Every contractor should be aware of how to challenge the lowest bid as well as defend themselves from a challenge on their winning bid. As Clearwater construction lawyers, we have enough experience to know and understand the 4 major bid protest rights that every contractor should familiarize themselves with.
1. Is There Competitive Bidding?
One of your firsts steps should be to learn if competitive bidding is required for the contract. If the answer is no, that means the award will likely go to the bidder that is familiar with members of the awarding party. The award will only go to the lowest responsible bidder if there is a statute or city charter that requires it. That being said, competitive bidding is typically required in most city, state, county, and public works projects. However, there are a few exceptions, such as small projects or design-build projects that don’t have competitive bidding.
2. Are There Any Mandatory Bid Protest Procedures?
It is also very important to know if the agency has any requirements pertaining to the bid protest procedures or time restrictions. Typically, the procedures are described in the bidding documents, but you may have to hunt them down in the municipal code.
3. Check for Inaccuracies
If you have been awarded a contract and you find that your award is being protested, it is imperative that you or your representative checks the protester’s bid for inaccuracies and reports them to the agency. If both bids have issues, the agency will usually waive the defects in the winning bid and award the contract to the original winner. On the other hand, if you submitted the second lowest bid and have decided to protest an award, it’s important to check your own bid for inaccuracies prior to submitting a bid protest.
4. Why Bids Are Protested?
There are a few reasons that contractors will decide to protest a bid:
- Was the winning bidder responsive? If even one part of a bid was filled out improperly, the bid should be thrown out. If it’s discovered that an incorrect bid was not thrown out, and instead awarded the contract, you have grounds to protest it.
- Was the winning bid responsible? Does the winning bidder have a history of not completing projects? Are they unlicensed? These are things that declares a bidder as irresponsible, and they should not be awarded a contract.
- Did each bidder get the same information? Every single bidder should receive the same information, and if it’s determined that the winning bidder had more knowledge about the project than you, contact your Clearwater construction attorney today to learn more about protesting the bid.
- Was bias shown? If bias is shown towards the winning bidder, the awarded contract may be protested. No bidder should win a contract because of a personal relationship with any of the evaluators.
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.