Impugnaciones a licitaciones para pequeñas empresas

by Bilzin Sumberg
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Bilzin Sumberg

Una impugnación de licitación es un método que permite que un licitante de un contrato gubernamental dispute formalmente la decisión o el proceso de selección del gobierno. Los procedimientos de impugnación de licitaciones varían según la jurisdicción, pero por lo general representan una oportunidad de enviar un pedido por escrito que explique la razón por la que el impugnador cree que el gobierno tomó una decisión ilegal o injusta. Luego se realiza una audiencia ante un funcionario autorizado para tomar una decisión sobre la disputa (a veces se trata de un juez o profesional equivalente, y otras veces, de un administrador). En algunas situaciones, una impugnación de licitación es similar a un juicio civil y puede tardar semanas o meses en resolverse, y en otras situaciones es mucho menos formal y puede resolverse de manera rápida. El costo de una impugnación de licitación a menudo aumenta según la formalidad y la duración de los procedimientos.

A principios de este mes, RAND Corporation hizo público el informe completo, solicitado por el Congreso, sobre el sistema federal de impugnación de licitaciones. Si bien en el informe se llegó a la conclusión general de que las impugnaciones de licitaciones cumplían con la intención deseada de encontrar y corregir errores en el proceso de licitación (aproximadamente el 40 % de las impugnaciones federales reflejaron un cambio en el resultado), RAND concluyó que el sistema era demasiado costoso para contratos pequeños y pequeñas empresas. RAND recomendó un proceso alternativo más rápido para los contratos pequeños y también sugirió cambios para que el sistema sea más fácil para las pequeñas empresas. Debido a que, independientemente del tamaño del contrato o los recursos del impugnador, el sistema federal requiere esencialmente el mismo tiempo y genera los mismos gastos, las impugnaciones en algunos casos pueden ser una carga pesada, tanto para el gobierno como para el impugnador. 

Afortunadamente, muchas administraciones locales del sur de Florida ya cuentan con medidas que pueden, en muchos casos, reducir el costo de presentar o defender una impugnación de licitación para un contrato pequeño. El condado de Miami-Dade, por ejemplo, cuenta con procedimientos de impugnación de licitaciones informales para contratos valuados en menos de USD 250.000, y la Junta Escolar del Condado de Miami-Dade ofrece de manera similar procedimientos de impugnación informales para ciertos contratos. Otras jurisdicciones locales, como la ciudad de Miami Beach, dependen de procedimientos más informales para prácticamente todos los contratos. Aunque todavía existen ejemplos donde los procedimientos son demasiado costosos o llevan mucho tiempo para el contrato o negocio en cuestión, el sur de Florida tiene la suerte de estar un paso adelante del gobierno federal en este aspecto y ofrece muchas oportunidades para que las pequeñas empresas protejan sus derechos de una manera rentable.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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