Reviewing and Evaluating Bids

Volume 5, Chapter 7


After competitive bids have been opened and read, and informal bids have been tabulated, the Facility must review them to determine if they are "responsive" (see 7.1). After all bids have been reviewed for responsiveness, the Facility determines the apparent lowest bidder.

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Construction contracts must be awarded to the lowest "responsible" bidder (see 4.1). The responsibility of the bidder should be distinguished from the responsiveness of the bid: bidder responsibility relates to the bidder's ability to satisfactorily perform the work whereas responsiveness of the bid relates to the form of the bid. A responsive bid is one that materially complies with the form or content requirements of the bidding documents. Material irregularities in a bid may not be waived and make it nonresponsive (see 7.1.1).

The Bid Form Check-Off List is designed to assist the Facility in determining if a bid is responsive (see 6.3.1 and 6.5.1).

Bidder Notification. If a bid is determined to be nonresponsive, give written notice to the bidder stating that the bid is nonresponsive, with the reasons therefore, and will not be considered for award.

7.1.1 Bid Irregularities


    - Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

Examples of bid irregularities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Incomplete submittals
  • Unsigned bids
  • Nonrequired attachments or related documents
  • Qualifications made to the bid
  • Stipulations made on the Bid Form
  • Discrepancies
  • Submittals on unauthorized forms
  • Late or mishandled bids
  • Claimed mistakes

The Instructions to Bidders allows the University to waive nonmaterial irregularities in a bid. Generally, nonmaterial irregularities are those that substantially comply with the bid requirements and do not affect the bid price, time, or conditions.

Material irregularities in the form or content of a bid affect the bid price or time and give the bidder making the irregularity an advantage or benefit over another bidder. Material irregularities may not be waived.

Refer bid irregularities to the Office of the General Counsel. General Counsel will determine if the irregularity can be waived.

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Protests may result from the University's determination that a bid is nonresponsive or from a bidder's claim that another bidder's bid is nonresponsive. In either event, follow the procedures for resolving a bidder protest (see 9.1).

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After all bids have been reviewed for responsiveness (see 7.1), the Facility prepares a Bid Summary to determine the lowest bidder (see 7.3.1). A Bid Summary is prepared for both competitive and informal bids.

7.3.1 Preparing the Bid Summary


Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

The Bid Summary (see RD1.7) is used to document the determination of the lowest bidder and is used along with contract execution and award procedures. All items in the Bid Summary are tabulated from data contained in the Bid Form.

Enter amounts on the Bid Summary for the "Lump-Sum Base Bid," "Unit Prices," "Compensation for Delay," and "Alternates."

7.3.2 Alternates


    - Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

As defined in the Instructions to Bidders, the term "alternate" means a proposed change in the work, as described in the bidding documents, which, if accepted, may result in a change to either the contract sum, contract time, or both.

The University has the right to accept alternates in any order or combination, unless otherwise specifically provided in the bidding documents, and to determine the lowest bidder on the basis of the sum of the "Lump-Sum Base Bid," "Unit Prices," "Compensation for Delay," and "Accepted Alternates."

7.3.3 Separate Bids and Combined Bids

If the Bid Form requests separate bids for two or more portions of the work, and a combined bid for all portions, follow the award requirements stated in the Supplementary Instructions to Bidders. The Facility may have the option to award contracts for each separate bid, or the Facility may be required to award a contract to the low combined bid.


The lowest responsible bidder is determined by considering all of the following:

  1. Bidder responsibility (see 4.1).
  2. The sum of the "Lump-Sum Base Bid," "Unit Prices," "Compensation for Delay," and "Accepted Alternates," taken from entries made on the Bid Form and compiled in the Bid Summary (see 7.3.1).
  3. Other items required by the bidding documents.

However, if one or more bids is equal to the lowest bid, and at least one of those bidders is a Small Business (SBE), or a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE), the contract shall be awarded to the SBE or DVBE entity. If there is more than one SBE or DVBE entity, then the contract shall be awarded by virtue of a lottery amongst those entities. If none of the bids tied for lowest bid is an SBE or DVBE entity, then the contract shall be awarded by lottery to one of the lowest bidders.

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    - Long Form, Instructions to Bidders.

All bids may be rejected if acceptance of the lowest responsible bid is not in the best interest of the University. For example, all bids may be rejected if the lowest responsible bid were in excess of the University's Construction Budget.

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Revised February 12, 2013 (Change No. FM 13-001-C)

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