Direct all correspondence to:
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Financial Services Division
P.O. Box 3371
Tampa, FL 33601
The main responsibility for Sheriff’s Office purchasing is handled by the Purchasing Unit staff listed in paragraph 5 under the direction of the Chief Financial Officer, unless obligational authority is extended to another department commander or manager for a specific reason. Vendors should not make sales to Sheriff’s Office employees without verifying that the purchase has been approved by the Financial Services Division or a department commander or manager.
Obligational authority may be delegated for cash purchases being refunded out of a petty cash fund; by issuance from the Purchasing Unit of an annual blanket or contract purchase order (usually at the beginning of a fiscal year or contract period); by Field Purchase Orders signed by a department commander or manager.
General staff officers or their designees may authorize the purchase of supplies and services or rental of equipment in an emergency or time critical situation.These circumstances may be broadly defined as those situations which involve the maintenance of public health, safety and welfare; protection of public and private property; or the surveillance or investigation of unlawful activities and the apprehension, transport or interrogation of the persons involved.
For your own protection, you should always make certain that a purchase order has been issued to your company before making deliveries of service or merchandise or incurring any expenses with the exception of emergency situations as described above.
How to Become Eligible to Sell to the Sheriff's Office
All vendors who are interested in doing business with the Sheriff's Office should register with the Purchasing Unit. One may register by completing and submitting a vendor application. Applications may be obtained from this web page and faxed or mailed to the purchasing office. The fax number is (813) 242-1826.
Public Entity Crimes
Pursuant to Florida Statute 287.132 and 287.133, effective July 1, 1989, the Hillsborough County Sheriff, as a public entity, may not accept any bid or proposal from, award any contract to, or transact any business in excess of the threshold amount provided in Section 287.017, F.S., for Category Two (currently $25,000) with any person or affiliate on the convicted and/or suspended vendor list for a period of 36 months from the date that person or affiliate was placed on the convicted vendor list unless that person or affiliate has been removed from the list pursuant to Section 287.133 (3)(f), Florida Statute.
How the Procurement Process Works
An Overview of the Process
The example provided here describes, in simplified form, the purchasing process used by the Sheriff’s Office. The process begins with the submittal of a requisition by the using department and ends with the issuance of a contract or purchase order.
A division requires a computer and work station for a new clerk being hired. They submit their requisition to the Purchasing Unit listing all items necessary. The buyer will purchase some items from existing contracts, publish bids for the large value items not on contract, publish quotations for smaller value items, and solicit pricing by phone for small miscellaneous items. Depending on the variety of merchandise required, the requisition may be processed by one or all of the buyers. After the source for purchase has been determined and an award made, the contract and/or purchase order will be issued.
How Offers are Solicited
Bids and proposals are solicited through "formal" procedures when the estimated value of the purchase is $25,000 or greater. Bids and proposals are advertised in the Tampa Tribune Legal Ad Section at least 14 days prior to the date offers are due. The advertisement will state the date offers are due, the general nature of the goods or services to be purchased, where the bid or proposal forms may be obtained and the time and place bids or proposals will be opened. In addition, solicitation documents will be mailed to vendors on the Bidder’s Mailing List for the item or service being sought. The formal solicitation process, from issuance to opening, generally takes 3-4 weeks. After bids or proposals are opened, the evaluation process may take up to 45 days before an award can be made depending on the complexity of the item or service being requested.
Offers on informal (small) purchases will be solicited in writing or by telephone from a minimum of one vendor on the Bidder’s Mailing List. Informal purchases do not require public advertising. Generally, the informal quotation process, from solicitation to the awarding of an order, takes from 10 days to 2 weeks. As with bids and proposals, however, the process can take up to thirty additional days for award depending on complexity of the item or service being requested.
Applicability of Taxes
State sales tax and federal excise taxes should not be charged as the Sheriff's Office is tax-exempt. The Sheriff's Office will issue exemption certificates or provide our Tax ID Number when requested. The tax numbers also appear on all purchase orders.
