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Local Government Lobbying and Government Procurement

Governmental entities, at all levels, purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods and services from outside vendors. Becoming a government vendor can be very lucrative for private companies who understand the complexities and nuances of governmental bidding and contracting. We work closely with clients to navigate the highly structured procurement process and with clients whose businesses are impacted day to day, both positively and negatively, by local ordinances and regulations.

Our team has helped clients, in various industries, change local ordinances and win multi-million dollar concessions and contracts for food, retail, duty free, billboards, bus benches, for hire transportation, shuttle services, luggage wrapping, luggage carts, currency exchange, phone cards, hotels, audit and accounting, parking, waste and recycling, janitorial, insurance, software and software implementation, auto tag agencies, construction and engineering services, etc.

The procurement process requires knowledge and experience in various aspects of drafting, negotiating, lobbying, and litigating procurement matters, including invitations for bids, requests for proposals, design-build contracts, change orders, bid disputes and payment and performance bond claims. The legal issues surrounding public procurement are especially complicated because each public body has a unique set of rules and regulations governing their procurement process which must be followed precisely and often require extraordinary documentation in very short timeframes to submit, petition or protest an award.
Thus, our clients who do business with governments rely on our knowledge, contacts, responsiveness and determination to get the job done. Our team, led by shareholders Bernie Friedman, Neil Schiller and Bill Cea, are well-versed in the nuances of Request for Letter of Interest (RLI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) processes used by most state, local and quasi governmental entities in Florida. Other members of the Local Lobbying and Government Procurement team have provided strategic and political advice, on call lobbying, helped draft responses for literally hundreds of winning concessions and contracts bids, and served as counsel on bid protests in numerous jurisdictions.

Services Provided

  • Represent clients in enacting or amending local ordinances and regulations impacting businesses, vendors or concessionaires
  • Represent clients throughout the government procurement process, including assistance in review and submittal of bids and responses to requests for proposals, requests for qualifications, requests for letters of interests, and other public solicitations
  • Assist clients with identifying and advocating for business opportunities with local governments
  • Monitor/notify/assist with review of public advertisements and availability of public project
  • Placement on public vendor list with purchasing divisions for government agencies
  • Review terms and conditions of advertisements for government contracts
  • Review submittal requirements set forth in procurement documents
  • Assist in preparation and review of bids, proposals, qualifications, and letter of interest in government contracts
  • Lobby and interact with government officials to further clients' goals
  • Advise as to applicable statutory and administrative rights and remedies – re: qualification, ranking, award, and protest in government contracts
  • Intervene to challenge government agency actions, preparation of protest petitions, and represent clients in all phases of contract awards, including qualifications, rankings, and contract negotiations
  • Intervene to defend awards challenged by competitive bidders or third parties
  • Negotiate with government agencies re: resolution of government contract disputes
  • Negotiate final contracts pursuant to government contract awards, including issues such as terms of payment, contractual liability, or insurance coverage and other mandatory contractual provisions
  • Assist with development and maintenance of governmental contract relations
  • Negotiate and secure municipal land leases and/or CRA financial incentives for clients selected for development within urban and/or CRA Districts
  • Represent and negotiate municipal contract extensions without the necessity of new RFP’s

Notable Client Accomplishments
At Miami & Ft. Lauderdale Airports: 

