(1) Right to Protest. Any actual or prospective bidder, offeror, or contractor who is aggrieved in connection with the solicitation or award of a contract may protest to the City Manager. Protestors are urged to seek resolution of their complaints initially with the Procurement Manager. A protest with respect to an invitation for bids or request for proposals shall be submitted in writing prior to the opening of bids or the closing date of proposals, unless the aggrieved person did not know and should not have known of the facts giving rise to such protest prior to bid opening of the closing date for proposals. The protest shall be submitted within five (5) calendar days after such aggrieved person knows or should have known of the facts giving rise thereto.
(2) Stay of Procurements During Protests. In the event of a timely protest under Subsection (1) of this Section, the Procurement Manager shall not proceed further with the solicitation or award of th e contract until all the administrative and judicial remedies have been exhausted or until the City Manager makes a determination on the record that the award of a contract without delay is necessary to protect substantial interests of the City.
(3) Entitlement to Costs. In addition to any other relief, when a protest is sustained and the protesting bidder or offeror should have been awarded the contract under the solicitation but is not, then the protesting bidder or offeror shall be entitled to the reasonable costs incurred in connection with solicitation, including bid preparation costs other than attorney’s fees.
If protest is related to FTA bids
Any protest to the award of a contract by the City shall be submitted in writing to the Procurement Manager, with a copy to the City Manager, delivered to City of Kingsport, 225 W. Center St, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660, not later than five (5) calendar days from the date of City’s award decision. The appeal shall, at a minimum, identify the decision in question, specify all reasons why the appealing party disagrees in question, specify all reasons why the appealing party disagrees with the decision, and shall include all facts and justification, including technical information from the appealing party and information or a response from other bidders. So far as practicable, appeals will be decided upon the basis of the written appeal, information and written response submitted by the appealing party and other bidders; all parties are urged to make written submission as complete as possible. Failure of any party to timely respond (within 7 days of request receipt) to a request for information may be deemed by the City that such party does not desire to participate in the proceeding, does not contest the matter, or does not desire to submit a response, and in such event the appeal will proceed and will not be delayed due to the lack of a response.
Upon receipt and review of written submission and any independent investigation deemed appropriate by the City, the City Manager shall either (a) render a decision which shall be final and advise all interested parties of same in writing or (b) at the sole election of the City Manager, conduct an informal hearing at which the interested participating parties will be afforded an opportunity to present their respected position and facts, documents, justification and technical information in support thereof. Parties may, but are not required to be, represented by counsel at the informal hearing, which will not be the subject to formal rules of evidence or procedures. Following the informal hearing, the City Manager shall render a decision which shall be final and advise all interested parties thereof in writing. The City will disclose all information regarding the protest to FTA, and keep FTA informed about the status of the protest.
After exhausting all administrative remedies with the City, any party dissatisfied with the final decision of the City Manager, whether following review of the written submission or informal hearing, may utilize the appeal procedure set forth in Federal Transit Administration Circular 4220 (as amended). Federal Transit Administration (FTA) reviews of protests will be limited to: 1) a grantee’s failure to follow its protest procedures, or its failure to review a complaint or protest; or 2) violations of Federal law or regulation, or violations of State/Local law or regulation. FTA will refer violations of Federal law for which it does not have primary jurisdiction to the Federal authority having proper jurisdiction. FTA will refer violations of State or local law to the State or local authority having proper jurisdiction. ‘