Project Management

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Topics: Construction, Consulting, Estimating, PMO
Do You Know the Entire Contract – Part 4
Critical Components in Information For Bidders - Bid Requirements

This is the 4th in a series of discussions that is intended to prompt Project Teams to be aware of the entire contract document, including Information For Bidders (IFB), General Conditions/Terms and Conditions (GCs) and the Technical Requirements [Specifications and Drawings.]

Even with a standard form contract, it is important the Buyer’s Project Manager, Contracting Officer, technical representatives and PM support services (scheduler and estimator) verify content or provide input that ensure the contract is complete and executable within the Buyer’s organizational assets and business processes.

In order to assure an expeditious and fair review of bids, the Buyer will identify the expectations for the bid documents submitted from potential bidders. While some contracts may simply identify a single price sheet signed the bidder, the complexity of the contracts may require more information to assure the Buyer is confident the bidder understands the scope of work.

IFB – Bid Requirements: Requirements, instructions and Schedules (forms) are contained in the Information for Bidders section of the standard form contract document. This section identifies the content, format, and forms required in the Seller’s bid documents. This typically includes bid cost breakdown, schedule of values, corporate brochures, corporate licenses and certifications, resumes of key personnel, recent project list, and questionnaires and affidavits regarding contract defaults or litigations.

In publically bid contracts, the requirements also include the bid evaluation criteria used by the Buyer to review and assess the Sellers’ bids. For Invitation For Bid (IFB) procurements, the award criteria is simply the lowest responsive responsible bidder. For Request For Proposal (RFP) procurements, the award criteria is listed in order from most important to least important, and typically include a combination of cost, technical response and understanding of work, project experience, qualifications, and management team.

For construction in the rail transit domain, the bid requirements may include a management plan, quality plan, descriptions and product data for major equipment and systems, and summary level bar chart schedule.

TIP: Bid cost breakdown and schedule of values should be aligned with the Buyer’s contract cost estimate. This will ensure expeditious due diligent review of bids for completeness and reasonableness.

TIP: Seller’s must submit all information in bid requirements to be evaluated as responsive. This ensures that their bid will enter the next phase for evaluating responsibility for the work.

TIP: Buyer’s responsibility checks on Sellers’ bids includes reference checks on recently completed contracts as well as a review of Buyer’s internal performance reviews of the Sellers’ performance on previous contracts, and expert review of corporate financial reports and litigation or legal actions.

TIP: Certifications in the technical specifications should be verified by Buyers prior to award to the Seller [prime contractor] or prior to post-award approval of Seller’s subcontractors.

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"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

- Francis Bacon