Soliciting Bids

Volume 5, Chapter 5

INTRODUCTION

Bids may be solicited only after the conditions prerequisite to bidding have been met. See Chapter 3[I:3]. This chapter sets forth the general procedures for soliciting of bids. Requirements for formal vs. informal competitive bidding are discussed in 1.1 (negotiated contracting is discussed in 1.3).

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5.1 SOLICITING FORMAL COMPETITIVE BIDS

References: Public Contract Code, State of California, Sections 10500-10506.

The general procedures for soliciting of formal competitive bids are outlined below. (See also RD3.1, Permission to Solicit Bids.)

5.1.1 Advertising for Bids

References:

Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

Advertisement for Bids. The Advertisement for Bids provides public notice to contractors, subcontractors, and members of the general public about the project. The requirements of the Advertisement for Bids are established by Public Contract Code section 10502 and by University policy. For approved language, see contract documents in Volume 4 of the Facilities Manual. Detailed advertising requirements are provided in Chapter 1. See 1.1.

Bid Deadline. The term "Bid Deadline" means the date and time designated in the Advertisement for Bids as the last date and time for receipt of bids. The “Bid Deadline” may be revised by addenda.

5.1.2 Issuing Bidding Documents

References:

Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

Bidders may obtain complete sets of the bidding documents from the issuing office designated in the Advertisement for Bids for the sum stated therein, if required. Documents are only available in full sets and shall not be returned.

5.1.3 Pre-Bid Conference

References:

Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

The Instructions to Bidders informs bidders that they must attend a pre-bid conference, in its entirety, to familiarize themselves with contract requirements. Bidders are required to sign an attendance list which is used to determine if bidders have met the attendance requirement. A project site visit (or job-walk) is also a part of the pre-bid conference. At the conference:

  • Discuss the contract documents, and highlight major requirements.
  • When necessary, review major or unusual conditions of the contract documents.
  • Require the bidders to visit the project site with the University's Representative (the person or firm identified in the Agreement).
  • Explain the University's Policy to Ensure Equal Opportunity in University Business Contracting (see FM1:5.1).

A bid submitted by a contractor failing to meet the pre-bid conference attendance requirement is considered non responsive (see 4.1), and must be refused or returned unopened to bidder.

If questions that require interpretation by the University's Representative arise at the pre-bid conference, prepare and issue an addendum clarifying the issues (see 5.3).

5.1.4 Modification or Withdrawal of Bids Before the Bid Deadline

References:

Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

A bidder may modify or withdraw a submitted competitive bid before the bid deadline by giving notice to the office receiving bids, at the place designated for receipt of bids. The notice may be made by any of the methods required for bid submittal set forth in the Instructions to Bidders. A change must be worded so the amount of the original bid is not revealed.

A withdrawn bid may be resubmitted up to the bid deadline, provided the resubmitted bid conforms with the bidding requirements.

5.1.5 Establishment of Procedure for Selection of Alternates

References:

Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

Facility will conduct the bid opening and evaluation of alternates in accordance with a procedure that either:

  1. prescribes, prior to the time of Bid opening, the order in which Alternates will be selected; OR
  2. prevents, before the determination of the apparent low Bidder has been made, information that would identify which Bid belongs to which Bidder from being revealed to the representative of the University selecting the Alternates to be used in determining the low Bidder.

If Facility elects option #1, the Facility may reveal identities of the Bidders at the Bid Opening. However, the Facility must prepare the selection procedure prior to Bid Opening and shall place a copy of the procedure in the project files.

If Facility elects option #2, the Facility may NOT reveal which Bid belongs to which Bidder until the representative of the University selects the Alternates to be used in determining the low Bidder. The Facility will publicly disclose the identity of each Bidder that submitted a Bid and the amount of each such Bid after the determination of the apparent low Bidder has been made. An acceptable process would be to have a contracts administrator open all bids and record pricing information on a summary sheet identifying the bidders by letter e.g. “Bidder A”, “Bidder B”, etc. This summary sheet would be provided to the representative of the University making the decision concerning alternates to be accepted.

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5.2 SOLICITING INFORMAL COMPETITIVE BIDS

Detailed solicitation requirements are provided in Chapter 1. See 1.1. When informal bidding is used, the Facility must preclude favoritism in the bidding process. A list of proposed projects and their bidding times should be available for all interested contractors, and various contractor organizations should be notified of this list. In addition, an impartial method must be used for selecting contractors who are to receive bid solicitations. Suggested methods are to (1) regularly solicit bids from responsible contractors who have expressed interest in receiving informal bids, or (2) select contractors on a rotation basis from a pool of responsible contractors eligible to receive such bids, if only three bids are routinely solicited.

All solicitations for informal bidding must take into account the University Policy to Ensure Equal Opportunity in Business Contracting. Routinely solicit bids from small disadvantaged, women's, and disabled veteran business enterprises.

Send a Request for Bid along with a set of the Brief Form bidding documents to at least three contractors (see FM4[II]).

5.2.1 Withdrawal of Bids Before the Bid Deadline

A bidder may withdraw a submitted informal bid before the bid deadline by giving notice to the office receiving bids, at the place designated for receipt of bids.

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5.3 ADDENDA

References:

Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

Addenda (see RD3.2) are written text and drawings, if required, that modify or interpret the bidding documents including the Drawings and Specifications issued prior to the bid deadline. Addenda are issued after the bidding documents have been issued to bidders. Response to questions raised at the pre-bid conference or at another time during the bidding period may require the issuance of addenda (see 5.1.3).

Planholders. A planholder is any person or entity who is known by the Facility to have received a complete set of bidding documents and who has provided a street address for receipt of any written pre-bid communications (e.g. addenda).

Issuing Addenda. Addenda are prepared by the University's Representative and the Facility. Only the Facility office that issued the bidding documents may issue addenda. Addenda are sent to planholders by a means that provides a proof of receipt. In the case of informal bidding, addenda are sent to those who have been sent a Request for Bid.

Issue addenda so they are received by all Planholders at approximately the same time, and are received no later than three business days prior to the bid deadline. An Addendum to change the bid deadline to a later date or to withdraw the solicitation of bids may be sent at any time before the bid deadline.

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Revised February 10, 2012 (Change # FM 12-001-C)

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