets" identified in writing. The bidder shall submit such requests prior to the bid opening, under separate cover. If the parties do not agree as to the disclosure of data, the GM shall inform the bidder, in writing. what portions of the ITB will be disclosed and the decision shall be final.

Mistakes and Confirmations in ITB’s

When it appears from a review of the ITB that a mistake has been made, the Procurement Officer shall be responsible for requesting the bidder to confirm their bid in writing. Situations in which a confirmation should be requested include obvious, apparent errors on the face of the bid or a bid unreasonably lower than the other bids submitted. Bidders may request in writing to GM that they be allowed to correct a mistake in their bid; however, the mistake has to be apparent and substantiated by evidence provided by the bidder that the mistake was valid. The GM will evaluate the request and make a determination, in writing, as to whether or not the correction of the mistake is allowed. Furthermore, bidders will not be allowed to correct other than apparent typographical errors, if their correction would displace another bidder. All corrections must be submitted before the ITB is made public.

Mistakes Where Intended Correct Bid is Evident

If the mistake and the intended correct bid are clearly evident, as in the examples of typographical errors, errors in extending unit prices, and transposition errors, the bid shall be corrected by the bidder and may not be withdrawn.

Mistakes Where Intended Correct Bid is not Evident

A bidder may be permitted to withdraw a bid if the bidder submits proof of evidentiary value. The GM may reject all or part of the bid.

Mistakes Discovered Before Opening

A bidder may correct mistakes discovered before bid opening by withdrawing or correcting the bid.

Determination Required

Any decision to permit or deny correction or withdrawal of a bid under this section shall be supported by a written determination by the GM.

Mistakes After Award of Contract

When a mistake in a vendor’s bid is not discovered until after award of a contract, the mistake may be corrected by the following options:

A.      Rescind the contract via termination.

B.      Deny the vendor’s request to correct the mistake.

C.      Delete the item(s) involved in the mistake.  

D.      Award to the next lowest bidder.

In all cases, the burden of proof rests with the vendor. The alleged mistake must be proven by clear and convincing evidence that a mistake was indeed made.

If there is not clear and convincing evidence to support the alleged mistake, then no action will be taken.

Disposition of Bid Security

Bid security, if any, shall be returned to the bidder when withdrawal of the bid is permitted, contract is awarded to another firm, or the ITB is canceled after opening. Normally, bid securities in the form of bonds will not be returned to unsuccessful bidders, unless requested, since they normally expire after contract is awarded and become invalid automatically.

WAIVER OF COMPETITION

The GM shall require competition wherever practicable, but may elect to waive the competitive bidding process under certain conditions including:

A.      a needed product or service which is available from only one supplier (sole source);

B.      a particular product or service is wanted for experiment, trial, or pilot;

C.      additional products are required to complete an ongoing task;

D.      the amount of the purchase is too small to justify the expense of soliciting quotations;

E.       a purchase is made from another unit of government or cooperative purchasing agreement;

F.       the purchase of a used item is advantageous;

G.      the item is available only on short notice;

H.      a needed product or service due to an emergency;

I.         the purchase due to time constraints prior to fiscal year end; or

J.        the purchase due to an expiring grant.

SOLE/SINGLE-SOURCE PROCUREMENT

Requirements

As specified under DOE Rule F.A.C. 6A-1.012, commodities or contractual services available only from a single source may be exempted from the competitive solicitation requirements. When the Procurement Department believes that commodities or contractual services are available only from a single source, the Procurement Department shall electronically or otherwise publicly post a description of the commodities or contractual services sought for a period of at least seven (7) business days or as specified by the DOE. This information will be posted on the Procurement website: http://procurement.mysdhc.org/solesource/.

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 Procurement Department, after reviewing any information received from prospective vendors, that the commodities or contractual services are available only from a single source, the Procurement Department shall provide notice of its intended decision to enter a single-source contract in the manner specified in DOE Rule F.A.C. 6A-1.012 and may negotiate the best terms and conditions with the single-source vendor.

This requirement is waived for exempt purchases, as stated in F.A.C. 6A-1.012.

