In North Carolina, procuring government building contracts can be incredibly lucrative for your contracting business. Not only are these projects important, they are hotly contested through the public bidding system. A Charlotte construction lien attorney discussed parts of this process in parts one and two, including the government’s process for developing project specifications, soliciting bids, receiving bids, and opening bids. Now, we will discuss how your local government evaluates bids, determines a successful bid, and awards a contract.
The government utilizes a standardized approach to evaluating bids whether informal or formal. They will be tasked with answering important questions such as:
- Does this bid conform to the project specifications?
- Does this bid meet the relevant legal requirements?
- Is the bid affordable?
- Is the bidder responsive?
- Is the bidder responsible?
Of course, all bidders must be licensed to oversee a public construction project costing more than $30,000. The local government may take on the role of general contractor if desired. However, in order for this to happen, the local government is required to submit an owner-contractor affidavit to the local building inspector. The building inspector will then gauge the local government’s ability to act as its own general contractor.
Bids that fall in the informal range will be submitted to government records. Formal bids are typically summarized in the form of bid tabulations. Local governments are barred from negotiating with bidders in the formal range unless the proposed project cost exceeds available funding.
Determining a Successful Bidder
There are two important concepts every contractor in North Carolina should understand before submitting a bid to a government project.
Standard of Award: Whether a bid falls in the informal or formal range, the government is required to award the contract to the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder. This award also considers factors like quality, performance, and timeliness.
Waiving Deviations: If a bid submittal contains minor deviations or defects, it may still qualify. However, deviations in materials or statutory requirements will be barred from award.
Awarding the Contract
Projects that fall below the informal bidding range (less than $30,000) do not require approval from a relevant governing board unless otherwise dictated by local policy. Contracts may be awarded by any authorized official or employee in place of the local government. Projects in the informal bidding range follow similar stipulations. On the other hand, bids in the formal range require approval from the governing board exclusively.
To learn more about bidding requirements for construction and repair contracts in North Carolina, read part four.
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.