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Section C-3

The Joint Committee recommends that the use of alternates be discouraged. However, when it is necessary to use them, the Joint Committee recommends an alternate be clearly defined and structured as a deduct alternate whenever possible. Further, if there is more than one alternate, the alternates should be listed by priority and intended order of selection.

COMMENT: It is recognized that alternates are inserted into the Contract Documents to provide greater flexibility in meeting budget goals. When the scope of an alternate is not clearly defined, bidders are left to make assumptions about the intent and scope of the alternate. Misinterpretation by a bidder can result in a cost proposal which compromises the value of the process and the results.

The number and extent of alternates should be minimized. Time constraints inherent in the competitive bid process, amplify the opportunity for error which can be punitive to both the bidder and the Owner. It is generally acknowledged that a fair and responsive bid is better for both the Owner and the Contractor rather than recovering from a bidding error.

TAGS: Alternate.

Glossary Terms for the Best Practices Guide

History of Recommendation:
Reviewed July, 2010
Revised March, 1995
Reviewed April, 1987
Reviewed September, 1985
Revised November, 1977
Revised March, 1975

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