The General Services Administration of Puerto Rico (the "Administration") is the entity of the Executive Branch responsible for the implementation of the public policy regarding the procurement of goods and nonprofessional services for the Executive Branch, as well as for the municipalities and public corporations who wish to participate in government procurement contracts.
The Administration shall process, through a centralized automated system, the acquisition of goods and nonprofessional services of the Executive Branch, and public corporations and municipalities that voluntarily decide to use the services of the Administration.
It shall be necessary to employ the public bid method when the amount of the acquisition exceeds one hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars ($195,000) (or any other amount set by Law or Regulation). The procedure to procure goods and nonprofessional services through public bids may include Requests for Qualifications (RFQs), Requests for Information (RFIs), and Requests for Proposals (RFPs).
As an exception, it shall not be necessary to hold a public bid when any of the following circumstances is present:
- It is a regular or one-time acquisition, as defined in the Reorganization Plan of General Services Administration of Puerto Rico of 2011 (the "Plan") and whose amount does not exceed one hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars ($195,000);
- The Governor has declared a state of emergency;
- The specific agency that shall acquire the goods and nonprofessional services proves that the same should be qualified as an emergency acquisition;
- The acquisition is made from the Government of the United States of America, or any of its States, or through its agencies and instrumentalities, or departments, quasi-public corporations or their subsidiaries and affiliates, or any instrumentality of the Government of Puerto Rico;
- The minimum prices are fixed by law or a competent government authority;
- The good, work, or nonprofessional service may be provided by a sole source or vendor and may not be substituted by a similar one, for which the Administrator shall issue a certification;
- No offer is submitted in a public bid and the loss of available funds to acquire the necessary goods or nonprofessional services is imminent; and
- An open contract exists which includes the good or nonprofessional service to be acquired, whether from the Government of Puerto Rico or the Government of the United States of America, any of its States, or through any of its agencies and instrumentalities, or departments, agencies, quasi-public corporations or their subsidiaries and affiliates.
Bidders must register with the Puerto Rico Bidder's Registry managed by the Administration in order to be authorized to participate in a governmental bid process. Among the requirements to be registered in such Registry are: registration to do business in Puerto Rico, good standing with the Puerto Rico Department of State, the payment of an annual fee, and evidence of payment of municipal and state taxes. Bidders are required to comply with all applicable labor laws and regulations including, without limitation, Fair Labor Laws, Equal Employment Opportunity Program requirements, unemployment tax, temporarily disabled tax, worker's compensation and social security taxes.
All bidders to a governmental bid process are also required to comply with certain ethics regulations.
It should be noted that each bid process may require additional or distinct requirements and thus the bid documents must be closely reviewed to ascertain compliance with the terms and conditions of the bid process.
If you need further assistance in this area, do not hesitate to contact the following members of our Corporate & Banking Law Department.
|Francisco J. García
Myrna I. Lozada