AE Blog - Risk Management Topic – Bidding Process
A significant business risk can occur when a design professional accepts responsibility for managing the bidding process. If done improperly, the process can result in a protest by one or more of the bidders, requiring a rebid. The client will likely expect that the design professional will undertake the rebidding process without cost to the client.
Here are some thoughts on carrying out a successful bidding process that minimizes the risk of a protest:
- In the Instructions to Bidders, identify the person to whom questions during bidding are to be asked – Include contact information – FAX No. and e-mail address. State that no questions will be answered verbally. Provide a cut-off date for questions.
- When providing written response to questions, repeat the question exactly as submitted without any editing.
- Provide written answers to questions to all bidders at the same time. This is usually done by posting the answers to the Owner’s website.
- Answers that revise quantities, schedule, specifications, drawings, or bid date usually require an Addendum. State whether an Addendum will be issued in connection with the answer.
- Allow enough time for bidders to adjust bids based on answered questions. If questions are received too late, consider issuing an Addendum revising the bid date to provide additional time.
- Issue a new bid form with each addendum including acknowledgment of having received all addenda.
- Review the above process with your client prior to advertising for bids.
Reserve time in your calendar for answering bidder’s questions, most of which will occur just before the bid date.
This process may seem excessive, depending on the complexity, size, and common practices of your client. However, having to rebid a project is a huge waste of everyone’s time, energy, and money!