Competitive Procurement Under Chapter 287

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Competitive Procurement under Chapter 287 Section 287.017, F.S. establishes five purchasing categories through which purchases made be made based upon certain conditions. Any good or service exceeding category two, $35,000, must be competitively procured unless there is an exemption and justification is provided for use of that exemption. If a State Term Contract does not offer the good or service required by the Agency, and sufficient justification is provided, purchases over category two must be made utilized one of the three competitive procurement methods: the Invitation to Bid, the Request for Proposal, or the Invitation to Negotiate. According to section 287.057(1)a, an Invitation to Bid is used when the agency is able to develop specific requirements pertaining to a commodity or group of commodities. When certain mandatory criteria are met on a pass or fail basis, the award goes to the lowest responsive bidder. (Section 287.057(1)(a)4). A Request for Proposal is used when the agency can specifically define the requirements of the group of commodities, or contractual service being sought and can describe the deliverables. Criteria such as price, prior experience, and the vendor’s project plan, should be weighted and scored by evaluators; unlike the Invitation to Bid, the contract is not awarded automatically to the responsive bidder with the lowest price, but must be awarded to the vendor who provides a solution that is “most advantageous to the state,”

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