Manatee County Government Administrative Center First Floor, Commission Chambers 9:00 a.m. - February 13, 2018
REVISED February 13, 2018 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #56

Review of Protest Appeal - Corrosion and Odor Control RFP


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Contact: Jeff Goodwin, Wastewater Division Manager, Utilities Department, ext.5235

Presenter: Theresa Webb, Procurement Official, Financial Management Department, Procurement Division ext. 3056

Action Requested

Affirm the County Administrator's decision to disallow the protest of RFP No. 18-R067464MS.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

Manatee County Code of Laws

Background Discussion

On October 4, 2017 the Procurement Division advertised RFP No. 18-R067464MS for Corrosion and Odor Control Services. A protest from Lapin Septic Tank Service, Inc. (“Lapin Services”) regarding this RFP was received on October 11, 2017. In its protest, Lapin Services argues that the RFP is improper for the following reasons:

  1. The RFP ignores the Environmental and Energy Preservation Clause of the County’s Purchasing Code;
  2. The RFP was unduly restrictive in that it required a proposer and/or its subcontractors to have a specified minimum level of prior experience in providing odor and corrosive services;
  3. The RFP allowed for bias towards specific contractors; and
  4. The study of the County’s odor and corrosive services that are currently in place was biased and fails to meet the County’s goal of saving money because it was only focused on improving the system currently in place and did not consider alternative products or processes.

A response to the protest from County Administrator was mailed and emailed to Lapin on November 1, 2017 disallowing the protest. The allegations raised, though characterized as grounds for a protest, are criticisms of the County’s business practices and do not involve a violation of the requirements of the Purchasing Code or any applicable provision of law. A follow-up letter from Mr. Hunzeker to Lapin was sent via email and mail on November 17, 2017 informing Lapin of their right to appeal the County Administrator’s decision.

On November 22, 2017, an appeal of the County Administrator’s decision to disallow the protest from Lapin was received by the County. Subsequently, per County Ordinance 2-26-61(g), a stay of the procurement process for RFP No. 18-R067464MS was issued on November 22, 2017. At this time, the procurement process is still stayed and the contract has not been awarded.

The Board’s review in this type of proceeding is limited to the legal arguments, factual testimony or materials that were provided to the County Administrator in the initial protest materials. Per County Ordinance Section 2-26-61(f), if the Board believes that further discussion of the appeal is not required, the Board may summarily dispose of the appeal by confirming the County Administrator's decision on the protest. Alternatively, the Board may elect to provide the protestor and the purchasing official a brief opportunity to summarize their positions prior to making its decision. These summaries should not include references or the presentation of new evidence that was not provided in the initial protest. If the Board determines that the protest raises such significant factual or legal issues as would require a full evidentiary hearing, the Board may, in its sole discretion, refer the matter to an administrative hearing before a hearing officer.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records


Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  RFP#18 - R067464MS Protest.pdf
Attachment:  Response to Protest 10-20-2017.pdf
Attachment:  RFP 18 - R067464MS Appeal from Lapin.pdf