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Emergency Public Contracting Procedures, Part 3: Other South Florida Jurisdictions

Albert E. Dotson, Jr. & Eric Singer

As discussed in our previous posts on emergency contracting procedures in Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida, the spread of COVID-19 has added many new goods and services to government procurement lists. Not only are supplies needed for testing sites, but also masks and other protective gear have become necessary for transit workers and other government employees. In hopes of flattening the curve and to best serve residents, codified emergency procurement guidelines must be used. Below, we briefly summarize emergency procurement procedures in other significant South Florida jurisdictions.

City of Miami: City of Miami Code of Ordinances Section 18-90 allows for a written report of the circumstances and firm choice to be sent to the chief procurement officer. If the contract exceeds $25,000, the above must be followed, as well as a certification of fund availability from the director of the department of management and budget. The city manager must then bring it before the city commission to be ratified by an affirmative four-fifths vote.

City of Miami Beach: Section 2-396 of the Miami Beach Code of Ordinances empowers the city manager to procure any goods and services in any amount, during a public emergency. They may also authorize the procurement director to secure any goods and services under $100,000 by open market procedure at the lowest obtainable price. Any purchases above this threshold must be reported at the next regular commission meeting.

Jackson Health System: The Emergency Procurement Section in the Jackson Procurement Code requires the approval of the Trust Executive CFO and the President/CEO, depending on the amount of the contract. The head of the department must submit a purchase request to the Chief Procurement Officer and advise the Procurement Management Department of the emergency no more than seven business days after the initial action.

Broward County: In the case of an emergency, the director of purchasing may make, or authorize others to make, emergency procurements, as explained in Section 21.39 of the Broward County Procurement Code. Department directors must submit a written account of the emergency and the probable consequences if the emergency procedure is not followed. The Board can also declare a valid public emergency for any service covered by Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act, prior to the institution of any emergency procurement action. Only the Board can waive any or all requirements of CCNA.

City of Ft. Lauderdale: The procurement section of the Ft. Lauderdale Code of Ordinances, Section 2-181, empowers the city manager to make or authorize any emergency purchases. With the city manager’s approval, department heads can purchase emergency supplies and then send a requisition and copy of a delivery record with justification and description of circumstances to the chief procurement officer. A report of purchases above $100,000 must be submitted to the city commission at the earliest available commission meeting.

Ft. Lauderdale International Airport: Under Section 26.7 of the Broward County Administrative Code, the purchasing director can make an emergency procurement of a concession or consumer service privilege, including an interim emergency procurement under protest. The Director of Aviation must submit a written account of the emergency and the possible consequences if the emergency procedures were not to be used. Any emergency procurement must be reported to the Board of County Commissioners.

Palm Beach County: As stated in Section 2-54, emergency purchases of up to $200,000 may be made by the Director of Purchasing, upon the receipt of a written report of the emergency circumstances from the director of the department. If the contract exceeds $200,000, it must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

City of West Palm Beach: Section 66-69 of the West Palm Beach Code of Ordinances allows the mayor to authorize the procurement official to make emergency procurements once a procurement official has made a recommendation. The department director must report on the conditions that constitute the emergency, the risks associated with delayed procurement, estimates of the time, cost, and work required to mitigate the situation. If the mayor accepts the emergency determination, the procurement official must seek as much competition as possible under the circumstances.

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