A requirement for a particular proprietary item does not justify sole-source procurement if there is more than one (1) potential bidder or offeror for that item or service. Sole-source purchase requirements may arise from a number of circumstances including, but not limited to, the:

A.      purchase of a component or replacement part for which there is no commercially available product, which can be obtained only from the manufacturer;

B.      purchase of an item where compatibility is the overriding consideration;

C.      purchase of a used item, which becomes immediately available;

D.      purchase of a particular product for a pilot program, trial, or testing;

E.       GM, in writing, determines use of a sole source to be in the best interest of the District based on unusual or compelling urgency;

F.       use of other than OEM parts would void a still valid warranty;

G.      vendor holds the production and copyrights to the item;

H.      vendor holds the exclusive distribution rights for the item;

I.         vendor is the sole provider of the services being requested;

J.        item to be purchased is the only item compatible with existing District-owned equipment;

K.       contract is a follow-up or a continued development of a major system or project.

The Procurement Department shall obtain a signed statement from the vendor certifying that the product/service is sole source; a firm, written, and signed quotation; and Board approval prior to issuance of a purchase order. The Procurement Department will search SAM.gov for possible debarment for all purchase orders $25,000 and over.

In cases of reasonable doubt, competition should be solicited. Any request by a school or department that procurement be restricted to one potential supplier shall be accompanied by a written explanation from the end user as to why no other will be suitable or acceptable to meet the need.

Written Justification

A written justification, approved by the GM, shall be included in the file for all procurements that exceed the competition threshold of $50,000 that were awarded as sole source. This justification shall explain the rationale used in determining sole source. All sole-source purchases over $50,000 must be Board approved.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP)

Definition

An RFP is a competitive method of contracting for goods or services whereby proposals are solicited from qualified vendors and evaluated in accordance with specified criteria. The District may accept the proposal deemed by the District to be most advantageous in terms of criteria as designated in the RFP and is determined by the GM to be in the best interest of the District. An RFP should not be used when the service or equipment to be contracted is standard, routine, or common "off the shelf" type items or if there is an industry standard associated with the service or commodity to be contracted. RFP’s are a very time consuming and costly method of procurement, which should only be used when sealed bidding (ITB) is not appropriate. However, the RFP allows the District to obtain the best value as it incorporates service levels and costs.

When RFP’s are Practical

Factors to be considered in determining whether RFP’s are practical include for estimated contracts valuing more than $50,000:

A.      Requirement is highly technical, unusual, is not standard "off the shelf" item, or there is not any clear standards or specifications available to use in the solicitation.

B.      If the contract needs to be other than fixed-price type.

C.      If it may be necessary to conduct oral or written discussions with proposers concerning technical and price aspects of their proposals.

D.      If it may be necessary to base award on a comparative evaluation as stated in the request for proposals of differing price, quality, and contractual factors in order to determine the most advantageous offering to the District.

E.       If the primary consideration(s) in determining award may be factors other than price(s).        

F.       The requirement is highly technical or complex in nature and would be more advantageous to the District to use the RFP method of source selection.

See Exhibit A for the differences between an ITB, RFP, and ITN.

Content of the RFP

The RFP document will begin with a section that includes where to submit proposals, how many copies, due date, information regarding addenda, award criteria, and acceptance time period. The RFP will contain the following information as instructions to proposers:

A.      Overview: This section will include project scope, location, performance period and general information.

B.      Evaluation Criteria: This section includes the evaluation process, the evaluation criteria and its order of importance, and how the proposals will be evaluated.

C.      Proposal Submission Requirements: This section includes a list of the requirements a potential proposer must address and include in their proposal and the format.

D.      Terms and Conditions: This section includes the District’s general requirements.

E.       Special Provisions: This section includes the District’s specific requirements.

F.       Scope of Work/Attachments/Exhibits: This section includes the details of what is expected of the proposer’s deliverables.

The RFP Evaluation Process

The following considerations are to be followed when evaluating the RFP:

A.      The RFP evaluation process shall be conducted as a fair and objective process, which requires the evaluation committee to evaluate all proposals on the specific criteria in the RFP.

B.      Confidentiality, as prescribed by Florida statutes, is an ethical and legal requirement. All vendor contact is through the Procurement Department.

C.      Evaluation committee members will be selected by the requesting department manager and approved by the GM. Committees should have a minimum of one (1) member that is not part of the requesting department. Evaluation Committee members shall be required to sign an RFP Evaluation Committee rules memorandum.

