We are picking up where we left off in part one with our discussion of North Carolina’s prequalification policy on public construction projects. Contractors in the Tar Heel State must be familiar with this process to not only secure future projects, but also to protect their rights in the event that they are unfairly denied a chance to bid. If you are ever unsure of how to proceed with the bidding process, consult with a Greensboro contractor attorney from Cotney Construction Law.
The Application Process
First, a prequalification committee is selected to determine bidder eligibility. The committee goes about this by employing an “objective assessment process form” that uses the criteria and scoring system discussed in part one. Bidders will either be approved or denied based on their experience, timeliness, safety history, and legal authorization, among other qualifications.
All told, this process should be completed at least two months prior to bidding taking place. Bidders are then notified of the decision and reasoning behind it. Contractors that have been denied can request an informal meeting to discuss the decision. However, this meeting is nothing more than a discussion on the decision process. In order to appeal a decision, a bidder will have to follow the below process.
The Appeals Process
Once notified, a bidder that has been denied prequalification has only three business days to protest the decision. They can do this by submitting a response along with any supporting documents stating why the decision should be appealed. This may include the bidder’s past work experience on similar projects or proof that all prequalification criteria were met. Within five business days, the prequalification committee or Prequalification Official should review the appeal. The bidder will then be notified if they may bid or if the appeal was denied. Either way, this decision is final.
If you’ve gone through the appeal process and have been denied the chance to bid on a project, there are few options available to you. You can move on and apply what you’ve learned to your next project, but what if there isn’t one? The unpredictable nature of the construction industry means that success and failure can often hinge on a single project.
Even if you successfully appeal the committee’s decision, the project may still be awarded through bias to a competitor. For these reasons, you should consult with an attorney whenever you are concerned that your rights are being infringed upon. Whether you’re appealing a decision or protesting a bid, partner with an aggressive Greensboro contractor lawyer that can fight on your behalf.
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.