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Getting Started in Public Procurement

Contractors looking for work in these tough times should keep public projects in mind. If you are not familiar with the public procurement or "bidding" process, knowing the basics will help in getting started. Most public agencies have standard policies and procedures for advertising and awarding contracts. The first step is identifying the public agencies that need your services. From there, you will need to determine how the agency advertises its projects, and the terms and conditions for the particular project.

In Florida, there are layers of government, all of which advertise and award construction work. The tricky part is that these agencies all have their own requirements. For example, State agencies such as the Florida Department of Transportation, may be subject to the requirements of statutes and administrative regulations that may not be applicable to local government agencies. In other words, public procurement in the State of Florida is not a "one size fits all" process. For local governments, including counties and municipalities, there may be purchasing ordinances and policies that apply to the particular agency. Determining what the process is for the agency you are interested in doing work for is critical.

Free Construction Work, Come and Get It

If you want work done for free, hire an unlicensed contractor.  The 3rd District Court of Appeals rendered a not-final opinion October 27th articulating a very clear message: unlicensed contractors need not be paid.    In Master Tech Satellite, Inc., etc. v. Mastec North America, Inc., etc. (No. 3D08-2509 October 27, 2010), Master Tech was hired by Mastec North America to install residential digital satellite systems for Mastec's customers.  Mastec North America apparently did not pay for the work.  Master Tech then sued to recover on the contract in an amount in excess of $300,000.00.  During the course of discovery, it was brought to light that the work performed by Master Tech involved at least some electrical work and required a license.  It was also discovered that, in fact, Master Tech did not hold such a license.  The trial court granted summary judgment for defendant based on Sec.489.532, Florida...