County gives local bidders huge break
By Lou Ortiz
Local firms and those headquartered in Miami-Dade County will get preferential treatment when procuring county business.
A new ordinance allows "locally-headquartered businesses within 15% of a non-local vendor's lowest bid to participate in the best and final offer (BAFO) process," said Deputy Mayor Edward Marquez in a memo to commissioners.
In addition, the ordinance stipulates that if "the low bidder is not a local business, then any and all responsive and responsible local businesses submitting a price within10% of the low bid" will get an opportunity "to submit a best and final bid equal to or lower than the low bid."
"Similarly, if a local vendor has the lowest bid and a locally-headquartered business is within 5% of the local vendor's lowest bid, both entities may participate in the BAFO process," Mr. Marquez said.
"This may "add more time to the competitive bid process," he said. "However, there may be a positive fiscal impact if the BAFO results in a lower pricing than the original bid offer."
The two prime sponsors of the ordinance, which passed 10-0 last week, were commissioners Jean Monestime and Lynda Bell. Also joining in sponsoring were commissioners Esteban Bovo, Audrey Edmonson, Barbara Jordan and Dennis Moss.
The ordinance covers general services and goods supplied to the county. General services covers support services that require special knowledge or expertise, and goods include supplies, equipment and materials.
To qualify, local vendors must have had a valid business tax receipt issued by the county at least one year before the bid or proposal submission.
"Firms who provide goods or services which are exempt from Miami-Dade Business Tax Receipt requirements shall be required to submit documentation, to the county's satisfaction, demonstrating the physical business presence of the firm was within the limits of Miami-Dade County for at least one year prior to bid or proposal submission," the ordinance says.
The ordinance also states that:
nLocally-headquartered businesses must have their principal place of business in the county. That means "the nerve center or the center of overall direction, control, and coordination of the activities of the bidder," the ordinance states.
nAwards will be made to the responsive and responsible bidder with the lowest, best and final bid.
nTies in the bid process will be resolved in an order that first gives priority to locally-headquartered businesses, followed by local businesses and then other businesses.
nTies between two or more local businesses for awards or opportunities to advance to the next step in the solicitation process will depend on the firm having the "greatest number of its employees that are Miami-Dade County residents," the ordinance says.
"In revenue-producing contracts, where award, if any, is to be made to the bidder returning the highest amount to the county," the ordinance says, "the same preferences set forth… shall be applied by reference to the highest bid."
The ordinance becomes effective 10 days after the vote unless the mayor vetoes it.
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