1. Vendor Selection and Procurement Requirements
    2. Food and Beverage
    3. Other Contracting Requirements
    4. Recommended Best Practices
    5. Green Lodging Requirements
    6. Miscellaneous:
    7. Contract Approval and Execution
    8. http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-142.
    9. Budget Considerations
    10. Instructions for the Contract Approval Form
    11. Additional Information as Applicable:
    12. Contract Management (MyFloridaMarketPlace)

Department of Education

Guidelines for Contracting with Hotels and Conference Centers


Contracting with hotels and / or conference facilities is subject to the same procurement and contracting requirements that govern the purchase of contractual services pursuant to chapter 287, Florida Statutes, and the Department’s Internal Operating Procedures. These guidelines are intended to assist DOE staff in appropriately contracting with hotels and / or conference centers for services that comply with these requirements.

Vendor Selection and Procurement Requirements

The procurement requirements are determined by the overall value of the job to be paid by the Department, and are as follows:

Small Dollar Purchases: Purchases with values below $2,500 shall be made utilizing good purchasing practices that may include, but are not limited to, written quotations or written records of verbal (telephone) quotation.
Informal Solicitations: Purchases which meet or exceed $2,500, but are less than or equal to $35,000 may be made using written quotations, written records of telephone quotations, or informal bids to be opened upon receipt, whenever practical. If the Department receives verbal quotations, the name and address of each respondent and the amount quoted shall be a part of the written documentation. If the Department receives less than two (2) quotations, the contract file must include a statement as to why additional quotes were not received.
Formal Solicitations (Competitive Bidding): The process for purchasing contractual services with a value of $35,000 and above must be made by formal competitive sealed bids (i.e., Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal, Invitation to Negotiate) to ensure fair and open competition, except as otherwise provided by law (e.g., Single Source, Exceptional, Emergency and Exempt Purchases). The Purchasing Office shall be contacted prior to beginning development of any formal procurement. Contact your purchasing analyst / specialist and schedule an appointment for a pre-solicitation consultation. This should occur at the inception of the project.

Food and Beverage

Food purchases for a conference or convention or in connection with the rental of a meeting room for agency workshops or meetings are prohibited unless expressly provided by law. Therefore, the Department cannot and will not agree to pay for food and beverage costs associated with a hotel and / or conference contract; rather, the authority for the Department to reimburse employees for meals is only authorized as provided in section 112.061, Florida Statutes. However, under certain circumstances, the Florida Education Foundation may be authorized to agree to pay for food and beverage costs associated with a hotel and / or conference event. Please contact the Florida Education Foundation for more information.

Also, the negotiated price for the rental of a room shall not include food and beverages costs.

Other Contracting Requirements

Please see the draft hotel contract created by the Department’s Office of the General Counsel regarding other state contracting requirements. This document contains language that addresses several of the legal issues related to state contracting. For example, the draft hotel contract contains language making clear that the Department cannot and will not agree to indemnify any party to a contract; rather, the Department’s liability will be only as authorized as provided in section 768.28, Florida Statutes. This document is located on the Department’s Intranet at http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-142  .     

Recommended Best Practices

This subsection provides some guidance regarding getting quotes when the overall value is less than $35,000 (i.e., not subject to formal bidding requirements).

Finding a Facility: Send specifications to the area’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) requesting proposals be returned directly to the department from the hotels in one week. Based on the specifications the CVB determines which hotels to solicit.
Best Value:  When proposals are submitted determine which proposal provides the best value and document why it is the best value. Then, further negotiate the details.
Audio Visual Equipment:  While it may be convenient to have the hotel provide audio visual equipment, consider getting a quote from other vendors in the area. Costs are generally lower than those where the hotel provides the equipment.

Green Lodging Requirements

The Energy, Climate Change and Economic Security Act of 2008, Section 286.29 Florida Statutes, provides:

“(2) Effective July 1, 2008, state agencies shall contract for meeting and conference space only with hotels or conference facilities that have received the “Green Lodging” designation from the Department of Environmental Protection for best practices in water, energy, and waste efficiency standards, unless the responsible state agency head makes a determination that no other viable alternative exists. The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to adopt rules to implement the “Green Lodging” program.”

