How Do Vendors Find Out About Projects?

Advertised in The News-Press in Fort Myers (when applicable) - all Formal Projects are advertised on Fridays.

New Projects are posted to our website on Fridays.

Vendor/Bidder Application<Bookmark>

A listing of vendors, classified according to materials, supplies and services is maintained by the Division of Procurement.  A prospective vendor interested in doing business with the County will need to fill out an Vendor/Bidder/Consultant application found on our webpage.  Upon return of a properly completed application (including a completed and signed W-9 Form), the vendor will be added to the bidders list under categories selected on the application.  Currently formal level is over $100,000.00.

Types and Methods of Procurement<Bookmark>

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Fair and Open Competition:

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners promotes free and open competition through its bid specifications.  In addition, the County strives to design specifications for compatibility with standard trade practices and to use procedures in accordance with the law and prudent business practice.  Potential bidders are encouraged to advise the County - Division of Procurement Management if they feel any language and/or requirement of a specification inadvertently restricts or limits competition; or if, in their judgment, specifications do not comply with standard trade practices or impose an impractical or unreasonable procedural burden.

Informal Projects ($50,001 - $100K) - Procurement at this dollar level may be processed via one of the following two methodologies:

Informal Telephone Bid:

Goods or services may be purchased through informal telephone bids. Informal telephone bids will be taken by Procurement staff.  For this process, a minimum of three vendors will be contacted, given specific information as to the item or service sought, and asked for pricing and delivery time.  The purchase order will be issued to the vendor offering the lowest price while meeting all specified requirements.

Informal Written Bid:

Goods or services may be purchased through informal written bids. For this process, a written specification setting forth all requirements of the purchase is prepared and made available to all interested vendors. Informal written bids will be handled by Procurement staff.  The bids are opened on a specified date and time and award is made to the lowest bidder meeting all specification requirements.

Formal Processes ($100K +) - Procurement at this dollar level may be processed via one of the following methodologies:

​Formal Written Bid:<Bookmark>

When the item(s) or service(s) to be procured is estimated to cost over $100,000.00, a specification package is developed and made available to all interested vendors.  The sealed bids are received on a specified date and time and are evaluated for compliance to the specifications, delivery time and price.  Award is normally recommended to the lowest responsible responsive bid meeting specifications.

This process is also used for construction type projects requiring a contractor license and for projects over $100,000.00.

Cooperative Purchasing:

Lee County is a member of the Southwest Florida Cooperative Purchasing Consortium.  The purpose of this consortium is to jointly quote items common to all members in order to obtain volume discount pricing.

Piggybacking:

Most of our specifications include the provision for other governmental entities to be able to "piggyback" on the prices obtained/awarded.

Negotiation:

Per Florida Statute (287.0570, if less then two responsive bids or proposals for commodity or contractual services purchases are received, the department or division may negotiate a contract on the best terms and conditions.  The department/division shall document the reasons that such action is in the best interest of Lee County in lieu of resoliciting competitive sealed bids or proposals.

Competitive Negotiations (CN):<Bookmark>

The CN process is used to solicit professional services.  Process used for 1) Construction estimate over $325,000 or 2) Planning or study activity over $35,000.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ):<Bookmark>

The RFQ process is used for all other professional type services not covered under the CN process; fees are negotiated.  Used for "Other" Professional Services over $100,000.  Vendors are selected based on qualifications and may involve interview/presentations.  No pricing is involved under this process until a firm has been selected and the County enters into contract negotiations.

Request for Proposals (RFP):<Bookmark>

The proposal process is used when no fixed criteria exist for a purchase. The process is similar to the formal written bid process with the exception that award is based on predetermined evaluation criteria rather than solely on price. An evaluation committee will review and rank the proposals received for each of the evaluation factors. A tabulation of their scores will determine which vendor will be recommended for award of the proposal.

The RFP process is also used for all other professional type services not covered under the CN process; fees are included as part of this process.  Vendor selection is made on qualification, experience and prices.

Steps to Competitive Bidding:<Bookmark>

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Specification:

Specifications are detailed descriptions of the intended purchase, establishing the minimum acceptable standards.  They are included in the bid documents.  If you have any questions, concerns or objections regarding specifications, contact the person indicated in the bid, in Procurement or make inquiries during the pre-bid conference.  The County reserves the right to request that questions concerning interpretation or modification to plans, specifications or contract documents be submitted in writing to Procurement staff.

Changes to the specifications shall be made in writing in the form of an addendum circulated to all potential bidders.  Theses changes become an integral part of the bid/proposal and must be acknowledged on the price page.  NOTE: Vendor responsible for checking webpage for an addenda(s).

Pre-Bid Conference:

Pre-bid conferences are held on most written bids and proposals.  The purpose of the pre-bid conference is to provide a forum in which vendors may ask questions about the bid document.  If there are any discrepancies, concerns or suggestions this it the time they should be brought forward.  Please do not wait until after the bids are awarded and a recommendation to award has been made to point out a deficiency in the specification documents.

Bid/Proposal, etc..Opening:

All formal bids/proposals are to be received in a sealed envelope bearing the name and number of the project, and the date and time of the opening, prior to the stated deadline.  The bids/proposals are opened and read publicly by the Procurement Director (or designee) on the date and time shown in the invitation to bid.  A cordial invitation is extended to vendors, salespersons, the media and the interested public to attend "bid/proposal openings".

Proposals, however, are not made public record until 10 days after the opening date.  This is for review and evaluation purpose.

Tabulations and Awards:

All formal bids, proposals are tabulated by the Division of Procurement Management.  The tabulations are available for review on our website.

Tie Bids:

A thorough review of all tie bids shall be conducted by the Division of Procurement Management.  Award recommendations shall be based upon delivery dates, reputation of the vendors involved, past performance, and location of the vendor.  If all factors and conditions relating to the bids are equal, then the tie bid will be awarded to the vendor with a Drug-Free Workplace Program, Florida Statutes Section 287.087.  If both vendors have a drug-free workplace program then the bid will be awarded to the local vendor if the other vendor is not local or by a coin toss.  The coin toss will be conducted by the Division of Procurement Management with one witness from outside the Division of Procurement Management.

Late Bids/Proposals, etc....:

If a bid/proposal is received after the date and time stated as the deadline for receipt of bids/proposals, the package will be returned unopened via certified mail to the vendor submitting the bid/proposals.  If there is no return address or any indication of the company submitting the bid/proposal, the package will be placed unopened in the project file and will not be considered for award.

​Local Vendor Preference:<Bookmark>

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Lee County Ordinance No. 08-26 adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on November 25, 2008.  The Board acted in concert with Collier County to stimulate the local economy of each county by extending the scope of the local preference created by Lee County Ordinance No. 00-10 to qualified Collier County contractors and vendors and thereby encourage contractors and vendors to bid on contracts and work in the adjoining county.  This was done under a Reciprocity Agreement.

"Local Contractor/Vendor" shall mean: a) any person, firm, partnership, company or corporation whose principal place of business in the sole opinion of the County, is located within the boundaries of Lee/Collier County, Florida; b) any person, firm, partnership, company or corporation that has provided goods or services to Lee County on a regular basis for the preceding consecutive three (3) years, and that has the personnel, equipment and materials located within the boundaries of Lee/Collier County sufficient to constitute a present ability to perform the service or provide the goods.

Lee County at its sole discretion may choose to award a preference to any qualified "Local Contractor/Vendor" in an amount not to exceed 3 percent of the total amount quoted by that firm.