The competition for public works projects in New Jersey can be intense. Even if a company comes in as the lowest bidder, it may ultimately lose the contract if bidding documents are defective or incomplete.
While some minor irregularities may be waivable, a public entity will likely reject a bid if it does not meet five specific documentation requirements.
The five mandatory elements of a public works bid
Under New Jersey law, the following items are non-waivable bid requirements for public works projects:
- A bid bond, or bid guarantee, payable to the contracting party that ensures the bidder will perform the work if selected
- A certificate that confirms that a surety company has agreed to provide the contractor with a bond in the amount required in the project specifications or advertisement
- A statement of corporate ownership, including information about all significant stockholders and partners
- A document, which the contracting party has provided, acknowledging that the bidder has received any changes or additions to the bid documents or project advertisement
- A list of all subcontractors the bidder plans to employ for either general or specific types of construction work, including electrical, plumbing, gas, steam/hot water systems, structural steel and ornamental ironwork
The consequences of an incomplete bid
Failure to submit the above items or failure to complete them correctly may result in a fatally defective bid. Even if the company secures the lowest bid initially, a second or third low bidder may be able to challenge the award if it can show that the apparent lowest bid is, in fact, defective.
These mandatory requirements make it essential that contractors review bidding documents thoroughly. Additionally, a second-lowest bidder may want to examine the lowest bid package in case it contains any defects that may be disqualifying.