By Bruce Jervis
In public contracting, a bidder must be deemed “responsible” in order to be eligible for contract award. Bidder responsibility relates to financial resources, managerial capability and past experience. Some of these considerations can be stated clearly and measured objectively. Some cannot. Performance on prior projects is one of the more problematic factors.
It is almost inevitable that some of the participants in a contractor’s past projects will have a chip on their shoulder. And it may not be based on actual performance deficiencies. Former employees are not always complimentary. Project owner personnel may resent having been on the losing end of a claim.
In a recent Ohio case, the public project owner’s evaluation team considered the “off-the-record” remarks of an individual who had previously stated he was on a vendetta against the company that had submitted the low bid. The court refused to reverse a nonresponsibility determination, saying it was reluctant to substitute its judgment for that of the project owner.
How do you handle these situations? When confronted with an unflattering or inaccurate review, are you provided with an adequate opportunity to rebut that information or at least present your point of view? I welcome your comments.
Featured in Next Week’s Construction Claims Advisor:
- Claim Notice Requirement Strictly Enforced
- Claim Notice Sufficient Despite Lack of Breakdown
- Project Owner Waived Written Change Order Requirement