|(a) Any actual or prospective bidder, offeror, or contractor
who is aggrieved in connection with the solicitation, evaluation,
or award of a contract may formally protest to the Purchasing and
Contracting Director. Such protests must be in writing and received
in the director's office within ten working days after such aggrieved
person knows, or should have known, of the occurrence of the action
which is protested. Copies of the protest must be mailed or delivered
by the protesting party to the department and other interested parties.
For the purpose of this section "other interested persons" means at
least all vendors who have submitted bids or proposals for the contract
(b) If the vendor wants the solicitation or the award
process to be terminated, he must make that request in his protest
and state the reasons for such termination of the process. The director
will review such request and, after consultation with the issuing
division and the appropriate manager, make a written determination
within three business days of receipt of the request to terminate
from the vendor.
(c) A formal protest must be sworn and contain:
(1) a specific identification of the statutory or regulatory
provision(s) the action complained of is alleged to have violated;
(2) a specific description of each act alleged to have
violated the statutory or regulatory provision(s) identified above;
(3) a precise statement of the relevant facts;
(4) an identification of the issue or issues to be
(5) argument and authorities in support of the protest;
(6) a statement that copies of the protest have been
mailed or delivered to the identifiable interested parties.
(d) The director shall have the authority, absent a
proper appeal to the executive director of the department, to settle
and resolve the dispute concerning the solicitation or award of a
contract. The director may solicit written responses to the protest
from other interested parties.
(e) If the protest is not resolved by mutual agreement,
the director will issue a written determination on the protest:
(1) if the director determines that no violation of
rules or statutes has occurred he shall so inform the protesting party,
and the other interested parties by letter which sets forth the reasons
for the determination; or
(2) if the director determines that a violation of
the rules or statutes has occurred in a case where a contract has
been awarded, he will so inform the protesting party and the other
interested parties by letter which sets forth the reasons for the
determination, which may include ordering the contract void.
(f) The director's determination on a protest may be
appealed by an interested party to the executive director of the department.
An appeal of the director's determination must be in writing and must
be received in the executive director's office no later than ten working
days after the date of the director's determination. The appeal shall
be limited to review of the director's determination. Copies of the
appeal must be mailed or delivered to other interested parties within
ten working days after the date of the director's decision and must
contain a certification that such copies have been provided as directed
in this section.
(g) The appropriate lawyer for the agency must review
the protest, the director's determination and the appeal and prepare
a written opinion with recommendations to the executive director.
(h) A decision issued by the commission in open meeting,
or in writing by the executive director, shall be the final administrative
action of the department.