Q. I requested bid information from the University of Florida and received no response within the time limit. What are my options?
A. As you may know, the Florida Public Records Act does not identify the specific number of days within which a public entity must respond to a public records request. If a response in unreasonably delayed, however, you may seek mediation through the Office of the Attorney General Open Government Mediation Program, file a complaint with your local state attorney, or file a lawsuit in court.
Please note that certain bid information is exempt from disclosure. See statutory text below:
119.071 General exemptions from inspection or copying of public records.—
(1) AGENCY ADMINISTRATION.—
(a) Examination questions and answer sheets of examinations administered by a governmental agency for the purpose of licensure, certification, or employment are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. A person who has taken such an examination has the right to review his or her own completed examination.
(b) 1. For purposes of this paragraph, “competitive solicitation” means the process of requesting and receiving sealed bids, proposals, or replies in accordance with the terms of a competitive process, regardless of the method of procurement.
2. Sealed bids, proposals, or replies received by an agency pursuant to a competitive solicitation are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until such time as the agency provides notice of an intended decision or until 30 days after opening the bids, proposals, or final replies, whichever is earlier.
3. If an agency rejects all bids, proposals, or replies submitted in response to a competitive solicitation and the agency concurrently provides notice of its intent to reissue the competitive solicitation, the rejected bids, proposals, or replies remain exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until such time as the agency provides notice of an intended decision concerning the reissued competitive solicitation or until the agency withdraws the reissued competitive solicitation. A bid, proposal, or reply is not exempt for longer than 12 months after the initial agency notice rejecting all bids, proposals, or replies.
4. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2016, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(c) Any financial statement that an agency requires a prospective bidder to submit in order to prequalify for bidding or for responding to a proposal for a road or any other public works project is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.