The purchasing agent is authorized to prequalify bidders prior to any solicitation of bids, whether for goods, services, insurance or construction, by requiring prospective bidders to submit such information as the purchasing agent shall deem appropriate, including samples, financial reports and references; provided, however, that the opportunity to prequalify shall be given to any prospective bidder who has not been suspended or debarred under this policy.
The purchasing agent may refuse to prequalify any prospective contractor, provided the refusal is authorized by the County and the written reasons for refusing to prequalify are made a part of the record in each case. The decision of the County shall be final.
In considering any request for prequalification, the purchasing agent shall determine whether there is reason to believe that the bidder possesses the management, financial soundness and history of performance which indicate apparent ability to successfully complete the plans and specifications of the invitations for bid. The purchasing agent may employ standard forms designed to elicit necessary information or may design other forms for that purpose.
Prequalification of a bidder shall not constitute a conclusive determination that the bidder is responsible, and such bidder may be rejected as nonresponsible on the basis of subsequently discovered information.
Failure of a bidder to prequalify with respect to a given procurement shall not bar the bidder from seeking prequalification as to future procurements, or from bidding on procurements which do not require prequalification.
Editor's Note: See Virginia Code § 2.2-4317.
Notice inviting sealed bids shall be published once, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the County, at least 10 days preceding the last day set for the receipt of bids. Such newspaper notice shall include a general description of the articles to be purchased or sold, shall state where bid blanks and specifications may be secured and the time and place for opening bids.
The purchasing agent shall solicit sealed bids from all responsible prospective suppliers who have requested their names to be added to a bidders' list which the agent shall maintain, by sending such notice as will acquaint them with the proposed purchase or sale. In any case, invitations sent to the vendors on the bidders' list shall be limited to commodities that are similar in character and ordinarily handled by the trade group to which the invitations are sent.
The purchasing agent shall also advertise all pending purchases or sales by notice posted on an appropriate public bulletin board.
Unless otherwise provided in the invitation to bid, the name of a certain brand, make or manufacturer does not restrict bidders to the specific brand, make or manufacturer named. It conveys the general style, type, character and quality of the article desired and any article which the County, in its sole discretion, determines to be the equal of that specified, considering quality, workmanship, economy of operation and suitability for the purpose intended, shall be accepted.
Editor's Note: See Virginia Code § 2.2-4315.
For complex equipment, supplies, construction or repair, prebid conferences with prospective bidders are desirable after draft specifications have been prepared. Such conferences help to detect unclear provisions and tend to widen competition by removing unnecessarily restrictive language. Conferences on purchasing bids will be called by the purchasing agent and attended by the appropriate departmental representative.
Except in cases of emergency, all bids or proposals for construction in excess of $100,000 shall be accompanied by a bid bond, with corporate surety from a surety company selected by the bidder, which surety is legally authorized to do business in the Commonwealth, as a guarantee that if the contract is awarded to such bidder, the bidder will enter into the contract for the work mentioned in the bid. The amount of such bid bond shall not exceed 5% percent of the amount bid. No forfeiture under such bid bond shall exceed the lesser of the difference between the bid for which the bond was written and the next low bid or the face amount of the bid bond.
At the discretion of the County, bidders for contracts other than those specified in Subsection A above may be required to submit a bid bond, in an amount to be determined by the purchasing agent and specified in the invitation to bid, which shall be forfeited to the County as liquidated damages, upon the bidder's failure to execute a contract awarded to him or upon the bidder's failure to furnish any required performance or payment bond in connection with a contract awarded to him.
Editor's Note: See Virginia Code § 2.2-4336.
In lieu of a bid bond, a bidder may furnish alternate security as provided in § 16-14F upon written authorization by the County.
Editor's Note: See Virginia Code § 2.2-4338.
Bids shall be opened publicly in the presence of one or more witnesses at the time and place designated in the invitation for bids. The amount of each bid and such other relevant information as the purchasing agent deems appropriate, together with the name of each bidder, shall be tabulated and recorded. A tabulation of all bids received shall be posted for public inspection.
