Invitations to bids typically outline the requirements and all materials that a bidder must submit to be awarded a project. A simple unilateral mistake could mean the difference of being awarded a job that you cannot fulfill or having your bid rejected. Because a bid mistake could prove to be very costly, contractors must pay special attention to the details of their bid submissions. To ensure that your bids are properly submitted, we highly recommended seeking the advice of a Tampa contractor lawyer who has experience with the public bid process.
In the case of Graham vs. Clyde, 61 So. 2d 656 (Fla. 1952), which dealt with the issue of unilateral mistakes, the Florida Supreme found that bids containing unilateral mistakes are binding. Despite the court’s findings, agencies may allow the withdrawal of a bid if the bid contains mathematical errors, misreading of blueprints, and/or misinterpretations as to the location and amount of work demanded of the project.
Although an agency may give consideration for particular errors, this does not apply when the mistake is based on personal judgement or wrongful assumptions of contractual obligations.
Common Bidding Mistakes
As highly experienced Tampa contractor lawyers, we recommend contractors be especially mindful of some of these common bid mistakes before submitting their bids.
Missed Deadlines & Missing Signatures
All invitations to bids will have a specific date, time, and location by which all bids and proposals are to be submitted. Submitting a bid after this deadline will likely result in its rejection. Most invitations to bids will require the signature of an authorized representative of the bidding company. If a signature is required and one is not provided, this too may cause the bid to be rejected.
Proof of Licensure & Insurance
Almost all invitations to bids will require some type of license. The bidder must be licensed as required by law or by the requirements of the project. Per Florida Statutes 489.103, all state and local agencies must require submission of proof of licensure before a bid can be accepted. Some invitations to bids may also require the bidder to show evidence of their ability to acquire specific insurance coverage and/or performance and payment bonds.
Pricing Issues & Incomplete Packages
The bidders pricing of submitted bids and proposals must be easy to determine by the issuing agency. Any uncertainty or vagueness of the pricing of a submitted bid will likely result in a rejection. On top of the many requirements listed above, some invitations to bids will require a bidder to submit additional information, forms, affidavits, and/or attachments. Failing to provide the agency with the required material will likely lead to a rejection of the submitted bid.
Some bid errors may deem a bid retractable while others may not. Once a bid is submitted, the agency will not allow for any corrections or amendments to a bid. If you have found that a bid has been submitted with errors or are in the process of drafting a bid, it is advisable to solicit the help of an experienced contractor lawyer in Tampa.
To speak with a qualified construction attorney, please call us today at 813.579.3278 or submit our contact request form for more information.
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.