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The Differences Between Invitation to Bid and Request for Proposal

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When bidding on federal construction projects, your company will most likely be dealing with one of two forms of bid procurement: an invitation to bid or a request for proposal. While similar, these methods are different enough to cause severe financial problems for firms that fail to properly submit or protest a bid. To ensure that your rights are protected throughout the bidding process, consult with a Charlotte bid protest lawyer from Cotney Construction Law. 

Invitation to Bid 

Invitations to bid are utilized when there is little to no guesswork as far as how the project will be completed. Essentially, every bidder can produce the same product, so the only thing that separates them is the cost of their services. Most government contracts are procured with an invitation to bid, and for good reason. Bids are sealed in envelopes and opened publicly. The government contract is awarded to the lowest bidder regardless of their experience or reputation. This is done to remove bias from the selection process and to promote fair competition. 

Request for Proposals

Unlike an invitation to bid, a request for proposals (RFP) is used on more demanding and complex construction projects. These projects require a high degree of technical expertise. As a result, experience and approach are considered in addition to the price. The advantage of an RFP is that it leads to a superior final product. However, it also leads to a much longer selection process and the potential for negotiations to break down.  

The Problems They Share 

Regardless of the procurement process, there will always be problems. With both methods, especially with an invitation to bid, there is added pressure for contractors to bid as low as possible. If a contractor were to bid too low on a project, they may be beholden to a price that cannot cover their operating costs, which will surely lead to delays, bankruptcy, and legal disputes. 

In addition, regardless of the procurement method, there is always room for bias. A sealed envelope isn’t going to stop a government entity from picking the contractor they prefer, even if that contractor is unqualified. For these reasons, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney if you believe that a bid was awarded unfairly. When deciding on whether or not to move forward with a bid protest, do so with the counsel of an experienced Charlotte bid protest attorney from Cotney Construction Law. 

If you would like to speak with a Charlotte bid protest lawyer, please contact us today.

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.