Author Archives: Andrew E. Schwartz

Bidding Smarter in Florida: “Alternate” Bids and Proposals are a Good Thing.

Contractors may have multiple solutions for their potential government client’s needs, but they miss out on sales by failing to tell this to the government. Andrew Schwartz explains why contractors should submit alternative bids or proposals, and lays out a few guidelines for doing so. CONTINUE READING...

Rock the Boat, Baby – They’ll Get Over It. Contractors Should Use the Q&A Process Strategically and Seriously Consider Spec Challenges.

Contractors often hesitate to ask agencies the “hard questions” or challenge flawed solicitations when preparing their bids because they are afraid agencies will retaliate. Andrew Schwartz explains why this is an unfounded fear and why contractors should stick up for themselves. CONTINUE READING...

Defend Yourself! Contract Awardees Should Intervene In Bid Protests.

Most of the posts I write on bid protests are written from the protester’s point of view. Recently, however, I was asked by a contract awardee whether he should intervene in a protest challenging his award. The short answer to awardees in that situation is “Yes, if keeping the contract is important to you.” CONTINUE READING...

I Would Have Bid on That! Challenging Out of Scope Modifications to Existing Government Contracts

Florida’s First District Court of Appeals just held in Asphalt Paving Sys., Inc. v. Anderson Columbia, No. 1D18-2035 (Fla. 1st DCA Feb. 18, 2019) that prospective bidders have standing to file bid protests challenging out-of-scope modifications to existing government contracts. CONTINUE READING...

Buy Low! Businesses Need Not Bid On County-Owned Lands in Florida

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals recently opened up whole new possibilities for Florida-county-level business incentives in Matheson v. Miami-Dade Cnty. CONTINUE READING...

In Florida Bid Protests, Courts Don’t Second Guess the Government – Except When They Do

The key to winning a Florida bid protest is to point out a specific, objective flaw that occurred during the evaluation of bids or proposals. Once in a while, however, the government’s award decision is so unreasonable that courts will overturn them for “getting it wrong.” CONTINUE READING...

That’s Blackmail! Why the Government Cannot Terminate a Contractor for Refusing to Settle a Dispute on Its Terms

In Florida, the government will frequently change the terms of its contracts, usually by adding or deleting the amount or work to be performed, by adjusting the manner of performance, or by making minor adjustments to the type of work to be performed. The government usually has the right to unilaterally do so under the terms of the contract, which will also often contain a formula for pricing the change. CONTINUE READING...

Don’t Like Your Scores? There’s a Protest for That – Although Everyone’s Missed It!

Clients and potential clients frequently come to us and complain about the low scores they’ve gotten from a Florida state agency (or the high scores their competitors got) that caused them to lose out on valuable contracts. Scoring issues, which are highly subjective, are the most difficult to prevail on in a bid protest. The key to a successful protest is demonstrating a concrete and specific flaw in the procurement protest that occurred as a matter of historical fact. CONTINUE READING...

Get Your Foot In The Door: Why Federal Contractors Should Protest

In the federal arena firms do not have a right to their competitors’ proposals or the agency’s evaluation documents, making it difficult to know whether or not an award to a competitor was proper. However, as Andrew Schwartz explains, it is possible to prevail in a bid protest with only information learned after the protest itself has been filed. CONTINUE READING...

Take Your Shot – Florida Firms Should File Protests When Agencies Deviate from Material RFP Requirements

If you ever find yourself in a Florida procurement where your competitor won the contract even though its proposal fails to meet a specific RFP criteria, you should probably take your shot and file a protest. CONTINUE READING...