Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Citywide Projects Committee Members

Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: October 26, 2018



At the June 29, 2018 Finance and City-Wide Projects Committee (the “Committee”), the Administration presented the Committee with a number of options for streamlining the procurement process to make it easier for vendors to do business with the City and for expediting the process for awarding projects. At that time, the Committee directed staff to meet with each commissioner to discuss the options for streamlining.


Staff has met with those commissioners that were available to meet, as well as with the Mayor’s chief of staff. The options that were considered are listed below.


1. Establish a Contractor Pre-qualification Program. For certain projects, state law requires contractors to be pre-qualified. For these projects, the City currently pre-qualifies contractors under a two-step RFP process. However, this process can be expedited by prequalifying contractors on a parallel process outside of the solicitation process. Once the solicitation is approved for issuance, the prequalification process would have been completed and technical proposals can be received without delays.


2. Reconsider Implementing Job Order Contracting. Prior to 2012, the City used the Job Order Contracting (JOC) process extensively. However, certain internal control failures led to the JOC process being discontinued. All of the prior failures of the former JOC process have now be addressed by internal controls implemented by the Gordian Group, the JOC software providers. Many governmental agencies utilize JOC to expedite delivery of construction projects.


3. Consider Increasing the Formal Bid Thresholds. Currently, all expenditures in excess of $50,000 require formal competition (ITB, RFP, RFQ). The process, because of the requirements associated with it, can take upwards of 3 months. The Committee may consider increasing the threshold as follows:

·       Construction – Florida State law does not require formal bids to be issued for construction projects under $300,000. Therefore, the Committee may consider increasing the formal solicitation threshold for construction up to that amount. Projects below this amount may be awarded through one of the following methodologies:

1.     JOC.

2.     Proposals from Pre-Qualified Pool of Contractors.

3.     Open Market Quotes per Sec. 2-395 of City Code.



  • Goods and Services – Unlike construction, for goods and non-construction services the State of Florida does not dictate the threshold at which formal solicitations must be issued. The formal solicitation threshold for state agencies is $65,000. The threshold for Miami Dade County is currently $250,000. The same threshold for the City of Miami is $50,000, but is currently under review. Other municipal agencies within the State have increased formal solicitation thresholds for goods and services usually between $65,000 and $100,000.


It is important to note that expenditures under the aforementioned thresholds would still require competition, but in a much more expedited and less cumbersome manner.


4. Streamline Procurement Code. There are certain sections of the Procurement Code that are outdated and do not allow certain processes to be streamlined. The Administration recommends that the Procurement Code be reviewed to assure that it supports streamlined processes. Some recommendations for updating include:

  • Clearly stipulating conditions for exempt and sole source procurements.

  • Updating formal solicitation thresholds as indicated above.

  • Reconsidering the requirement to advertise all formal solicitations “in at least one official newspaper having general distribution in the city…”

  • Updating the requirements for protesting award recommendations to reduce frivolous protests that delay awards.


In addition to the above mentioned recommendations that will require revisions to the City’s Procurement Code, the Administration has already begun to implement other improvements that do not require Code updates to make it more easy for vendors to do business with the City, including:


1. Improve Timeliness of Vendor Payments. The top complaint received from vendors is that the City continues to not pay in a timely manner. The Administration continues to seek ways to improve invoice payment timeliness. Currently a team of staff members from cross-functional areas are reviewing the City’s practices and issues with the financial system to address ways to improve the timeliness of vendor payments.


2. Vendor Advocate. Vendors often do not know whom to call for assistance with a number of cross-departmental issues such as unpaid invoices, work disputes, and compliance matters. Sometimes vendors feel they get shuffled from one department to the next without resolution of issues. As a result, vendors may get frustrated and refuse to do future business with the organization. This has a long term negative impact on the organization because the supplier pool may become more limited and competition more difficult. To address these concerns, some organizations have personnel, known as Vendor Advocates or Ombudsmen, dedicated to assisting vendors in resolving issues. The Administration is considering ways to implement a Vendor Advocate program without increasing head count.


3. Replace Bid Notification System. In 2010, the City migrated to an electronic, third-party bid notification system to reach a greater number of potential bidders and facilitate the distribution of documents relating to City bids. However, many vendors report problems with the current bid notification system. A primary concern is that the current system does not have a telephone option that vendors can utilize when having technical difficulties. The only recourse vendors currently when encountering difficulties is to send an email to the service provider and wait for a response. This is very challenging, especially during those times when bid deadlines are near.


The system being considered, BidSync, is currently used by many agencies across South Florida, including Miami-Dade County. As a result, the City will have access to many more potential bidders. Additionally, BidSync can assist with electronic bidding and simplifying/standardizing solicitation and contract documents.


4. Expand e-Market.  The e-Marketplace is an innovative, secure and proven solution utilized by public sector agencies across the country. With a single logon, authorized users can access a number of providers of MRO equipment and supplies (consumables) that have been competitively bid to assure that the City is yielding the best possible public sector pricing, while assuring that required goods are received, in most cases, by the next business day. The use of e-Marketplace continues to increase as indicated in the table below. This translates into quicker, more cost effective acquisition of MRO and consumables by City departments.












To continue to expedite the acquisition of MRO and consumables, the department is including additional contractors to the e-Marketplace.


A brief presentation will be included at the next Committee meeting with the purpose of assisting Committee members with any questions regarding the recommendations contained herein. The Administration is seeking further guidance from the Committee on these matters.