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Adding A Missing Zero Was A Material Bid Change That Voided A Contract

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 08:45 am


Bid Protest -- Bid Change

Rochon Corp. v. City of Saint Paul, 2012 Minn. App. Lexis 44 (May 7, 2012)

The only bid that came in under a city's $7.5 million budget turned out to be erroneously low. Rather than accept the bidder's withdrawal from the competition, the city allowed a post-bid-opening price correction. That was a mistake.

Shaw-Lundquist Associates (Shaw) was the lowest bidder for a municipal project to construct the Lofts at Farmer's Market for the City of St. Paul, Minnesota. After bid opening, Shaw discovered that, because of a typo, it had inadvertently submitted a lower price than intended. The city allowed Shaw to correct its mistake since doing so didn't displace a lower bidder. Shaw revised its bid price, and the city awarded the contract to Shaw.

The next lowest bidder, Rochon Corporation (Rochon), claimed the city had violated public procurement law, as well as its own bid solicitation rules, by permitting Shaw to make a material change to its bid after bid opening. As a result, the city should have voided its contract with Shaw, Roch [...]

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