RESPECT of Florida was established by the 1974 Florida State Legislature in Sections 413.032, 413.033, 413.035, 413.036, and 413.037, Florida Statutes “…to encourage and assist blind and other severely handicapped individuals to achieve maximum personal independence through useful, productive and gainful employment by assuring and expanded market for their commodities and services…”
Not Just For State Agencies
The law is not simply directed to the procurement practices of state agencies. Florida Statutes defines “Agency” as “a political subdivision or agency of this state or any state of the United States, including, but not limited to state government, county, municipality, school district, nonprofit public university or college, single purpose or multipurpose special district, single purpose or multipurpose public authority, metropolitan or consolidated government, separate legal entity or administrative entity, or any agency of the federal government.”
Section 413.036 directs: “If any agency intends to procure any product or service on the procurement list, that agency shall, in accordance with rules and regulation of the [FL Department of Management Services], procure such product or service at the price established by the department from a qualified nonprofit agency for the blind or for the other severely handicapped if the product or service is available within a reasonable delivery time.”
Florida Administrative Code
Chapter 60E-1, Florida Administrative Code is the Rule implementing Sections 413.032–413.037, Florida Statutes.
Central Non-Profit Agency
In July 2010, the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, dba RESPECT of Florida, entered into a new five year contract with the Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) as the Central Non-Profit Agency (CNA) that manages the RESPECT of Florida program. The contract was awarded for a five-year term via the competitive solicitation process with an option to renew in 2015. The contract was renewed in 2015 for a five-year term and this term was extended through January 12, 2021 per Amendment No. 4 effective June 30, 2020. The Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities has served as the CNA for RESPECT of Florida since 1974.
Statewide contracts and purchasing agreements enable governmental entities to combine their buying power to lower total costs and reduce administrative burden.
Statewide contracts and agreements include State Term Contracts (STC), Alternate Contract Sources (ACS), State Purchasing Agreements (SPA), RESPECT agreements, PRIDE agreements and Insurance Coverage Program agreements.