Procurements & Bid Protests

If you are a vendor that does business with Florida state agencies or other governmental entities such as school boards or state universities, or a business that would like to secure competitively procured contracts from governmental agencies, the Woodring Law Firm can provided legal advice and counsel to help you comply with the myriad procurement statutes, rules and policies. We also provide legal advice to Florida agencies to help them through important procurements if we are not representing a private business in the procurement. And, we represent National and local Florida businesses in bid protests, specification challenges and other administrative and civil litigation involving governmental procurement, such as breach of contract disputes.

Mr. Woodring has significant experience with state procurements and bid protests at Florida agencies. While counsel in the Executive Office of the Governor, he had primary responsibility for working with the Department of Management Services on significant competitive procurements at all Florida’s state agencies. He also worked with the Florida Legislature to revise chapter 287, and in fact drafted the initial proposed statutory language that created the invitation to negotiate process.

Since then he has advised vendors and agencies and litigated many procurements, ranging in size from a few million to the 100s of millions of dollars. He has also worked with procurements at the state, university, and school board levels Florida’s educational system. Recently we litigated an ITN bid that knocked out the award of a major contract to Microsoft in favor of a local software company, Infinity Software, and received the first DOAH on the merits reversal of an agency award in an ITN protest.

We are happy to talk to you about handling a bid protest to either protect or challenge a notice of intent to award, but we add more value when engaged to work on a governmental procurement from the start. Our early assistance includes evaluating the bid specifications, and challenging them or requesting clarification as needed; making sure that legal restrictions on contacts with governmental entities are followed and do not disqualify a vendor from even being scored; working with the vendor to make sure the bid package meets all the mandatory requirements, and strategic advice on all options. Nothing is more disappointing than putting the time and money into responding to a sophisticated proposal, and to never make it into the final negotiation or evaluation. Unfortunately, this happens fairly frequently, we recently worked on a large Citizens Insurance procurement in which 1/3 of the vendors were disqualified before the evaluation even began.

Another reason to consider retaining us before you receive the notice of intent to award, is because of the early and tight deadlines. Significant deadlines, requirements to file a challenge to bid specifications, or to file a notice of intent to protest, or even to file a complete protest in some bid categories are as short as 72 hours. And, if there were problems with the bid specifications, but you did not challenge them before the notice of intent to award, or ask clarifying questions and challenge the answers if troubling, you have usually waived the right to raise those legal arguments in the bid protest. Even the normal filing of your completed protest usually has to happen within 10 days. We work with tight turnarounds – some of the cases we have worked on at the Florida Supreme Court have had 24 hour deadlines for writing and filing entire briefs – but you are better served if we have more time to fully understand the dynamics of your bid and your competition.

Please contact us if we can help you preparing a proposal for governmental procurements, specification challenges, bid protests, or governmental contract disputes.