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Section C-1
Advertising and Receiving Bids

The Joint Committee recommends that the following principles be observed in connection with the advertising and receiving of bids:

  1. Sufficient time should be allowed for the Contractors to prepare their bids to avoid the necessity of bid date extensions.
  2. A complete set of Bid Documents including addenda, when issued, should be kept on file during the Bid Period at the local plan rooms (i.e. Pittsburgh Builders Exchange, F. W. Dodge, etc.).
  3. Bids should be received, preferably between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., and opened immediately thereafter. Due dates should be scheduled Tuesday through Thursday, excluding legal holidays, or on days prior to or following legal holidays. Architects and/or Engineers should make an effort to clear bid dates with the local plan rooms to avoid conflicts with other projects being bid.
  4. In the absence of a public bid opening, Architects and/or Engineers should issue a complete bid tabulation to all bidders after the contract has been awarded.
  5. In a circumstance where the low bid is substantially lower than other bids, raising concern as to its validity, the Architect should notify the low bidder or the concern and allow the bidder 48 hours to reconfirm or withdraw the bid.

COMMENT: Time constraints inherent in the competitive bid process, amplify the opportunity for error which can be punitive to both the bidder and the Owner. Besides having clear documentation, Contractors should be allowed an appropriate amount of time to schedule estimating work, review documents, and clarify questions in order to submit a responsible bid. It is generally acknowledged that a fair and responsive bid is better for both the Owner and Contractor rather than recovering from bidding errors.

The bidding process, by its very nature, suggests that the low bidder will be awarded the contract. Where not constrained by governmental bidding requirements, pre-qualification of bidders and limited bid lists increase the chances of getting the best results.

Contractors appreciate public bid openings because it assures them knowledge of the bid results and reduces the opportunity for irregularities.

To post a comment on this recommendation click here.

TAGS: Addenda, Bid Documents, and Pittsburgh Builders Exchange.

Glossary Terms for the Best Practices Guide

History of Recommendation:
Reviewed July, 2010
Revised January, 1996
Revised December, 1991
Revised April, 1987
Revised April, 1981
Reviewed February, 1975
Revised November, 1971

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