The basis, purpose and essential principles of competitive bidding are reviewed, and competitive bidding requirements for federal and federally aided highway construction contracts are examined. The scope of State competitive bidding laws, the advertisement for bids and the preparation of bids, as well as the submission of bids and award of contract, and the effect of bid mistakes in contract awards are also covered. It is noted that there are difficulties in giving full effect to the principle that public construction contracts must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder as determined by open competition. The body of statutory and administrative law that prescribes the competitive bidding procedures has become extensive and complex because of provisions that reflect the responsibilities of state and Federal highway agencies and their funding commitments. Yet the record of the past 20 years documents the success of its implementation by the government and the construction industry. The question is considered whether the present system has served the public regarding the long-range interest in developing a broad, vigorous and financially sound construction industry. It is noted that there has been little study of the economic impact of the competitive bidding system on the construction industry or the public investment in highways. Some analysts believe that many of the traditional assumptions about highway construction contracts are not warranted if the contracting process is examined closely.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00178347
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 14 1978 12:00AM