1.       Committee members shall score each proposal individually and independently; however, group discussions are encouraged to discuss technical views to arrive at a better understanding of technical proposals during the evaluation process. The results of the scoring by the evaluating committee shall be totaled to determine the overall highest rated proposal and the order of the remaining proposers.

2.       The evaluation committee, prior to entering into discussions, chooses a select group of its top-rated proposers. The proposers may be invited to orally present their proposal to the committee.

3.       Best and final offers may be requested at the conclusion of discussions or interviews by the GM. The District reserves the right to enter into contractual negotiations with any or all of the proposers.

4.       All proposers shall be notified via vendorbid.net of the intent to award.

5.       All proposers are allowed to schedule a debriefing with the GM to go over the weaknesses and strengths of their proposal. The strengths and weaknesses of other proposals will not be discussed.

Public Notice-Advertisement

Public notice advertisement should be set to provide proposers thirty (30) calendar days, under normal circumstances, to prepare and submit their proposals. The GM may modify this requirement to meet the needs of the District.

Pre-Proposal Conference

Pre-proposal conferences may be held. Any such conference should be held a minimum of seven (7) calendar days prior to the submission of initial proposals.

Addenda to RFP’s

Addenda to an RFP may be made at anytime during the public notice advertisement period.

Modification or Withdrawal of Proposal

Proposals may be modified or withdrawn by any proposer prior to the established due date and time.

Receipt of Proposals

The time and date for receipt of proposals will be included in the RFP. RFP’s received after the specified time will be rejected and considered late.

Late Proposals

Late proposals shall be handled in the same manner as Late Bids, Section 3-129.

Only One Proposal Received

If only one proposal is received in response to an RFP, the GM has the following options:

A.      Determine if there was sufficient time allotted for proposers to submit a proposal. If not, the solicitation may be withdrawn and reissued. Notice of intent to re-solicit shall be posted by vendorbid.net. The received proposal is exempt from Sunshine Laws under the first bid and included with proposals received under the new solicitation.

B.      Proceed with the evaluation of the proposal from the single proposer if the offer meets the requirements of the District, as stated in the RFP, and the cost is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations, an award may be made.

C.      If the evaluation determines that the only proposer does not meet our needs, or negotiations of the cost do not result in a fair and reasonable price, then the solicitation may be rejected and re-solicited at a later date in accordance with Florida statutes.

Mistakes in Proposals

When it appears from a review of the proposal, before award, that a mistake has been made, the proposer should be asked to confirm the proposal. If the proposer alleges mistakes, the proposal may be corrected or withdrawn in accordance with rules governing mistakes in bids, Section 3-135.

Recommend to Award

Award shall be made to the responsible proposer whose proposal is determined to be in the best interest of the District, based on the evaluation factors set forth in the RFP. No other factors or criteria shall be used in the evaluation.

Debriefing Unsuccessful Proposers

If requested, a proposer shall be debriefed regarding the basis for the selection and award of the contract. Debriefings do not provide point by point comparisons of the debriefed proposer’s proposal with those of other proposers, but may include the following information:

A.      Copies of the proposer’s evaluation score sheets showing the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal as evaluated by the committee.

B.      The overall evaluated cost and technical rating of the winning proposer.

C.      The proposers’ overall rankings.

D.      Answer any relevant questions about the process the proposer may have.

INVITATION TO NEGOTIATE (ITN)

Definition

An ITN is a competitive method of contracting for goods or services whereby replies are solicited from qualified vendors and evaluated in accordance with specified criteria.  The District may accept the reply deemed by the District to be most advantageous in terms of criteria as designated in the ITN and is determined by the GM to be in the best interest of the District.  An ITN should not be used when the service or equipment to be contracted is standard, routine, or common "off the shelf" type items or if there is an industry standard associated with the service or commodity to be contracted.  ITNs are a very time consuming and costly method of procurement, which should only be used when sealed bidding (ITB) or Requests for Replies (RFPs) are not appropriate.  However, the ITN allows the District to obtain the best value as it incorporates service levels and costs.

