Unlike other states, procurement of contracts in Colorado is decentralized. State agencies carry out their own solicitations. Businesses that sell goods or services to the Colorado State government must promote themselves to the individual state agency they intend to contract and work with. They search for opportunities specific to state agencies at the Colorado VSS website.
Colorado Bid Protest Process
In 2017, a new bid protest process expanded the pool of potential protesters. Colorado Revised Statute CO ST § 24-109-102(1) allowing any aggrieved party to protest, instead of the previous “actual or prospective bidder, offeror, or contractor who is aggrieved.” The time for filing was also extended to ten business days after the party knows or should have known of the facts giving rise to the protest.
Government Bid Protest Appeal
Appeals may be filed with the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration (DPA). It functions to “provide the infrastructure, processes, services, guidance, and tools necessary to alleviate redundancy in State government and minimize costs.” DPA encompasses the Colorado State Purchasing Office. The appeals are determined by the State Purchasing Director. The State Purchasing Director decides within 30 working days after receiving an appeal of the initial protest decision.
Appeals are also made by filing an initial protest decision through the District Court for the City and County of Denver. According to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-109-101(c), decisions by the head of a purchasing agency or designee is subject to appeal de novo to the executive director or district court of the city and county of Denver. A legal action on a protest must be filed within 10 working days after receiving the initial protest determination by the purchasing agent or purchasing director’s appeal decision.
The automatic stay of a contract award pending the result of a bid protest is more limited in Colorado than other states. An automatic stay is available only while a protest is pending. According to the State Attorney General’s Office, a further stay of a contract award is not authorized under the Colorado Procurement Code.
When a protest is sustained by an agency’s purchasing agent, full relief may be granted to the protester. If a contract has been awarded and the recipient did not act fraudulently or in bad faith, the contract may still be awarded to the party if deemed in best interest of the state. A protest upheld on appeal, allows the protesting party to only be entitled to reasonable costs incurred with the solicitation. This does not include attorney fees.
The State of Colorado has several resources for contractors. A list of different procurement resources can be found at on the procurement resources webpage. This includes purchasing information, procurement guidance, procurement training, and procurement-related policies.
If you have a Colorado contract bid that you need additional help bidding on, contact us. At Whitcomb Selinsky PC, we have experienced Colorado contract attorneys ready to help you.