The Department of General Services, Bureau of Procurement requires that all
posting of bidding opportunities for goods and services be listed at the SRM
portal for registered bidders and at the Department of General Services' portal
for public notice. A link to the public notice location is given with this
message. Please monitor these sites for information on opportunities to do
business with the Commonwealth.
DGS Portal: PA eMarket Place
Bid Protest Procedure
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Education
Deputy Secretary for Administration
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
This document describes the procedure for protesting or complaining about any
procurement of services, materials or supplies by the Pennsylvania Department of
Education (PDE). This bid protest procedure applies only to challenges to the
awarding of bids or contracts by the PA Department of Education for Commonwealth
projects. This procedure does NOT apply to bidding opportunities offered by any
other entity, including schools, school districts, intermediate units, colleges,
etc. For questions concerning bids or awards by such non-Commonwealth entities,
it is recommended that the appropriate procurement official of the local issuing
entity be contacted.
The procedures discussed herein were developed specifically for PDE and they
supercede the procedures of the Department of General Services in its
Procurement Handbook, Part I, Chapter 58, Bid Protests.
The Commonwealth Procurement Code, Act 1998-57, provides for the filing of a
protest or complaint in three circumstances:
- By a party who did not submit a bid or proposal;
- By a party who has responded to an invitation for bids (IFB), a request for
proposals (RFP) or a request for quotes (RFQ); or
- By a prospective contractor or bidder who is aggrieved in connection with
the solicitation or award of a contract.
If the protesting party does not submit a bid or proposal (category #1
above), the protest must be submitted prior to the date of the bid opening for
an IFB or prior to the date on which the proposal or quote is due to be received
by PDE. Any protests received after those dates will not be reviewed and
considered and will be dismissed as untimely.
For those protestors who fall within categories #2 and 3, their protests must
be filed within seven days after the protesting party knew or should have known
of the facts giving rise to the protest. However, no protest will be accepted
that is filed more than seven days after the date the notice of award of the
contract is posted at the Department of Education or Department of General
Services' websites. Untimely protests will be dismissed.
The date of filing is the date the protest is received in PDE. A protest
must be in writing and must be sent to the Deputy Secretary for Administration,
PA Department of Education, Executive Office, 333 Market Street, 10th Floor,
Harrisburg, PA 17126. A copy of the protest must also be sent to the PDE staff
person or office that is responsible for the procurement, hereinafter referred
to as the Issuing Office.
Each protest must specify the reasons the protesting party believes that the
solicitation or award was improper. Issues not raised in the written protest
are deemed waived and may not be raised on appeal. The protesting party may
submit with the protest any documents or information deemed relevant. If the
contract has been awarded, the Issuing Office shall notify the successful bidder
or contractor of the protest. If the protest is received before the contract is
awarded and substantial issues are raised by the protest, all bidders and
offerors who appear to have a substantial and reasonable prospect of winning the
award shall be notified of the protest and the reasons for the protest and they
may file their position on the issues with PDE, in writing, within five days
after receipt of notice of the protest.
Upon the filing of a protest, further action on the solicitation or award
shall be stayed, or if the protest is timely received after the award,
performance of the contract should be suspended until the protest is resolved.
The Issuing Office may, however, petition the Deputy Secretary for
Administration for a written determination that the protest is clearly without
merit or that award of the contract without delay is necessary to protect the
substantial interests of the Commonwealth. In such case, if the Deputy Secretary
determines that the protest is clearly without merit or will substantially harm
the Commonwealth and does not stay the procurement, he shall immediately issue
Within 15 days of the receipt of a protest, the Issuing Office must submit a
written response to the Deputy Secretary for Administration. The response may
include any documents or information that the contracting officer deems relevant
to the protest. Within 10 days of the date of the contracting officer response,
the protesting party may file a written reply
The Deputy Secretary for Administration shall review the protest and any
response or reply. He may also request and review any additional documents or
information deemed necessary to render a decision.
In his sole discretion, the Deputy Secretary may conduct a hearing. If
additional time is required to investigate the protest, he shall inform the
protesting party of the additional time needed to render a determination and
obtain the protesting party's consent. Unless an extension of time has been
agreed to, the Deputy Secretary shall issue a written determination stating the
reasons for the decision within 60 days of the date the protest was filed.
If it is determined that the solicitation or award was contrary to law, the
Deputy Secretary for Administration may, as part of his decision and order,
cancel the solicitation; change the solicitation to comply with law; reject all
bids or proposals or those parts of the bids or proposals which were affected by
the violation; or change or cancel the award to comply with the law.
If the determination is made after execution of the contract and the
contractor did not act fraudulently or in bad faith, (1) the contract may be
ratified and affirmed provided it is determined by PDE, that to do so is in the
best interest of the Commonwealth; (2) the contract may be modified to comply
with the law with the consent of all parties; (3) the contract may be cancelled
and the contractor compensated for the actual expenses reasonably incurred under
the contract prior to termination where such compensation shall not include loss
of anticipated profit, loss of use of money or administrative or overhead costs.
If it is determined the contractor has acted fraudulently or in bad faith,
the contract may be (1) declared void; (2) modified to comply with law with the
consent of all parties; or (3) ratified and affirmed, provided PDE determines
that action is in the best interests of the Commonwealth and without prejudice
to PDE's right to damages, as may be appropriate.
PDE shall send a
copy of the decision to the protesting party and any other person determined to
be affected by the decision. If the protest is denied, the decision shall inform
the protesting party of its right to file an appeal in Commonwealth Court within
15 days of the mailing date of the decision.