Bidding on the seemingly endless stream of federal construction projects can be intimidating for those who have never bid on a project before. How can you be certain the project is profitable? Are you qualified to work on a project you bid on? What happens if you can’t complete the project?
At Cotney Construction Law, our Nashville construction lawyers have years of experience helping construction professionals navigate the bidding process to get the best projects. Our team can help you avoid bidding on a project that leads to a dispute. In part one of this two-part series, we will examine different ways to bid on federal projects and explore the federal process for awarding design contracts.
How to Bid
There are a number of ways to bid on federal construction projects, but the two most common ways can be accessed online from your computer. Bidding on federal construction projects online is simple, which makes it easy to become overeager and post too many bids, so start slow.
- Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) and the System for Award Management (SAM): The General Services Administration (GSA) posts all design and construction contracting opportunities on FedBizOpps. However, contractors must first register with SAM to become eligible to receive electronically distributed drawings and specifications for projects.
- Third Party Bid Opportunities: There are many third-party websites that host extensive listings of bid opportunities. One such website published over 176,500 bids last year alone. Right now, many of these websites have hundreds of active listings.
Design Acquisition on FedBizOpps
The qualifications-based system designated in the Brooks Act (Public Law 92-582) and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) ranks design services. Technical submissions are reviewed, with the strongest technical proposals earning interviews. The qualifications of all finalists are reviewed again before choosing a winner and proceeding to negotiations. If the government and firm fail to agree on a contract, the government has the right to offer the contract to the next most qualified firm. GSA’s thorough process awards Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity, and small project contracts to the winner. For major projects, a slightly altered system is utilized that places more emphasis on the lead designer. This process takes six to twelve months.
Being skeptical of the bidding system for federal contracts is natural. Do you really know how the system works? Bidding on federal construction projects can be confusing, but our Nashville construction attorneys can guide you through the bidding process. In part two, we will examine how construction contract acquisition, performance and payment bonds, and penalties for breaching bonds relate to the bidding process.
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.