(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 183445 and 185898, effective February 20, 2013.)
A. An Affected Person may protest the Solicitation process or the Solicitation Document for Offers solicited pursuant to Competitive sealed Bidding or through an alternative contracting process.
1. The exclusive method for protesting individual and class exemptions, is through Section 5.34.700 and not this rule. The exclusive process of protesting a multi-tiered Solicitation process is pursuant to Section 5.34.710 and not this rule.
2. Prior to submitting a protest regarding Solicitation Documents or the Solicitation process, an Affected Person may seek clarification of any provision of the Solicitation Document. The City's clarification to an Offeror, whether orally or in Writing, does not change the Solicitation Document and is not binding on the City unless the City amends the Solicitation Document by Addendum.
B. Method of Protest.
1. Time: A Written protest regarding a Solicitation Document or the procurement process shall be provided to the Chief Procurement Officer within seven (7) Days after a Solicitation Document is advertised unless the Solicitation Document requires a shorter period of time. The Chief Procurement Officer shall not consider a protest submitted after the timeline established for submitting such protest under this rule.
2. Contents: The protest must include the following information:
a. Sufficient information to identify the portion or portions of the Solicitation Document that are being protested or the solicitation process or processes that are the subject of the protest;
b. A detailed statement of all the legal and factual grounds for the protest;
c. Evidence or supporting documentation that supports the grounds on which the protest is based;
d. A description of the resulting harm to the Affected Person; and
e. The relief requested.
C. Required City Response.
1. The City shall inform the Affected Person in Writing if the protest was not timely filed;
2. The City shall inform the Affected Person if it failed to meet the requirements of Subsection 5.34.720 B.2. and the reasons for that failure;
3. If the protest was timely filed and provides the information required by Subsection 5.34.720 B.2., the Chief Procurement Officer shall issue a decision in Writing and provide that decision to the Affected Person no less than three (3) business Days before Offers are due, unless a Written determination is made by the Chief Procurement Officer that circumstances exist that require a shorter time limit.
4. The Chief Procurement Officer’s response shall inform the Affected Person if the decision is final or whether the Chief Procurement Officer has decided to refer the protest to the Purchasing Board of Appeals or City Council. When the decision is final, the Affected Person must seek judicial review before the Opening of Bids, Proposals or Offers.
5. If the Chief Procurement Officer receives protest from an Affected Person in accordance with this rule, the Chief Procurement Officer may extend Closing if the City determines an extension is necessary to consider the protest and to issue an Addendum to the Solicitation Document.
D. Optional City Response: In addition to the requirements of Subsection 5.34.720 C., the Chief Procurement Officer may take any or all of the following:
1. Agree with the protest and make any necessary corrections to the Solicitation Document or Procurement process;
2. Issue a Written response to the protest and provide that decision to the Affected Person.
3. Refer the protest and any response to the Board of Appeals;
4. Refer the protest and any response to the City Council for decision; or
5. Any other action that is in the best interest of the City while giving full consideration to the merits of the protest.
E. Judicial Review. An Affected Person may not seek judicial review of the City’s final decision regarding its protest of the contents of a Solicitation Document or the Solicitation process unless it fully has complied with the Protest requirements of this rule and has exhausted all avenues of appeal provided by the Chief Procurement Officer.