Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Problem with Bid Prices in Numbers and Words

Tennessee construction attorney Matthew DeVries has described the outcome of an Alabama court case in which a bidder left out the word "thousand" in a bid price and was held to the significantly lower bid amount by the public agency. The contractor refused to execute the contract because they would loose too much money and the public agency collected from their bid bond.

Allow withdrawal of bid if error is made:  Public agencies should generally allow a contractor who has made a mistake to withdraw their bid.  It is not in either the contractor's or the public agency's best interest to enter into a contract in which the contractor will loose money.

Request bid prices in numbers only: Public agencies should also not require bid prices in words, but only numbers. It's a way to make the bid process simpler and eliminate yet another area for non-responsiveness and ambiguity. In the event you can't read a contractor's bid price in numbers, language in your bid documents allowing rejection of the bid as non-responsive can resolve the lack of clarity in the bid amount.  

Click here to read Mr. DeVries brief blog post on this court case.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
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