Losing a bid for a government project can be extremely frustrating and costly for your construction company. When you put in the time and effort to create a bid package, not being selected can feel like a waste of time and resources. Even worse, some projects are unfairly awarded to other construction firms. In these cases, protesting a bid decision is an option that can potentially lead to the contract being awarded to your company; however, there are strict guidelines for what constitutes filing a protest claim.
In this article, a Charlotte bid protest attorney with Cotney Construction Law will discuss several reasons why you should protest an unfavorable bid decision. In order to file a successful claim, it is important that construction firms are aware of the acceptable reasons to challenge a bid decision. If your construction company received an unfavorable bid decision, get the knowledge you need by consulting a Charlotte bid protest lawyer at Cotney Construction Law.
Acceptable Reasons to Protest a Bid Decision
You are required to follow a strict set of guidelines when placing bids for construction contracts. Protesting a bid decision is no different. Contractors in North Carolina who are unsatisfied with the outcome of the bid process can informally bring this to the attention of the government agency who conducted the bid. If this conversation doesn’t result in a favorable outcome, contractors can file a claim and appear in court. It is vital to base your protest claim on the reasons that North Carolina finds to be acceptable for a claim.
Here are four instances when you can protest a bid decision:
1) Unjustifiably Narrow Specifications of the Bidding Procedure
This reason to protest pertains to bids that have unfair specifications provided by the agency during the research and planning phase. If the bid requirements are lacking, this will unjustly discriminate against companies who should not be reasonably expected to adhere to those requirements. In other words, your company will struggle to fulfill the expectations of the project if the specifications provided by the agency are incomplete.
2) Erroneous Acceptance of a Bid
This type of protest is utilized when the government awarded a contract to a company when certain statutory requirements were not fully met. Every project has specific requirements to be considered for procurement, and a company that fails to meet these requirements should be eliminated from consideration. For example, if a competitor failed to meet the deadline to deliver the bid package, they shouldn’t be considered for selection.
3) Failure to Follow Statutory Bidding Procedures
When a government fails to follow the statutory bidding procedures, such as failure to award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder, this is grounds for the bid decision to be challenged. To ensure that bid procedures are being met, partner with a Charlotte contractor attorney on all of your projects. Our construction attorneys are highly experienced at submitting successful bid packages and are extremely knowledgeable of the bid process.
4) Awarding a Contract for Non-Permissible Reasons
This occurs when the government accepts a bid for unwarranted reasons. For example, the contract may be awarded to a firm that wasn’t the lowest qualified bidder. Another example is if a member of the selection committee has a personal connection with the firm that was awarded the bid. Regardless, any contract awarded to a firm for an illegitimate reason can be challenged.
The Categories and Remedies for Claims
Claims can fit into two different categories: state claims, which address issues under the statutes of each state, and federal claims, which address complaints related to your constitutional rights, such as due process.
The three existing remedies for such claims are as follows:
- Declaratory or injunctive relief
- Mandamus (or mandatory injunction)
- Monetary damages
It is essential to know when to apply each specific remedy when pursuing a claim. Consult a Charlotte contractor lawyer to learn more about bid protests and the process of challenging an awarded bid.
Consult a Construction Attorney
Winning bids is essential for every successful contractor. Knowing when and how to protest a construction contract bid decision is a very important skill to have in the competitive world of contract bidding. At Cotney Construction Law, our construction attorneys can help you win more construction bids. We can also represent you in any construction-related legal proceeding, including a bid protest where a contract was unfairly awarded to a competitor.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.