When ITNs are Practical

Factors to be considered in determining whether ITNs are practical include for estimated contracts valuing more than $50,000:

A.            Requirement is highly technical, unusual, is not standard "off the shelf" item, or there is not any clear standards or specifications available to use in the solicitation.

B.            If the contract needs to be other than fixed-price type.

C.            If it may be necessary to conduct oral or written discussions with proposers concerning technical and price aspects of their replies, and to adjust the project scope and/or solution along the way.

D.            If it may be necessary to base award on a comparative evaluation as stated in the request for replies of differing price, quality, and contractual factors in order to determine the most advantageous offering to the District.

E.            If the primary consideration(s) in determining award may be factors other than price(s).

F.            The requirement is highly technical or complex in nature and would be more advantageous to the District to use the ITN method of source selection.  

See Exhibit A for the differences between an ITB and an ITN.

Content of the ITN

The ITN document will begin with a section that includes where to submit replies, how many copies, due date, information regarding addenda, award criteria, and acceptance time period.  The ITN will contain the following information as instructions to responders:

A.            Overview: This section will include project scope, location, performance period and general information.

B.            Evaluation Criteria: This section includes the evaluation process, the evaluation criteria and its order of importance, and how the replies will be evaluated.

C.            Submission Requirements: This section includes a list of the requirements a potential proposer must address and include in their reply and the format.

D.            Terms and Conditions: This section includes the District’s general requirements.

E.            Special Provisions:  This section includes the District’s specific requirements.

F.            Scope of Work/Attachments/Exhibits:  This section includes the details of what is expected of the proposer’s deliverables.

The ITN Evaluation Process

The following considerations are to be followed when evaluating the ITN:

A.            The ITN evaluation process shall be conducted as a fair and objective process, which requires the evaluation committee to evaluate all replies on the specific criteria in the ITN.

B.            Confidentiality, as prescribed by Florida statutes, is an ethical and legal requirement.  All vendor contact is through the Procurement Department.

C.            Evaluation committee members will be selected by the requesting department manager and approved by the GM.  Committees should have a minimum of one (1) member that is not part of the requesting department. Evaluation Committee members shall be required to sign an ITN Evaluation Committee rules memorandum.

1.            Committee members shall score each reply individually and independently; however, group discussions are encouraged to discuss technical views to arrive at a better understanding of technical replies during the evaluation process.  The results of the scoring by the evaluating committee shall be totaled to determine the overall highest rated reply and the order of the remaining proposers.

2.            The evaluation committee, prior to entering into discussions, chooses a select group of its top-rated proposers.  The proposers may be invited to orally present their reply to the committee.

3.            Best and final offers may be requested at the conclusion of discussions or interviews by the GM.  The District reserves the right to enter into contractual negotiations with any or all of the proposers. 

4.            All proposers shall be notified viavendorbid.net of the intent to award.

5.            All proposers are allowed to schedule a debriefing with the GM to go over the weaknesses and strengths of their reply.  The strengths and weaknesses of other replies will not be discussed.

Public Notice-Advertisement

Public notice advertisement should be set to provide proposers thirty (30) calendar days, under normal circumstances, to prepare and submit their replies.  The GM may modify this requirement to meet the needs of the District.

Pre-Reply Conference

Pre-reply conferences may be held.  Any such conference should be held a minimum of seven (7) calendar days prior to the submission of initial replies.

Addenda to ITN’s

Addenda to an ITN may be made at any time during the public notice advertisement period.  

Modification or Withdrawal of Reply

Replies may be modified or withdrawn by any proposer prior to the established due date and time.

Receipt of Replies

The time and date for receipt of replies will be included in the ITN.  ITN’s received after the specified time will be rejected and considered late. 

Late Replies

Late replies shall be handled in the same manner as Late Bids, Section 3-129.

Only One Reply Received

If only one reply is received in reply to an ITN, the GM has the following options:

A.            Determine if there was sufficient time allotted for proposers to submit a reply. If not, the solicitation may be withdrawn and reissued.  Notice of intent to re-solicit shall be posted by vendorbid.net.  The received reply is exempt from Sunshine Laws under the first bid and included with replies received under the new solicitation. 

B.            Proceed with the evaluation of the reply from the single proposer if the offer meets the requirements of the District, as stated in the ITN, and the cost is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations, an award may be made.

