Construction Bid Protests
The only chance of success a construction bid protester has is to meet all of the requirements timely and precisely.
What Are Construction Bid Protests?
Construction projects for state and local government entities such as public schools, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and county governments follow general rules and requirements for competitive bidding amongst contractors, as well as specific rules that vary greatly between different jurisdictions and entities. These competitive bidding processes are intended to serve the strong public interest in avoiding overly expensive construction services and unqualified contractors.
Yet sometimes, due to mistake, misunderstanding, or even improper bias or favor, a public entity announces its intention to award a construction project contract to the wrong contractor. In these circumstances, relief may be gained through the bid protest process. Although the process varies between different jurisdictions and entities, generally the public entity issues a public notice of its intent to award the contract to a particular bidder, as well as the bids of the other bidders, and that notice starts a series of very tight deadlines for an aggrieved bidder to initiate and proceed with the bid protest.
What is the Process for a Construction Bid Protest?
Usually, a bid protester must notify the public entity of its intent to protest a notice of intent to award, and then furnish sufficient information to support the reasons the protester believes the intent to award is in error. Often, submission of such documents is followed by a hearing. If the administrative process fails for any number of reasons, a bid protester might consider filing suit in an appropriate court for an emergency injunction to prevent the public entity from awarding the bid as intended.
Due to the tight deadlines, prospective bid protesters should find an attorney immediately upon issuance of a notice of intent to award contract and be prepared for a quick and intensive battle. Whether the public entity swiftly resolves the bid protest administratively, or requires the initiation of a lawsuit, the only chance of success a bid protester has is to meet all of the requirements timely and precisely.
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