Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is a "No Bid" Bid Responsive?

Let's say you receive a bid, and for one of the bid items on the bid form, the bidder has written "no bid."  Is the bid responsive or non-responsive?

It really all depends on what your bidding instructions stated.  

Require a Bid on All Items:  If the bidding instructions required that bidders submit a bid amount on all items, then "no bid" would not be a bid amount, and it would, therefore be a non-responsive bid.  The bid would also be non-responsive if the bidder didn't write anything on the bid form for that item.  On the other hand, if the bidder wrote "0.00" or "zero," that would be a bid amount and the bid would be responsive, at least on that count.

How to Determine the Low Bid:  Generally, it's a good idea if your bidding instructions do require a bid on all bid items that will be part of the evaluation process to determine the low bid amount.  If the bidding instructions do not require a bid on all items, and a bidder does not bid on one or more items, it becomes impossible to equitably compare the bids to determine which bidder is the low bidder, since some bidders may not have bid on every item.

All Items:  In requiring bidders to bid on all items, the language in the bidding instructions should discuss all bid items, additives, alternates, deductives, and unit prices.  In other words, any bid amount on the bid form that may be used to determine who the low bidder is.

No Bidding Instructions:  If the bidding instructions do not require a bid on all items, then an entry on the bid form that reads "no bid" would probably be a responsive bid.  Of course, there is then a much bigger problem of not being able to compare bid prices to determine the low bidder, because the bidders were bidding on a different body of work.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2011 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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