C.            If the evaluation determines that the only proposer does not meet our needs, or negotiations of the cost do not result in a fair and reasonable price, then the solicitation may be rejected and re‑solicited at a later date in accordance with Florida statutes.

Mistakes in Replies

When it appears from a review of the reply, before award, that a mistake has been made, the proposer should be asked to confirm the reply.  If the proposer alleges mistakes, the reply may be corrected or withdrawn in accordance with rules governing mistakes in bids, Section 3-135.

Recommend to Award

Award shall be made to the responsible proposer whose reply is determined to be in the best interest of the District, based on the evaluation factors set forth in the ITN.  No other factors or criteria shall be used in the evaluation.  

Debriefing Unsuccessful Proposers

If requested, a proposer shall be debriefed regarding the basis for the selection and award of the contract.  Debriefings do not provide point by point comparisons of the debriefed proposer’s reply with those of other proposers, but may include the following information:

A.            Copies of the proposer’s evaluation score sheets showing the strengths and weaknesses of their reply as evaluated by the committee.

B.            The overall evaluated cost and technical rating of the winning proposer.

C.            The proposers’ overall rankings.

D.            Answer any relevant questions about the process the proposer may have.

REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

Using Requests For Information (RFI’s)

RFI’s may be used by the District to gather information necessary for planning purposes regarding estimated prices, delivery, research market trends, or determine capabilities of industry or technology. An RFI is only used to gather information and shall not be used to enter into a binding agreement or contracts.

General information about the District or specific departments’ needs and future requirements may be disclosed in the RFI. The information gathered in response to the RFI may be used to compile or prepare specifications to be used by the District in a future procurement. All information received in response to the RFI shall be made available to the public and potential future proposers, as soon as practicable, in order to avoid an unfair competitive advantage. All firms shall be invited to propose, or the District may limit proposals to those proposers who responded to the RFI on a future resultant RFP, ITB, or ITN. There is no required format for RFI’s.

SMALL PURCHASES AND INFORMAL BIDS

Definition

The procurement of supplies, equipment, materials, or services having an estimated value of less than $50,000 may be made on the open market by informal methods.

Requisition Total

Procedure

Policy

Less than $5,000

Use good business practices

1.   Determine if a District bid/RFP/ITN exists by contacting the Procurement Officer (www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/Procurement/) or by checking the District's shopping cart (apps.sdhc.k12.fl.us/BUSDIV/shoppingcart/) for the item.

2.    To ensure the best price, you may want to obtain written or telephone quotes.

3.   If necessary, contact the Procurement Department to assist you in finding suppliers.

4.   Check the Office of Supplier Diversity's website (www.sdh.12.fl.us/osd/) for SBE vendors.

 

Requisition Total

Procedure

Policy

Between $5,000 and $9,999.99

Telephone Quotes

1.   Determine if a District bid/RFP/ITN exists by contacting the Procurement Officer (www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/Procurement/) or by checking the District's shopping cart (apps.sdhc.k12.fl.us/BUSDIV/shoppingcart/) for the item.

2.   If necessary, contact the Procurement Department to assist you in finding suppliers.

3.   Check the Office of Supplier Diversity's website (www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/osd/) for SBE vendors.

4.    Obtain three (3) telephone quotes.

5.   Complete telephone quote form found in Procurement Department News.

6.   Comments in requisition should read: "Telephone quotes obtained from "vendor 1", "vendor 2", and "vendor 3" (use vendors' names). Records maintained at site."

7.    Keep completed quote form at your site. The Procurement Department or auditors may request copies.

8.   The Procurement Department reserves the right to verify, re-quote the items, or require written quotes.

                                                 

The following is processed by Procurement with the exception of specifications supplied by site.

Requisition Total

Procedure

Policy

Between $10,000 and $49,999.99

Written Quotes

1.   Determine if a District bid/RFP/ITN exists by contacting the Procurement Officer (www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/Procurement/) or by checking the District's shopping cart (apps.sdhc.k12.fl.us/BUSDIV/shoppingcart/) for the item.

2.    Complete Written Quote Form with complete specifications and email to the Procurement Officer. The Written Quote form is found in Procurement Department News.

3.   The Procurement Department will obtain three (3) written quotes using their automated solicitation system (Vendor Bid).

