All purchases, with the exception of certain recurring obligations, are contracted by a PSTA purchase order. Contracts are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. This means that while competitive price is a critical factor, PSTA will also determine if the lowest bidder can responsibly fulfill the contract. Delivery, performance, quality, service, and ability to meet bid specifications are all important considerations in evaluating a bidder's level of responsiveness.
The PSTA Board of Directors must approve all contracts over $100,000.
Policy of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority states that no officer or employee of this agency shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect; engage in any business transaction or professional activity; or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.
In addition, no employee, officer, or agent of PSTA shall either solicit or accept gratuities, favors or anything of monetary value from contractors, potential contractors, or parties to any subagreement.
Lobbying of any PSTA board member, officer, evaluation committee member, employee, agent or attorney by a bidder, any member of the bidder’s staff, any agent or representative of the bidder, whether compensated or not, or any person employed by any legal entity affiliated with or representing the bidder shall be prohibited on all competitive selection processes and contract awards, including but not limited to requests for proposals, requests for quotations, requests for qualification, invitation for bids, bids or the award of purchasing contracts of any type. Lobbying is strictly prohibited from the date of the advertisement or on a date otherwise established by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Board of Directors, until either an award is final, any protest is finally resolved, or the competitive selection process is otherwise concluded. The purposes of this prohibition is to protect the integrity of the procurement process by shielding it from undue influences prior to the contract award, a protest is resolved, or the competitive selection process is otherwise concluded. Nothing herein shall prohibit a bidder from contacting the purchasing division or PSTA’s general counsel to address situations such as clarification and/or questions related to the procurement process or protest. The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Board of Directors, when the award of the bid is within the Board of Directors’ authority, shall deem any bidder who violates the provisions of this Paragraph non-responsible and non-responsive, and the bidder’s proposal or bid shall not be considered by the evaluation committee or the Board of Directors. When an award of bid is within the Executive Director’s authority, the Executive Director shall deem any bidder who violates the provisions of this Paragraph non-responsible and non-responsive and the bidder’s proposal or bid shall not be considered by the Executive Director.
For the purposes of this Paragraph, lobbying shall mean influencing or attempting to influence action or non-action, and/or attempting to obtain the goodwill of persons specified herein relating to the selection, ranking, or contract award in connection with the bidding process through direct or indirect oral or written communication. Lobbying includes such actions whether performed by the bidder itself, any employee of the bidder, the bidder’s attorney, agent or other paid or non-paid representative, or any person who performs such actions on behalf or at the behest of the bidder. Further, lobbying includes the attempt to influence Board members while they are performing their functions for other governmental entities (e.g. a city or Pinellas County). The final award of the contract shall be the effective date of the contract.
Any board member, officer, evaluation committee member, employee, agent or attorney who has been lobbied shall immediately report the lobbying activity to the Executive Director.
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