Pursuant to this directive, unless the Commissioner of the Department of Education certifies that no other viable alternative exists, contract for meeting and/or conference space with hotels or conference facilities shall be limited to “Certified Green Lodging” Hotel or Conference Facilities. To find out if a particular hotel or conference facility you wish to contract with is “Certified Green,” please go to the Florida Green Lodging Program website: www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging click on “Designated Properties,” which is sorted by regions of the State. Then click under “Hotel Applicants” for a complete list of pending properties. If no viable Certified Green Lodging hotel or conference facility exists, then the Justification for Selecting a Non-Certified Green Lodging Program Facility form must be completed and attached to the Procurement Approval form along with the hotel contract before routing to the Commissioner for execution of the contract.


Registration Fee: No registration fee can be collected by the Department for any Department-sponsored conference.
Awards Presentation - Rental Space and Travel Costs: The cost of renting space for the purpose of gathering employees together for the sole purpose of witnessing the presentation of awards or the travel costs incurred for the sole purpose of attending an awards presentation event is not an allowable state expenditure. However, travel expenses for award winners to travel to an awards presentation event may be paid by state funds.
Promotional Materials – Tote Bags, key chains, etc.: Payment requests for the purchase of promotional and/or advertising expenses must cite the statutory authority and/or document that the expenditure is included in the approved budget from which the payment is being made.
Speakers/Lecturers: Pursuant to section 287.057(5)(f)3., Florida Statutes, lecturers by individuals are exempt for competitive procurement. Note that a lecture is a formal or methodical reading or presentation on any subject, but it is not intended to be used for the purpose of, or in connection with, training of personnel. See rule 60A-1.002 (4)(e), Florida Administrative Code.

Contract Approval and Execution

As discussed in section (1)(c) above, the Department’s Office of the General Counsel has drafted a hotel contract that Department employees are to use during negotiations with hotels and conference facilities. The document is located on the Department’s Intranet at 

http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-142 .

The contract should be processed using the Department’s established modified Procurement Approval form. This process includes review by Budget and Finance and the Office of the General Counsel prior to the contract being presented to the Commissioner for review. Contact the Bureau of Contracts, Grants and Procurement Management Services, Contract Administration Section for information on this process.

Budget Considerations

If the contract may obligate the Department to pay any funds to the hotel directly (e.g., a sliding scale for meeting rooms based on the number of guest rooms occupied by participants), those funds must be encumbered by the budget office even if it is unlikely that the funds will need to be paid given anticipated attendance.

Instructions for the Contract Approval Form

Please follow these instructions when submitting a contract for approval. Allow sufficient time for routing through the approval process. If something requires immediate turn-around, a justification must be provided by the Cabinet Member for the area requesting such turn-around.
(1) Enter the dollar amount. Tip from the Comptroller’s Office: When multiple services will be contracted, break out by Object Code (for instance, cost of the conference room, rental of A/V equipment, etc.)
(2) Enter the Vendor’s Name and Green Lodging information
(3) Identify the person making the request
(4) Enter requestor’s information
(5) Budget Officer checks for available budget authority and correct payment coding, and will sign and date the approval form.
(6) Person routing form

Additional Information as Applicable:

(A) Contract Administrator will ensure that steps 1 through 7 have been completed and that all required documentation is attached. Required documentation includes but is not limited to:
· Procurement Approval Form
· Green Lodging Justification – if applicable
· Hotel contract – 2 originals
(B) Program Director completes review. Signs and dates approval form. (Note: Each Division must determine who has authority to sign as “Program Director)
(C) Office of the General Counsel will complete legal review. Signs and dates approval form.
(D) Via the Bureau Chief for Contracts, Grants, and Procurement, the Contract Administrator will obtain the Deputy Commissioner of Finance and Operations’ signature.
(E) Via the Bureau Chief for Contracts, Grants, and Procurement, the Contract Administrator will obtain the Commissioner’s signature and date of signing. Approval form will be checked completed.

The person submitting the contract will be notified by Contract Administration when it has been returned signed by the Commissioner.

Only the Commissioner or persons designated in writing by the Commissioner have the authority to execute (i.e., sign) the contract. The Hotel representative authorized to execute the contract on behalf of the hotel should execute the contract before the Commissioner executes the contract.

After the Hotel and Commissioner have executed the contract, the signed contract should be scanned and attached to a requisition in MyFloridaMarketPlace (MFMP). Via MFMP the requisition is approved by the Procurement Office, encumbered and paid according to the terms of the agreement.

Contract Management (MyFloridaMarketPlace)

During the event if the meeting/conference is for multiple days, request a “Resume” daily to review and approve charges.

Under no circumstances should payments be made if the services received were inconsistent with the terms of the contract. If such a situation should arise, contact the Office of the General Counsel for guidance.

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Last Revised 08.29.14  Page 1




Last Revised 08.29.14  Page 3