Monday, June 28, 2010

A Bidding Nightmare

It's 1:58 p.m., just two minutes before bids are due on your sidewalk replacement project - and your front counter staff person has taken a break or gone to pick up supplies in another part of the building.  

A bidder races in the door, frantic that no one is around to receive and stamp in his bid.  The bidder wanders through the hallways and cubicles, seeking someone to receive his bid.  He finally finds someone, who takes the bid back up to the front counter where the bid is date and time stamped in.  But the time stamp reads 2:01 p.m., after the deadline.  The bid is opened along with the other bids and the bid is the lowest bid.  

Is the Bid Responsive?  Is the bid responsive and should it be considered further?  Whether the bid should be accepted depends on the specific facts of the situation.  In this case, the public agency did not manage the process properly.  The bidder presumably was on time.  Should the bidder (and the taxpayers) be punished because the agency didn't have someone available to time stamp in the bid?

Tips on Bid Receipt:  To prevent bid protests and problems, here are a couple of practical tips on managing the receipt of bids:
  • Make sure that someone knowledgeable on bid receipt procedures is at the bid receipt counter continuously at least an hour before the bid submittal deadline.
  • Check the time clock with official time the morning of every day when bids will be received to ensure the time close is consistent with the official time.  See
  • Do not accept or read bids that have been submitted after the bid submittal deadline.
Training:  I have developed a two hour class on best practices on bid receipt and opening issues that I have taught a couple of times.  Please contact me if you would like me to conduct this training for your agency.

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