Monday, June 21, 2010

Does Your Subcontractors List Promote Responsive Bids?

Many states and local governments have a requirement that bidders name certain subcontractors on a list to be submitted with their bid.  If the Subcontractors List form is not designed and structured clearly, it can result in unnecessary non-responsive bids and higher costs.  In my experience, not completing the Subcontractors List properly is one of the most common reasons for a non-responsive bid.

Washington State Requirements:  By way of illustration, in the State of Washington, RCW 39.30.060 requires that the bidder name with their bid (or up to one hour after the bid submittal deadline) the names of their subcontractors for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work, or to name themselves as performing such work.  The Subcontractors List requirement applies to contracts estimated to cost $1 million or more.

Checklist for Reviewing Your Form:  Review your Subcontractors List form.  Does it address the following issues, if required?
  • A place for the names of subcontractors for each of the required trades
  • A box for the bidder to check if they are performing the work of any of the required trades
  • A box for the bidder to check if the project does not include any work in the required trades
  • A place for the bidder to name the subcontractors (or themselves) for work in the required trades for any alternate or additive work
Compliance Tip for Public Agencies:  If you are a public agency, make sure that your Subcontractors List form is clear and helps bidders to submit a responsive bid.   

Compliance Tip for Contractors:  If you are a contractor, make sure you read and understand clearly the requirements of what must be included on the Subcontractors List, even if the form is not complete and clear.

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