  • Won a major extension for HMS Host and MCA Concessionaire in Central terminal at Miami International Airport.
  • Won RLI for Terminals 1 and 2 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Food and Beverage and negotiated 18 year agreement.
  • Won 18 month extension for Delaware North Food and Travel Services at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.
  • Negotiated an 18 year further amendment for Terminals 3 and 4 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
  • Won 15 year extension for Pardies News-Gifts at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Terminals 3, 4.
  • Helped devise the winning strategies for concessions and contracts for numerous clients: Duty Free Americas, Secure Wrap, Smart Carte, Paradies Shops, Delaware North Food and Hospitality, Inc., Fuel Facility Management, Travelex Financial and Business Services, Go Airport Shuttle, Supershuttle, Master Concessionaire Seattle’s Best Coffee Concession (FLL Rental Car Garage), SH&E-Concession Consulting, Keolis, Sunshine cleaning Services, Air-IT, Landmark Aviation (FBO), Standard Parking, SP Plus J.V. Ground Transportation Manager.
    Helped clients win engineering, design and construction projects, change orders, and scope changes worth hundreds of millions of dollars in contract values at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport such as: New South Runway Project, Exit Roadway Design Criteria Package, High Speed Taxiway/Airfield Modification and General on-call aviation Engineering for Reynolds Smith Hill, the award winning design for the Rental Car Garage - Spillis Candella-DMJM-AECOM, the design of new $600M South Runway for Atkins PBSJ-RSH, Balfour Beatty – James A. Cummings JV for the construction of the new Terminal 4, Tutor Perini – Baker Concrete – HNTB Construction of new South Runway Design Build, Tutor Perini Construction Terminal 4 Apron expansion project, Turner Construction, Keith & Associates CPM Terminal Four, Gresham Smith Partners Terminals 1, 2, 3, Modernization, PSI-Vertical V – Tierra South Florida New South Runway Quality Assurance Material Testing Services.
  • Defended three multi-million dollars contract awards for clients, Air-IT, Limousines of South Florida, and Go Transportation at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Bid protests challenging the awards were denied, and Becker & Poliakoff intervened in each protest and won.

At Palm Beach County:

  • Won on a 7-0 vote an extension for the Palm Beach Airport Hilton Hotel lease with Palm Beach County.
  • Won airport ground transportation taxi contract and County $120,000,000 Pari-transit contract for Metro Mobility Management Group and successfully defended the 2nd ranked firm’s bid protest. The victory also included defeating the local union representatives who sought to derail the award.
  • Won and successfully defended a bid protest for Palm Beach County Misdemeanor Probation Services contract.
  • Won Employee Benefit Plan for BMG Money with Office of the Tax Collector of Palm Beach County.
  • Won bid protest for Sunshine Cleaning for janitorial services at the Palm Beach International Airport.
  • Won bid protest for Hilton Hotels, where the County sought to disqualify them in the competitive procurement for the Palm Beach Convention Center hotel.

For the Florida Retail Federation:

  • Quarterbacked a coalition lead by the Florida Retail Federation and hundreds of national and local retailers and shopping center owners in opposition to an Ordinance that would have required mandatory security cameras in all retail parking lots in Broward County.

At Broward County:

  • Assist these clients in their successful pursuit of governmental contracts:
  • U.S. Legal on the award for legal insurance services for Broward County employees
  • Plante & Moran on the Third Party Assurance Contract for the County's ERP computer procurement
  • Coventry Health Care for Broward County Employee Health Insurance (2010)
  • Bergeron Emergency Services for the County's hurricane debris removal contract and Bergeron Land Development for the Port Everglades Turning Notch Wetland Mitigation project
  • Crowe Horwath for the County and Enterprise Audits
  • DeRose Design Consultants for the on-call parking consultant
  • First Broward Auto Tag and Deerfield Auto Tag for the private tag agencies
  • Saltz Michelson on hurricane hardening of government buildings and design-engineering of the new Broward Addiction and Recovery Center and the Cotterman Sexual Assault Treatment Center
  • Seawood Builders/H.J Russell team for design and build of $50 million Central Broward Regional Park and Cricket Stadium including significant change orders, code interpretations, and design criteria issues
  • James A. Cummings on the Broward County Courthouse $187,000,000 award. Defended Bid Protest in month long trial with dozens of witnesses, evidence and cross examination, and ultimate award by County Commission
  • Spillis-DMJM (AECOM) Heery-Cartaya JV, as the design professional for the Broward County Courthouse
  • Seawood Builders on the award of the $20 million Mills Center design-build project and a $10 million CM at Risk renovation of TY Park in Hollywood
  • Kronos for the time and attendance software system for workforce management
  • Award of solid waste disposal contract to Sun-Bergeron breaking a 25 year monopoly by Waste Management
  • Award of $12,854,000 contract to Horsepower Electric for Roadway and Traffic Construction and award of $8,649,000 for Mast Arm Design Build
  • For American Traffic Solutions (ATS): quarterbacked the winning strategy to provide red light cameras in the cities of Miami, Hollywood, North Bay Village and many other cities. Also won a bid protest and a 5-0 unanimous vote. Won contracts in Homestead, Doral, Hialeah, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay Boca Raton, Miami Springs, and Cutler Bay. Increased number of cameras and extended contract in City of Miami.
  • Award to Brown & Caldwell Water and Wastewater Studies contract and Reclaimed water plant expansion contract
  • For the City of Lauderhill CRA: Two grants from Broward County - $128,250 and $150,000
  • For City of Lauderdale Lakes: Successfully won approval from county for deferred repayment plan for BSO debt

