Monday, April 29, 2013

Do You Check the Math of All Bidders After Bid Opening?

If a public agency's Bid Form requests unit price bids for estimated quantities and units of measure, it's important to be aware that bidders may have made a mathematical calculation error in either multiplying the unit price they bid by the estimated quantity, or in adding up the extended amounts.  

Where's the error?  At the time of bid opening, identification of the low bidder is tentative, especially for unit price bids.  See the sample bid form below and note the error in bid item 2.
What do your bid documents state?  In using a unit price bid form, it is important to include language in the bid documents giving the public agency the ability to make mathematical corrections to the bid price.  Below is sample wording that enables a public agency to make these corrections:
After bid opening, bids will be checked for correctness of bid item price extensions and the total bid price.  A discrepancy between a bid item price and the extended amount of any bid item shall be resolved by accepting the bid item price as correct.
Check the math:   After bid opening, all bids should be checked for correctness of mathematical calculations (unit price times estimated quantities, and addition of extended bid amounts).  If any bidder has made a mistake in these calculations, this may change the order of the bidders from that noted at bid opening.  In other words, the low bidder at the bid opening may no longer be the low bidder because of an error they've made or that another bidder has made.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

No comments: