Cooperative purchasing has become an essential tool that allows South Florida State College to meet the needs of its various departments. The best known component of this is obtaining products through competitively procured contracts.
Cooperative purchasing does not only mean the use of sources like state contracts to serve our buying needs. It also means the use of interested and informed local vendors who desire to maintain a dynamic working relationship with the college. To that end, it is our desire to broaden our local base of vendors.
We endeavor to satisfy our procurement needs and to flow capital back to the businesses that we live among. The Purchasing Office welcomes your comments and suggestions on how we might meet our supply needs, and it encourages local businesses to be our partners.
Methods of Purchase
Informal Quotes ($5,000 – $20,000)
SFSC solicits informal (verbal or written) quotes from selected vendors. Vendors should take particular care when quoting prices to assure accuracy. Quotes should be provided by the required date and time. SFSC selects the lowest quote meeting required specifications for award. Purchases of items costing $5,000 up to $20,000 must have evidence of at least three telephone quotations attached to the expenditure unless exempt from the competitive bidding process. (See listing of exemptions in the Formal Sealed Bids section below.) Originating department staff will obtain telephone quotes from three or more qualified firms. Documentation of the firm name, contact person, telephone number, and the amount quoted must be attached to the purchase requisition before forwarding.
Written Quotes ($20,001 but less than $65,000)
Written quotes are solicited and can be received via fax or email. The quote details the quantity of items being purchased and the SFSC’s specifications. Vendors must return the completed quote within the designated time period. Procurement staff reviews quotes and determines which vendor is the lowest responsive, responsible bidder for award purposes. Purchases exceeding $20,001 but less than $65,000 must have at least three vendor submitted written quotations on file unless exempt from the competitive bidding process. (See listing of exemptions in the Formal Sealed Bids section below.) Purchasing Department staff will coordinate the written quote process by assisting originating departments with qualified vendor names/addresses, written specification development assistance, and by handling all written communications with vendors. All written quotations must be submitted to the Purchasing Department directly from the vendors. Purchasing Department staff will then forward the results to the originating department for consideration.
Formal Sealed Bids (Over $65,000)
All purchases over $65,000, whether a one-time purchase or a contract or blanket purchase order, are acquired through the BID/RFP process (Pursuant to 287.017 FS). Notices are published on our website informing the public of the products or services being bid. When SFSC solicits the submittal of competitive offers and only one responsive offer is submitted, the college may purchase such products or service under the best terms it can negotiate.
Bid packages are prepared with appropriate terms and conditions, and detailed Scope of Work or specifications including items bid, units, and total (or estimated) quantity desired, instructions for bidding, delivery information, and any special requirements for bidding. The date, time, and location for any Pre-Bid Conference and for the Public Bid Opening are also included.
Copies of the bid packages are e-mailed to a minimum of three vendors. They are also made available upon request by vendors responding to public notice. Sealed bids or proposals are publicly opened and read at the time designated in the bid documents and legal notices.
Bid tabulations showing bid results are posted on Bid Board in the Business Office and on the Purchasing website. Bids are evaluated and recommendations are forwarded to the appropriate level of authority for review, approval, and award.
Purchase orders and/or contracts are awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder(s) meeting SFSC specifications.
SFSC reserves the right to reject all bids or parts of bids when such rejection is in the best interest of the college. SFSC reserves the right to award all bids on an item-by-item basis or aggregate basis, whichever is deemed in the best interest of the college. These rights apply to all purchases regardless of dollar value.
Read all instructions carefully. Failure to properly complete all bid forms and comply with all instructions may result in disqualification of your bid. Unsigned bids will be automatically rejected.
When bidding, please ensure that your bid is fully responsive and correct.
Items or services exempt from the Formal Sealed Bid Process include:
- Educational tests, textbooks, instructional materials and equipment, films, filmstrips, video tapes, disc or tape recordings or similar audio-visual materials, and graphic and computer-based instructional software
- Library books, reference books, periodicals, and other library materials and supplies
- Purchases at the unit or contract prices established through competitive solicitations by any unit of government established by law or buying cooperatives
- Services or commodities available only from a single or sole source
- Professional services, including, but not limited to, artistic services, instructional services, health services, academic program reviews, lectures by individuals, attorneys, legal services, auditors, and management consultants
- Information technology resources defined as all forms of technology used to create, process, store, transmit, exchange, and use information in various forms of voice, video and data, and shall also include the personnel costs and contracts that provide direct information technology support consistent with each individual college’s information technology plan items for resale
SFSC’s president or designee may waive solicitation requirements in emergencies when there is an imminent threat to students, employees or public safety, or in cases when necessary to prevent damage to the facilities caused by an unexpected circumstance in accordance with rules established by the local board of trustees
Professional Services and Service Contracts
Those governed by Florida Statutes (287.055), specifically, the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA) provides guidelines for selecting consultants for specific types of services which include engineers, architects, landscape architects, surveying, and mapping services. The procedure generally includes:
- Issuing a RFP
- Pre-Proposal Conference
- Receipt of proposals
- Board approval
- Execution of contract
Non-CCNA professional services are handled very similarly to those that must meet CCNA requirements. However, the College may request pricing as a part of the written proposal.
Construction services are acquired by either a formal sealed bid process or by issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Construction Management at Risk Services. All construction bids are processed under the guidance of the Vice President, Administrative Services.