Additional Client Accomplishments

  • At the Palm Beach County School Board, secured and defended a multiyear multimillion dollar contract for an education services client to provide supplemental academic instructional services, and overcoming a series of challenges at the Fourth District Court of Appeals, Division of Administrative Hearings, and at the School Board level.
  • For Embraer Aircraft: coordinated the long term lease extension aircraft maintenance and parts distribution center adjacent to the North Runway at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
  • At Port Everglades: represented Florida Stevedore and Hallmark Stevedore before the Broward County Commission in opposition to waiving or changing the rules and Code regarding new Stevedore franchises at Port Everglades. Represent FPL on the $1.2B new power plant project at Port Everglades.
  • In Collier County: intervened and defended a $5M plus paratransit contract in Collier County for Limousines of South Florida (Tectrans) working closely with Collier County Attorney, Administrator, staff and Commission to uphold award.
  • In the City of Doral: won a bid protest for our client, American Traffic Solutions for the installation of ten cameras. The City of Doral had initially intended to award the contract to a competitor; however, based upon the protest, the decision was reversed in favor of American Traffic Solutions.
  • In the City of Miami: won a bid protest which upheld the City’s Chief Procurement Officer finding of non-compliance of competitor bids. We also secured passage of ordinance on behalf of client, Vacant Property Security.
  • In the City of Miramar: Won hotly contested waste disposal contract for SWS/Sun-Bergeron J.V. breaking a Waste Management 25 year monopoly. Won additional franchises in Lauderhill, Oakland Park, Deerfield, Davie, Lauderdale by the Sea, and other cities.
  • In Miami-Dade: Successful representation of H.J. Paving on bid protest.
  • At Orange County Commission: Successfully represented McKinley Insurance in bid specification issue and secured addendum to clarify specifications.
  • At City of Pompano Beach: Successfully represented McGladrey Accounting firm on a City Audit contract.
  • At City of Miami: Successfully represented ORACLE on software purchases.
  • At City of Hollywood: Won City Trolley Service for client Limousines of South Florida, successful bid protest for Pinnacle Housing, and $1M impact fee reduction for Related Group Development Apogee.
  • For City of Lauderhill: Approval of additional funding from Broward County for Performing Arts Center.
  • With FDOT: intervened and defended an FDOT award for a Severe Incident Recovery Team, LLC, which was protested by a competitor. The towing contract involves servicing a portion of the Florida Turnpike.
  • At Jackson Memorial Hospital: represented Star One Staffing, a company providing nursing, staffing services in documenting procurement irregularities that led to rejection of an RFP.
  • In the City of Doral: we won a bid protest for our client, American Traffic Solutions for the installation of ten cameras. The City of Doral had initially intended to award the contract to a competitor; however, based upon the protest, the decision was reversed in favor of American Traffic Solutions.
  • In the City of Weston: won bid protest for Horsepower Electric. They were the third place bidder and successfully knocked out first and second ranked firms.
Name Title Phone V-Card Email Office
Alan S. Becker Founding Shareholder 954.985.4127 Ft. Lauderdale
Jose A. Bermudez Senior Government Relations Consultant 305.262.4433 Miami
George M. Burgess Chief Operating Officer 954.985.4121 Ft. Lauderdale
Jeff P.H. Cazeau Shareholder 305.260.1039 Miami
William J. Cea Shareholder 561.655.5444 West Palm Beach
Bernie Friedman Shareholder 954.985.4180 Ft. Lauderdale
Jose Keichi Fuentes Senior Government Relations Consultant 305.262.4433 Miami
Yolanda Cash Jackson Shareholder 954.985.4132 Ft. Lauderdale
Neil M. Schiller Shareholder 954.985.4117 Ft. Lauderdale
Jeremy Shir Attorney 954.987.7550 Ft. Lauderdale
Mark J. Stempler Shareholder 561.655.5444 West Palm Beach
W. Gregory Steube Attorney 941.366.8826 Sarasota