Chapter 120, also known as the Administrative Procedure Act, applies to only state agencies and departments. Local governments such as counties, cities, and municipalities typically have their own sets of regulations and policies in place to address bid protests. When applicable, Chapter 120 imposes strict deadlines that protesters must adhere to. Contractors and construction businesses who take part in bidding on construction bids of state agencies and departments should understand the implications of Florida Statutes, 120.57 (3).
Because of the time sensitive nature of a protest, it is highly recommended to seek the council of an experienced Clearwater construction lawyer if you are considering filing a protest against a state agency’s contract award or intended decision.
Chapter 120, Florida Statutes
Under Chapter 120, the agency or department is required to give notice of decision on a contract award via electronic posting. The notice is required to include the following statement: “Failure to file a protest within the time prescribed in section 120.57 (3), Florida Statutes, or failure to post the bond or other security required by law with the time allowed for filing a bond shall constitute a waiver of proceedings under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.”
A bidder who is adversely affected by the agency’s decision may choose to protest a contract award or intended decision. The bidder must file with the agency or department a notice of protest within 72 hours of the posting of the notice of contract award or intended decision. Saturdays, Sundays, and state holidays are not taken into account when computing the 72 hour time window. After the filing of notice of protest, the bidder will have 10 days from the date the notice of protest is filed to file a formal written protest, which shall state in detail the facts and laws upon which the protest is based.
Failure to file a notice of protest, to file a formal written protest, or failure to adhere to the strict deadlines under Chapter 120 will result in the waiver of proceedings as prescribed by 120.57 (3), Florida Statutes.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.