Department of Management Services

State Purchasing Process

Most vendors are constantly looking for new markets for increased sales and a reasonable profit. This is ideal from the state's viewpoint because the state is constantly looking for innovative, reliable, and competitive vendors who have know-how and can demonstrate more effective and efficient ways of satisfying the state's requirements. This practical guide to selling to the state is intended to help achieve expanded and mutually satisfactory vendor/purchasing agent relationships.


The Law and State Purchasing

Chapter 287, Florida Statutes, and Rule Chapter 60A, Florida Administrative Code, govern the purchase of commodities and contractual services by the state. These laws:

  1. Place authority and responsibility for all state purchases within the executive branch in the Department of Management Services, State Purchasing. State Purchasing develops policies, procedures, and rules to fulfill the requirements of the law. (Sections 287.032 and  287.042, Florida Statutes)
  2. Permit State Purchasing to delegate authority for purchases to other state agencies.  (Section 287.042, Florida Statutes)
  3. Ensure that fair and open competition exists in all procurement activities in order to avoid the appearance of and prevent the opportunity for favoritism and to inspire public confidence that contracts are awarded equitably and economically. (Section 287.001, Florida Statutes)


The Department of Management Services, Division of State Purchasing

The Department of Management Services through the Division of State Purchasing develops contracts and delegates authority for procurement of commodities and contractual services to state agencies.

Purchases of commodities and contractual services that are ongoing and are common to several state agencies will generally result in the Division of State Purchasing issuing a competitive solicitation that will result in a state term contract. This alleviates the need for each agency to issue a competitive solicitation and allows the state to aggregate or leverage its buying power via a state term contract.  State term contracts identify for agencies and other eligible users the contractor, the prices, and how to order the commodities or contractual services. Agencies issue purchase orders to the contractors to fill their needs from these contracts. Payment is made directly by the ordering entity. State term contracts are also available for use by county, municipality or other local public agencies. State term contracts are not the only or sole type of agreements issued by the Division of State Purchasing. In fact there are several other contract and agreements types.


Who is Buying and Where

Per section 287.012, Florida Statutes, eligible users are permitted to purchase from state term contracts.   Eligible users include all governmental agencies as defined by section 163.3164, Florida Statutes.  The purchasing power of the division extends beyond the State of Florida. Eligible users are not only state and local agencies but federal agencies as well.   (See Rule 60A-1.005, F.A.C.)  While state agencies are required to use state term contracts, other eligible users or entities that are not state agencies are not required to use state term contracts.

Every year these eligible users purchase over $1,200,000,000 worth of commodities and contractual services. Approximately 33% of these purchases are procured through the use of the state term contracts.