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Q: Our board is searching for a new landscaper, I have asked to view the bids that they have received and was told I cannot review the new bids until the board votes and signs a contract. Is this true?

A: This is not true. In fact, the whole point of the competitive bidding process is to ensure that there is transparency and fairness in selecting the association’s vendors. Pursuant to Florida law, any contract that requires the association to spend more than 10 percent of its annual budget is subject to competitive bidding. The statute does not state that those bids remain secret or confidential until the board of directors accepts a bid and signs a contract. These bids, once received by the association, become part of the association’s official records that are available for your inspection if you are a homeowner. The bids should be made available to you within 10 business days after making written request to the association. You should send that request by certified mail.