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ConstructionPro Week, Volume: Construction Advisor Today - Issue: 78 - 10/22/2010

Disclosure or Protection of Proprietary information in Proposals

The procurement process frequently brings the need for public transparency into conflict with the need for private confidentiality. Proposal solicitations may require submission of detailed cost and pricing information, as well as descriptions of methods of performance. Failure to include this information will result in rejection of the proposal. But contractors sometimes consider the information proprietary and do not want it shared with competitors.

 

A Georgia court recently ruled a contractor had failed to prove that disclosure of its allocation of costs would reveal trade secrets involving design and methodology. The contractor’s detailed price proposal was therefore not exempt from the state public records statute and was available to the contractor’s competitors. The court stopped short, however, of saying that detailed cost information could never constitute a trade secret.

 

What is your opinion? Where should the line be drawn between public transparency and private business confidentiality? What steps can public project owners and contractors take to protect legitimate trade secrets?

As always, I welcome your comments.

 

Featured in Next Week's Issue of Construction Claims Advisor. . .

  • Contractor Insured by CGL Policy against Subs’ Defective Work
  • Excessive Changes Were Not an Owner Breach
  • Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Removal of Excessive Lien

 

Bruce Jervis, Editor
Construction Claims Advisor

 

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