Monday, June 17, 2013

What Documents Should Be Submitted with a Bid?

Public agencies should limit what documents they require to be submitted for public works construction bids in order to:
  • Avoid non-responsive bids
  • Reduce the risk of bid protests
  • Give bidders the maximum time in which to develop competitive bid prices
What should be submitted with the bid?  The following are the only items that should be required to be submitted with a bid:
  • Bid form:  The actual bid form with the bidder's bid price, contact information, and signature.
  • Bid guaranty:  If required, a bid guaranty, typically in the form of a bid bond.  Other forms of bid guaranties include cashier's checks and certified checks.
  • Required forms:  
    • Federally funded projects:  If the project is federally funded, certain forms may be required to be submitted with the bid.  
    • State requirements:  There are some state laws that require submission of certain forms with a bid.  For example, in the State of Washington, for projects estimated to cost $1 million or more, bidders are required to submit the names of the subcontractors who will perform the electrical, HVAC, and plumbing work.  RCW 39.30.060 
What should not be submitted with the bid?  The following are examples of items that should not be required to be submitted with the bid, but should be requested after bid opening of the low bidder:
  • Bidder responsibility documentation:  If the bidding documents include bidder responsibility criteria, these should be requested of the low bidder after bid opening.  These may address issues such as whether an installer is certified by the manufacturer to install a specific product.
  • Non-Collusion Affidavit:  Combine this form, along with other certifications, into the Bid Form so that the bidder has just one form to sign and submit with their bid.
  • Sample warranties:  Bidding documents should be clear about the expectations of warranties.  If a public agency wants to be sure the bidder will be able to produce an appropriate warranty meeting the specification requirements, submission of the warranty can be made part of bidder responsibility criteria, and requested of the low bidder after bid opening.
  • Samples of materials:  Technical specifications should be clear about what products are approved for installation.  If an agency wants to actually see a sample of the materials to ensure it will meet the specification, this should be requested after bid opening and be part of the bidder responsibility evaluation process.
  • Installation methods:  Specifications should address proper installation methods.  Evaluating the contractor's installation methods, whether before or after award, may be viewed as approving the contractor's means and methods.  In the event an agency approves such methods and there are problems with the installation, the agency may not have any recourse against the contractor.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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