287.133 Public entity crime; denial or revocation of the right to transact business with public entities.—
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Affiliate” means:
1. A predecessor or successor of a person convicted of a public entity crime; or
2. An entity under the control of any natural person who is active in the management of the entity and who has been convicted of a public entity crime. The term “affiliate” includes those officers, directors, executives, partners, shareholders, employees, members, and agents who are active in the management of an affiliate. The ownership by one person of shares constituting a controlling interest in another person, or a pooling of equipment or income among persons when not for fair market value under an arm’s length agreement, shall be a prima facie case that one person controls another person. A person who knowingly enters into a joint venture with a person who has been convicted of a public entity crime in Florida during the preceding 36 months shall be considered an affiliate.
(b) “Convicted” or “conviction” means a finding of guilt or a conviction of a public entity crime, with or without an adjudication of guilt, in any federal or state trial court of record relating to charges brought by indictment or information after July 1, 1989, as a result of a jury verdict, nonjury trial, or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.
(c) “Convicted vendor list” means the list required to be kept by the department pursuant to paragraph (3)(d).
(d) “Department” means the Department of Management Services.
(e) “Person” means any natural person or any entity organized under the laws of any state or of the United States with the legal power to enter into a binding contract and which bids or applies to bid on contracts let by a public entity, or which otherwise transacts or applies to transact business with a public entity. The term “person” includes those officers, directors, executives, partners, shareholders, employees, members, and agents who are active in management of an entity.
(f) “Public entity” means the State of Florida, any of its departments or agencies, or any political subdivision.
(g) “Public entity crime” means a violation of any state or federal law by a person with respect to and directly related to the transaction of business with any public entity or with an agency or political subdivision of any other state or with the United States, including, but not limited to, any bid, proposal, reply, or contract for goods or services, any lease for real property, or any contract for the construction or repair of a public building or public work, involving antitrust, fraud, theft, bribery, collusion, racketeering, conspiracy, or material misrepresentation.
(2)(a) A person or affiliate who has been placed on the convicted vendor list following a conviction for a public entity crime may not submit a bid, proposal, or reply on a contract to provide any goods or services to a public entity; may not submit a bid, proposal, or reply on a contract with a public entity for the construction or repair of a public building or public work; may not submit bids, proposals, or replies on leases of real property to a public entity; may not be awarded or perform work as a contractor, supplier, subcontractor, or consultant under a contract with any public entity; and may not transact business with any public entity in excess of the threshold amount provided in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY TWO for a period of 36 months following the date of being placed on the convicted vendor list.
(b) A public entity may not accept any bid, proposal, or reply from, award any contract to, or transact any business in excess of the threshold amount provided in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY TWO with any person or affiliate on the convicted vendor list for a period of 36 months following 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 paragraph (3)(f). A public entity that was transacting business with a person at the time of the commission of a public entity crime resulting in that person being placed on the convicted vendor list may not accept any bid, proposal, or reply from, award any contract to, or transact any business with any other person who is under the same, or substantially the same, control as the person whose name appears on the convicted vendor list so long as that person’s name appears on the convicted vendor list.
(3)(a) All invitations to bid, requests for proposals, and invitations to negotiate, as defined in s. 287.012, and any contract document described by s. 287.058 shall contain a statement informing persons of the provisions of paragraph (2)(a).
(b) Any person must notify the department within 30 days after a conviction of a public entity crime applicable to that person or to an affiliate of that person. Any public entity which receives information that a person has been convicted of a public entity crime shall transmit that information to the department in writing within 10 days.
(c) If the department has reason to believe that a person or an affiliate has been convicted of a public entity crime, the department may issue a written demand upon that person or affiliate, concerning any such conviction or affiliation, to appear and be examined under oath, to answer interrogatories under oath, or to produce documents or other tangible evidence for inspection and copying. The department shall conduct any such inquiry in accord with applicable provisions of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
(d) The department shall maintain a list of the names and addresses of those who have been disqualified from the public contracting and purchasing process under this section. The department shall publish an initial list on January 1, 1990, and shall publish an updated version of the list quarterly thereafter. The revised quarterly lists shall be electronically posted. Notwithstanding this paragraph, a person or affiliate disqualified from the public contracting and purchasing process pursuant to this section shall be disqualified as of the date the final order is entered.
(e)1. Upon receiving reasonable information from any source that a person has been convicted, the department shall investigate the information and determine whether good cause exists to place that person or an affiliate of that person on the convicted vendor list. If good cause exists, the department shall notify the person or affiliate in writing of its intent to place the name of that person or affiliate on the convicted vendor list, and of the person’s or affiliate’s right to a hearing, the procedure that must be followed, and the applicable time requirements. If the person or affiliate does not request a hearing, the department shall enter a final order placing the name of the person or affiliate on the convicted vendor list. No person or affiliate may be placed on the convicted vendor list without receiving an individual notice of intent from the department.
2. Within 21 days of receipt of the notice of intent, the person or affiliate may file a petition for a formal hearing pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57(1) to determine whether it is in the public interest for that person or affiliate to be placed on the convicted vendor list. A person or affiliate may not file a petition for an informal hearing under s. 120.57(2). The procedures of chapter 120 shall apply to any formal hearing under this section except where they are in conflict with the following provisions:
a. The petition shall be filed with the department. The department shall be a party to the proceeding for all purposes.
b. Within 5 days after the filing of the petition, the department shall notify the Division of Administrative Hearings of the request for a formal hearing. The director of the Division of Administrative Hearings shall, within 5 days after receipt of notice from the department, assign an administrative law judge to preside over the proceeding. The administrative law judge, upon request by a party, may consolidate related proceedings.
c. The administrative law judge shall conduct the formal hearing within 30 days after being assigned, unless otherwise stipulated by the parties.
d. Within 30 days after the formal hearing or receipt of the hearing transcript, whichever is later, the administrative law judge shall enter a final order, which shall consist of findings of fact, conclusions of law, interpretation of agency rules, and any other information required by law or rule to be contained in the final order. Such final order shall place or not place the person or affiliate on the convicted vendor list.
e. The final order of the administrative law judge shall be final agency action for purposes of s. 120.68.
f. At any time after the filing of the petition, informal disposition may be made pursuant to s. 120.57(4). In that event, the administrative law judge shall enter a final order adopting the stipulation, agreed settlement, or consent order.
3. In determining whether it is in the public interest to place a person or affiliate on the convicted vendor list, the administrative law judge shall consider the following factors:
a. Whether the person or affiliate committed a public entity crime.
b. The nature and details of the public entity crime.
c. The degree of culpability of the person or affiliate proposed to be placed on the convicted vendor list.
d. Prompt or voluntary payment of any damages or penalty as a result of the conviction.
e. Cooperation with state or federal investigation or prosecution of any public entity crime, provided that a good faith exercise of any constitutional, statutory, or other right during any portion of the investigation or prosecution of any public entity crime shall not be considered a lack of cooperation.
f. Disassociation from any other persons or affiliates convicted of the public entity crime.
g. Prior or future self-policing by the person or affiliate to prevent public entity crimes.
h. Reinstatement or clemency in any jurisdiction in relation to the public entity crime at issue in the proceeding.
i. Compliance by the person or affiliate with the notification provisions of paragraph (b).
j. The needs of public entities for additional competition in the procurement of goods and services in their respective markets.
k. Mitigation based upon any demonstration of good citizenship by the person or affiliate.
4. In any proceeding under this section, the department shall be required to prove that it is in the public interest for the person to whom it has given notice under this section to be placed on the convicted vendor list. Proof of a conviction of the person or that one is an affiliate of such person shall constitute a prima facie case that it is in the public interest for the person or affiliate to whom the department has given notice to be put on the convicted vendor list. Prompt payment of damages or posting of a bond, cooperation with investigation, and termination of the employment or other relationship with the employee or other natural person responsible for the public entity crime shall create a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the public interest to place a person or affiliate on the convicted vendor list. Status as an affiliate must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. If the administrative law judge determines that the person was not convicted or is not an affiliate of such person, that person or affiliate shall not be placed on the convicted vendor list.
5. Any person or affiliate who has been notified by the department of its intent to place his or her name on the convicted vendor list may offer evidence on any relevant issue. An affidavit alone shall not constitute competent substantial evidence that the person has not been convicted or is not an affiliate of a person so convicted. Upon establishment of a prima facie case that it is in the public interest for the person or affiliate to whom the department has given notice to be put on the convicted vendor list, that person or affiliate may prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it would not be in the public interest to put him or her on the convicted vendor list, based upon evidence addressing the factors in subparagraph 3.
(f)1. A person on the convicted vendor list may petition for removal from the list no sooner than 6 months from the date a final order is entered disqualifying that person from the public purchasing and contracting process pursuant to this section, but may petition for removal at any time if the petition is based upon a reversal of the conviction on appellate review or pardon. The petition shall be filed with the department, and the proceeding shall be conducted pursuant to the procedures and requirements of this subsection.
2. A person may be removed from the convicted vendor list subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the administrative law judge upon a determination that removal is in the public interest. In determining whether removal would be in the public interest, the administrative law judge shall give consideration to any relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the factors identified in subparagraph (e)3. Upon proof that a person’s conviction has been reversed on appellate review or that he or she has been pardoned, the administrative law judge shall determine that removal of the person or an affiliate of that person from the convicted vendor list is in the public interest.
3. If a petition for removal is denied, the person or affiliate may not petition for another hearing on removal for a period of 9 months after the date of denial, unless the petition is based upon a reversal of the conviction on appellate review or a pardon. The department may petition for removal prior to the expiration of such period if, in its discretion, it determines that removal would be in the public interest.
(4) The conviction of a person for a public entity crime, or placement on the convicted vendor list, shall not affect any rights or obligations under any contract, franchise, or other binding agreement which predates such conviction or placement on the convicted vendor list. However, the administrative law judge in a proceeding instituted under this section may declare voidable any specific contract, franchise, or other binding agreement entered into after July 1, 1989, by a person placed on the convicted vendor list and a public entity, but only if the administrative law judge finds as fact that the person to be placed on the list has not satisfied the criteria set forth in sub-subparagraphs (3)(e)3.d., f., and g.
(5) The provisions of this section do not apply to any activities regulated by the Florida Public Service Commission or to the purchase of goods or services made by any public entity from the Department of Corrections, from the nonprofit corporation organized under chapter 946, or from any accredited nonprofit workshop certified under ss. 413.032-413.037.
History.—s. 2, ch. 89-114; s. 1, ch. 90-33; s. 32, ch. 90-268; s. 259, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 217, ch. 95-148; s. 33, ch. 95-196; s. 4, ch. 95-420; s. 62, ch. 96-410; s. 58, ch. 99-13; s. 29, ch. 2002-207.