Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.  How will vendors be notified of bid opportunities?

A.  Vendors must register on BidSync, www.bidsync.com (Bid Sync powered by Periscope)

Go to the notifications tabs to ensure you are signed-up with the School District. Reach out to BidSync     to make sure your account is setup correctly and that you will get e-mails about the School District of Palm Beach County. 

Bid Sync 1-800 990-9339 Option 1 (Customer Care) and then Option 1 (Vendor Assistance). 

Q.  What are the best practices when submitting a solicitation?

  1. Request to review previous solicitations, review what a successful solicitation in your commodity entails
  2. Attend pre-bid conferences and walk-throughs
  3. Prepare in advance and develop a checklist, don’t wait until the last minute
  4. Make an appointment to talk to the buyer who handles your commodity
  5. Be patient, persistent and never give up 

Q:  What are the top mistakes bidders make?

  1. Submitting documents late; one minute late is too late
  2. Forgetting to sign documents
  3. Not clearly understanding what they’re responding to; such as:capacity and expectation
  4. Not following bid requirements
  5. Not including all the required documents and forms
  6. Pricing too high

Q.  What are the characteristics of a winning bid?

  1. Responsive- fully conforms to requirements
  2. Responsible – financially, technically, manpower and experience

Q.  What is the biggest myth?

A.  Certification and registration gets you work and means you are an approved vendor with the District. There is no approved vendor list; we have bid awarded vendors. 

Q. How long must a business be established before they can apply for SBE certification?
A. A business must be established and in operation for at least one (1) full year prior to application submittal.

Q. Can someone other than the owner complete the certification application?
A. The owner of the firm must create the application; he or she would then be able to grant temporary access to another party. Vendors cannot submit applications for other businesses using their account.
 

Q. How can a nonprofit provide services to the School District?

A. Professional Service from a Not-For-Profit organization would be done through a Consultant Contract. The Not-For-Profit would indicate their tax status on the notarized Beneficial Interest Form number 1997 and provide that along with the signed Consultant Contract that would be directed accordingly for the required approval signatures. In addition, the Consultant would also be required to complete the Supplier Information Forms and W9 in order to be set up in our PeopleSoft vendor database to process a purchase order for the services as well as establish the remit information for payment purposes.  Depending on the value of the contract, it may or may not need Board approval. Anything for $25,000 and over would be presented to the Board for approval before services commence. 

Q. Does construction projects have stated SBE goals?
A. Yes, the goals are: 15% Sub-consultant and up to 20% Subcontractors.

Q. Can a business be located in Broward or Miami-Dade County and apply for Palm Beach County School District M/WBE and/or SBE certification?
A. Yes.

Q. Does the District have certification reciprocity with any Tri-County agencies?
A. The District has an Interlocal Agreement with the City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Q. What are the SBE Certification size standards?
A. Companies may participate with gross revenues up to:
$13 Million (Construction)
$7   Million (Commodities)
$6   Million (Professional Services)
Any firm with gross sales or revenues of greater than $13 Million for Construction, $7 Million for Commodities, and $6 Million for Professional Services averaged over the last (3) years shall not be considered eligible for certification.

Q. What are the M/WBE Certification size standards?
A. Companies may participate with gross revenues up to:
$7 Million (Construction)
$3 Million (Commodities)
$2 Million (Professional Services)
Any firm with gross sales or revenues of greater than $7 Million for Construction, $3 Million for Commodities, and $2 Million for Professional Services averaged over the last three (3) years shall not be considered eligible for certification.

Q. How long will the certification process take?
A. When a certification application is started, the applicant has 30 days in which to submit the required documentation. Failure to provide the requested documentation within 30 days shall cause the Office of Diversity in Business Practices (ODBP) to deem the application abandoned and the application will be denied.

Once an application is submitted and all documentation has been received, the review will be completed within 60 days.

Q. How long is the certification valid?
A. Certification is valid for three (3) years.
 

Q. Are there any benefits for M/WBE and SBEs that graduate from the program?
A. Firms that exceed the District’s M/WBE and SBE size standards and who are deemed graduated from the program shall remain eligible for technical assistance and other forms of assistance not related to bid preferences or evaluation preferences.

Q. What are the dollar thresholds for a quote, RFQ and RFP?
A. A purchase for services, supplies and equipment for any item or group of similar items over $1,000 but less than $5,000 does not require a quote, but a requisition.

Purchases for services, supplies and equipment for an item or group of similar items between $5,000 and $10,000 that are not exempt from competition must have three (3) competitive quotes secured and attached to the Purchase Order.

Purchases for services, supplies and equipment for any item or group of similar items between $10,000 and $50,000 that are not exempt from competition have a formal quote (RFQ on BidSync) issued by the Purchasing Department.

Purchases for services, supplies and equipment for any item or group of similar items over $50,000 that are not exempt from competition require a sealed competitive solicitation issued by the Purchasing Department. Sealed competitive solicitations shall be received through BidSync to the Purchasing Department.

Q. What is the Vendor Prequalification Program?
A.
Pursuant to State Requirements for Educational Facilities, Chapter 4, Section 4.1 “Prequalification of Contractors for Educational Facilities Construction”, Prequalification is applicable to Bids (Invitations to Bid), RFP (Request for Proposal) for Construction Management at Risk and Design/Build or any other Construction Services for a Construction Project with an estimated project construction budget of $300,000 or more. The criteria established for Prequalification is in accordance with Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, (SREF) 2014, School Board 7.08 and all other applicable rules, regulations and procedures.

Click the following link for New or Renewal  Construction Prequalified Vendor Application Page
New or Renewal Prequalified Vendor Application

Q. How does the District monitor and track SBE compliance?
A. The District utilizes B2G Contract Compliance software.

Q. Does the District conduct unscheduled, onsite compliance monitoring?
A. Yes. The District conducts onsite compliance monitoring to ensure Primes are utilizing the subcontractors listed on their GMP to meet their stated goals.

 


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