4.   Allow at least ten (10) business days for solicitation and award.

5.   The Procurement Department will contact you with the vendor information.

                                 

Requisition Total

Procedure

Policy

$50,000 or higher

Invitation to Bid or Request for Proposal

1.   Determine if a District bid/RFP/ITN exists by contacting the Procurement Officer (www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/Procurement/) or by checking the District's shopping cart (apps.sdhc.k12.fl.us/BUSDIV/shoppingcart/) for the item.

2.   Ensure sufficient budget is available.

3.   Contact the Procurement Officer to initiate a bid.

4.   Assist Procurement Officer with item specifications.

5.   Allow at least sixty (60) to ninety (90) days for solicitation and award.

6.   The Procurement Department will contact you with the vendor information and Lawson item numbers.

 

Requisition Total

Procedure

Policy

Sole Source

Sole-Source Letter

1.   Determine if a District bid/RFP/ITN exists by contacting the Procurement Officer (www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/Procurement/) or by checking the District's shopping cart (apps.sdhc.k12.fl.us/BUSDIV/shoppingcart/) for the item.

2.   Obtain a sole-source letter from the vendor.  Forward the letter and department justification of need to the Procurement Officer.

3.    The Procurement Department will verify and seek General Manager of Procurement approval if less than $50,000 and Board approval if equal to or greater than $50,000.

4.   The Procurement Department will negotiate price, delivery, and terms.

5.    The Procurement Department will contact you with the vendor information and Lawson item numbers.      

EMERGENCY PROCUREMENT

Definition

An emergency condition is a situation which creates a threat to public health, welfare, or safety such as may arise by natural disasters, riots, equipment failures, or other such reason as may be proclaimed by designated District personnel. The existence of such condition creates an immediate and serious need for supplies, equipment, materials, and services that cannot be met through normal procurement methods and the lack of which would threaten the function of the District, or the health, safety, or welfare of District students, employees, or county residences.

Scope of Emergency Procurement

Emergency procurement shall be limited only to a quantity of those supplies, equipment, materials, or services necessary to meet the emergency.

Authority

Subject to emergency disaster declarations, any school or department may make emergency procurements when an emergency condition arises and the need cannot be met through normal procurement methods. In the event an emergency arises after normal working hours, the school or department shall notify the Superintendent’s designee on the next business day.

PROCUREMENT CARDS

District Procurement Cards

The District Procurement Card may be used for small purchases and designated suppliers in accordance with the procedures set forth in the VISA Procurement Program Manual.

These procedures may be found in IDEAS/Business News/P-Card/Handbook P Card. Information regarding the Procurement Card policies may be found in the District website’s Quick Links under Policy Manual (Policy 6424 - Purchasing Cards).

VENDOR PERFORMANCE

Vendor Product and Service Evaluation

The Vendor Product and Service Evaluation Form will be utilized to inform the Procurement Department of any quality and service issues. This report will not only provide information regarding unacceptable performance, but it will also provide positive feedback.

Upon receipt of a Vendor Product and Service Evaluation, the following steps will be adhered to:

A.      If no response is required.

The Vendor Product and Service Evaluation Form will be forwarded to the vendor.

B.      If vendor response is required, one (1) of the following will occur depending on severity of the issue.

1.       Meeting with vendor.

2.       Thirty (30) day cure letter (for chronic issues).

3.       Termination justification letter with possible sanction as determined by the General Manager of Procurement and affected department head.

Serious Offenses:

A.      Defaulting on a current contract.

B.      Abandoned/Incomplete job.

C.      SafeNet alert/refused entrance to site/JLA infraction.

D.      Harassment/Unruly behavior.

E.       Billing for work not performed.

F.       Inferior materials and/or not meeting specifications.

G.      Failure to adhere to good safety practices and/or equipment.

Serious offenses may be subject to immediate termination and/or sanction as determined by the General Manager of Procurement and affected department head.

An annual vendor evaluation by the Project Manager (end user) and Procurement Officer, who function as a team will review the "Vendor Product and Service Evaluation" forms at the annual contract renewal.