The authority of the Sheriff to purchase supplies, equipment and services is contained in Florida Law. There are no statutory requirements that the Sheriff purchase commodities by competitive bids, however, the policy of this State suggests the expenditure of public funds be made by competitive bidding, whenever possible, to obtain the lowest reasonable cost to protect the interest of the public. Therefore, commodities, services and equipment are purchased in accordance with generally accepted local procurement policies consistent with the laws of the State of Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most frequently considered factors involved in determining a responsive bid and a responsible bidder?
A "responsive bid" is a bid which meets all the terms, conditions and specifications of the Bid Document. A "responsible bidder" is a bidder who has the financial resources, personnel, facilities, integrity, and overall capability to complete a particular Sheriff's Office contract successfully.
Can a stipulation of "all or none" on behalf of the vendor for his materials lead to a disqualification of the bid?
Yes. If it is in the best interest of the Sheriff's Office to accept the "all or none" stipulation , the bid may be accepted for evaluation. However, if the Sheriff's Office determines that the "all or none" stipulation is not in its best interest, the bid may be disqualified by the Chief Financial Officer.
May a vendor call and ask to review the contract file and request information about an award?
Bidders may request to review files. A tabulation of bids, proposals or quotes will be mailed upon award. It is suggested that you review our online bid list to obtain a copy of a bid tabulation. Tabulations for bids, proposals and quotes are generally available thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days after opening.
Who manages surplus property?
A. Automobiles which are either former pursuit cars, or vehicles seized during crimes, are auctioned through Tampa Machinery Auction. Information concerning time and location of inspections and sales and terms of payment may be obtained by contacting them at (813) 986-2485.
B. Real and personal property being sold to satisfy liens are auctioned on Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. at the Court Process Section. Occasionally livestock which has been abandoned, or seized, will be auctioned by the Court Process Section located at 700 E. Twiggs St., 3rd Floor, Tampa. Particulars on these auctions are advertised in the legal section of La Gaceta, The Free Press, The Tampa Bay Record, or The Penny Saver. For further information concerning those sales you may phone (813) 242-5200.
C. Miscellaneous abandoned personal property and unclaimed evidence items are auctioned several times during the year by Tampa Liquidation Center. Frequency is determined by the amount of property available for auction. For further information concerning time and location of inspection, sale and terms of payment, call (813) 626-5050.
D. Foreclosures are handled through the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The Clerk auctions real and personal property on an almost weekly basis. For further information concerning this, you may write to: Clerk of the Circuit Court, Civil Division, P.O. Box 1110, Tampa, FL 33601, or by calling them at (813) 276-8100.
Code of Ethics
Public purchasing officials are required to maintain high standards of ethics and conduct and maintain complete independence and impartiality in dealings with vendors, both in fact and in appearance, in order to preserve the integrity of the competitive process and to ensure there is public confidence that contracts are awarded equitably and economically. The following are excerpts from Chapter 112, Part III, Florida Statutes, Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees:
Section 112.313(2), Florida Statutes, states:
SOLICITATION OR ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS - No public officer, employee of an agency, or candidate for nomination or election shall solicit or accept anything of value to the recipient, including a gift, loan, reward, promise of future employment, favor or service, based upon any understanding that the vote, official action, or judgment of the public officer, employee or candidate would be influenced thereby.
Section 112,313(4), Florida Statutes, states:
UNAUTHORIZED COMPENSATION - No public officer or employee of an agency or his spouse of minor child shall, at any time, accept any compensation, payment, or thing of value when such public officer or employee knows, or, with the exercise of reasonable care, should know, that it was given to influence a vote or other action in which the officer or employee was expected to participate in his official capacity.
In order to avoid the possibility of any misunderstandings regarding compliance with the law and regarding any appearance of impropriety relative to the competitive process for awarding contracts, it is respectfully requested that vendors refrain from offering anything of value to staff of the Fiscal Bureau.
The guidelines presented here have been prepared, and provided to you, the Vendor, for information purposes only. They do not supplant the laws, regulations, and procedures governing procurement by the Sheriff's Office. In the event of changes in those laws, regulations, or procedures, the new laws, regulations and procedures are binding and take precedence