A bidder for a public construction contract, other than a contract for construction or maintenance of public highways, may withdraw his bid from consideration, if the price bid was substantially lower than the other bids due solely to a mistake therein, provided the bid was submitted in good faith and the mistake was a clerical mistake as opposed to a judgment mistake, and was actually due to an unintentional arithmetic error or an unintentional omission of a quantity of work, labor or material made directly in the compilation of a bid, which unintentional arithmetic error or unintentional omission can be clearly shown by objective evidence drawn from inspection of original work papers, documents and materials used in the preparation of the bid sought to be withdrawn. If a bid contains both clerical and judgment mistakes, a bidder may withdraw his bid from consideration if the price bid would have been substantially lower than the other bids due solely to the clerical mistake that was an unintentional arithmetic error or an unintentional omission of a quantity of work, labor or material made directly in the compilation of a bid, which shall be clearly shown by objective evidence drawn from inspection of original work papers, documents and materials used in the preparation of the bid sought to be withdrawn. The procedure for such bid withdrawal shall be stated in the advertisement for bids and shall be as follows: Any bidder claiming the right to withdraw his bid shall give notice in writing of this claim of right to withdraw his bid within two business days after the conclusion of the bid opening procedure.
The procedures for the withdrawal of bids of other than construction contracts shall be accomplished in a manner substantially similar to those utilized in Subsection A above.
No bid may be withdrawn under this section when the result would be the awarding of the contract on another bid of the same bidder or of another bidder in which the ownership of the withdrawing bidder is more than 5%.
If a bid is withdrawn under the authority of this section, the lowest remaining responsible bid shall be deemed to be the low bid.
No bidder who is permitted to withdraw a bid shall, for compensation, supply any material or labor to or perform any subcontract or other work agreement for the person to whom the contract is awarded or otherwise benefit, directly or indirectly, from the performance of the project for which the withdrawn bid was submitted.
If the County denies the withdrawal of a bid under the provisions of this section, it shall notify the bidder in writing, stating the reasons for its decision.
Editor's Note: See Virginia Code § 2.2-4330.
In determining the lowest responsible bidder, in addition to the price, the purchasing agent and/or procurement committee shall consider:
The ability, capacity and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service required.
Whether the bidder can perform the contract or provide the service promptly or within the time specified, without delay or interference.
The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience and efficiency of the bidder.
The quality and performance of previous contracts or services.
The previous and existing compliance by the bidder with laws and policies relating to the contract or service.
The sufficiency of the financial resources and ability of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service.
The quality, availability and adaptability of the goods or services to the particular use required.
The ability of the bidder to provide future maintenance and service for the use of the subject of the contract.
The number and scope of conditions attached to the bid.
If any bidder is a resident of any other state which, under its laws, allows a resident contractor of that state a preference, a like preference may be allowed to the lowest responsible bidder who is a resident of Virginia.
No special consideration should be shown to local vendors, but in determining the lowest responsible bidder, consideration should be given to purchase price, availability and cost of parts and service, transportation costs, availability of technical assistance and any other potential costs which may be associated with the purchase.
Editor's Note: See Virginia Code 2.2-4301.
A contract shall be awarded with reasonable promptness, by written notice to the lowest responsible bidder whose bid meets the requirements and criteria set forth in the invitation for bid. In the event all bids for a construction project exceed available funds and the lowest responsive and responsible bid does not exceed such funds by more than 10%, the County may authorize, when time or economic considerations preclude resolicitation of work on a reduced scope, negotiation of an adjustment of the bid price with the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in order to bring the bid within the amount of available funds.
In the case of a tie bid, preference shall be given to goods, services and construction produced in Buchanan County or provided by its residents and thereafter to goods, services and construction produced in Virginia or provided by Virginia residents, if any of such choices are available; otherwise the tie shall be decided by lot.
Editor's Note: See Virginia Code §§ 2.2-4324 and 2.2-4328.