VENDOR PROTEST/SUPPLIER DEBARMENT

Protested Solicitations

A bid protest shall be in strict accordance with the requirements of F.S. 120.57(3) http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2013/Chapter120. Any actual or qualified prospective bidder or proposer who believes they have been adversely affected in connection with the solicitation or award of a contract may notify, in writing, the GM of Procurement of intent to protest. The intent to protest must be submitted within three (3) business days after the District announces its intent to award.

Subject of Protest

Protesters may file protest on any phase of solicitation, bid, proposal, or award including, but not limited to, procedure, specification, award, or disclosure of information marked confidential in the bid or proposal.

Stay of Procurement During Protest

In the event of a protest in accordance with this section, the GM of Procurement shall not proceed further with solicitation or award of contract until all remedies have been exhausted or until a written determination is made that award of a contract is necessary due to an emergency.

Suspension or Debarment

The GM shall have the authority to suspend, or debar any vendors or contractors for the following:

A.      Default on awarded contract.

B.      Routine performance of unsatisfactory work.

C.      Violation of contract terms and conditions without cure or remedy.

D.      Default of any payment or other monies due to the District.

E.       Conviction of fraud or criminal acts while performing as a contractor on any contracts, even those not associated or written by the District.

F.       Documentation substantiating a consistent past performance record of habitual or continuous unsatisfactory performance, safety violations, failure to adhere to the Jessica Lunsford Act, as defined in the contract, repeated violations of any contract provisions, or delinquent performance by a vendor.

The GM of Procurement may debar vendors for a defined period of time from bidding on or performing as a subcontractor on any District contracts. The suspended or debarred vendor may at the conclusion of the suspension or debarment period, submit a formal request to be removed from such status.

BONDS, INSURANCE, AND CONTRACTS

Contract Bonds

For contracts in excess of $50,000, a separate performance or surety bond may be required in the amount of up to 100% of the contract value. The vendor shall deliver the bond to the District within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the notice of award or at the same time the contract is executed. If the vendor fails to deliver the required bond, the vendor’s bid or contract may be rejected or terminated for default. The bond must be executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the State of Florida. Bonds may be required on contracts less than $50,000, if the GM of Procurement determines it to be in the best interest of the District.

Insurance Requirements

The GM of Procurement may require such insurance as deemed necessary for the protection of the District or as may be required by local code or regulation. When a contract requires contractor insurance, the insurance certificates shall be provided with the contract, including all exceptions and riders attached to the certificate. All District contracts shall include a requirement for the provision of Workers’ Compensation Insurance. All contractors, unless exempt by the State of Florida, shall carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance. At a minimum, this insurance coverage shall be in the statutory amount. Independent contractors shall carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance to cover themselves and any employees or agents working, or who may work, under the District contract. Insurance levels are established by the District’s Manager of Safety and Risk Management.

Required Contract Provision

All District contracts, regardless of dollar value, shall contain the District appropriation of funding clause. The venue and court jurisdiction for all legal actions shall be in the courts of Hillsborough County, unless otherwise specifically required by Federal law.

 

Exibit A:
Invitation to Bid (ITB)

Request for Proposal (RFP) or Invitation to Negotiate (ITN)

 

Process

Process

Formal Solicitation

Yes – ITB

Yes RFPs or ITNs

Advertisement Required

Yes

Yes

Goal

Lowest and best responsive and responsible bidder.

Best Value

Public Opening at Receipt Deadline

No - Held confidential for thirty (30) days after opening

No – Held confidential for

thirty (30) days after opening

Response Evaluated By

Buyer with assistance from user, as needed

Formal Evaluation Committee with numerous participants

Specifications Evaluation Process

Response to each specification is either a pass or a fail. No scoring of specification responses is involved.

Response to each specification

evaluated and a score assigned.

Some specification responses can be pass/fail only with no associated score.

Cost Evaluation Process

Costs for responsive bids are compared to each other to identify lowest cost.

Costs for responsive proposals are scored.

Vendor allowed to revise response and submit a Best and Final Offer (BAFO)

No

No

Negotiation Allowed

No

Yes

Award Basis

Lowest Cost Wins

Highest ranked vendor once Best and Final Offer is finalized.

Documentation of Process

Bid Tabulation based on costs only

Evaluation Committee Report

based on scores assigned to evaluation criteria.

 

Approved 5/18/12
Revised 04/01/16
© HILLSBOROUGH 2013

 

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