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Bid Checklist

Sunday, November 02, 2003 05:46 pm

Bid Checklist

Last month this article covered common bid flaws relating to timeliness, authorized signatures, solicitation amendments, and bid bonds. In this month's conclusion, the article discusses deviations from the definition of the work, exceptions to contract requirements, defective pricing, and bidder qualification issues.

Definition of the Work

When a project owner solicits bids on a contract, it is crucial that the owner be able to hold the successful bidder accountable for constructing the project in the precise manner defined in the drawings and specifications. Deviations from the definition of the work will generally render a bid nonresponsive.

Some deviations are intentional and affirmative. One bid solicitation required asbestos abatement procedures for the removal of ceiling material. A bidder indicated that it would utilize such procedures for the removal of ceiling tiles, but not ceiling plaster. The bid was nonresponsive. Matter of Martin Contracting, Comp. Gen. No. B-241229.2 (February 6, 1991); CCM May 1991, p. 5.

Another bid included a note stating that a backflow preventer, which might be required by municipal authorities in order to obtain a sewer connection permit, was not included in the bid. The bid was defective. Matter of H. M. Kern Corporation, Comp. Gen. No. B-239821 (June 22, 1990); CCM October 1990, p. 5.

One bidder submitted descriptive literature for equipment that conformed to the transformer specifications, as well as literature for equipment that did not. It was unclear which equipment the bidder intended to furnish. The bid was nonresponsive. Matter of Jamco Constructors, Inc., Comp. Gen. No. B-283172.2 (October 4, 1999); CCM November 1999, p. 5.

Frequently, a deviation from the definition of work is careless and unintentional rather than affirmative. Where specifications allowed the government to elect either of two methods of installation, a bid was nonresponsive because it assumed the government would elect a particular method. Matter of Ellicott Engineering, Inc., Comp. Gen. No. B-282382 (June 23, 1999); CCM August 1999, p. 5.

Another bidder attempted to "clarify" a specification, raising doubts regarding the bidder's intention to comply. While the specification was arguably ambiguous, the bidder should have raised [...]

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