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ConstructionPro Week, Volume: 4 - Issue: 21 - 05/29/2015

Is It Fair to Require Detailed Schedules with Bid Submittal?

By Bruce Jervis

 

It is common for construction contracts to require a detailed, as-planned construction schedule for a project. This schedule is typically required within a stipulated number of days after contract award and is subject to owner approval. But some public contract solicitations are now requiring detailed construction schedules before contract award, submitted with a bid or proposal. The proposed schedule is treated as a technical evaluation factor or a requirement for bid responsiveness.

 

In a recent federal procurement, an aspiring contractor submitted a proposed schedule depicting more than 1,000 construction activities, each with a start and finish date. Two of those activities were out of sequence from an express requirement of the solicitation – an existing storm drain had to remain operational until installation of a new box culvert. The proposal was rejected as unacceptable.

 

Preparing a detailed construction schedule is expensive and time consuming. It is one thing if a contractor is awarded a contract and the as-planned schedule is a requirement of contract performance. It is another thing altogether to prepare the schedule simply to compete for the contract. And don’t cut any corners – any deficiency in the schedule will be grounds for bid rejection. What is your opinion? Is it fair and appropriate to place this burden on bidders?

 

COMMENTS

I understand the need for Public facilities to understand if contractor is qualified to bid. And sometimes the only way to know is if contractor understands the urgency of completion. Everyone can bid on public projects, so everyone comes up with some factor that will pass only qualified contractors. 2 out of 1000 activities should not disqualify unless there were other items of contention...
Posted by: Ramesh Butani - Friday, May 29, 2015 11:32 AM


That's ridiculous, for standard construction projects. Of course, a contractor will have a rough idea of idea of construction scheduling in order to complete his/her estimate and submit a bid, but expecting a detailed schedule is an unreasonable burden on the bidders and not a prudent use of public funds (your bids will be higher to compensate for such requirements). The detailed schedule should come after award. And I speak as a former Federal Government COR.

Now, if it's a design-build contract, or if there are unusual time constraints, it may be reasonable to expect a contractor to submit a rough schedule showing how they propose to meet the time constraints. It might show design time (if applicable), mobilization, earthwork, foundations, the larger erection components, and finish work. But not a highly detailed schedule.
Posted by: Kathie - Friday, May 29, 2015 11:42 AM


I always ask for a construction schedule as part of the RFP package because it tells me how the bidder will approach this job and his understanding of the project scope.
Posted by: Dave McClure - Friday, May 29, 2015 12:31 PM


The decision is subject to two separate considerations: 1) whether the bid was responsive - it was not; and 2) whether there was a competitive, responsive bid with a reasonably comparable price. If there was, it was entirely reasonable for the owner to reject the non-responsive bid and accept the responsive bid with a reasonably comparable price.

The possibility exist that the schedule sequence in the rejected was a deliberate attempt to require a high priced change order for re-sequencing the schedule, in which case rejection is perfectly appropriate.
Posted by: James G. McConnell - Friday, May 29, 2015 12:35 PM


The decision is subject to two separate considerations: 1) whether the bid was responsive - it was not; and 2) whether there was a competitive, responsive bid with a reasonably comparable price. If there was, it was entirely reasonable for the owner to reject the non-responsive bid and accept the responsive bid with a reasonably comparable price.

The possibility exist that the schedule sequence in the rejected was a deliberate attempt to require a high priced change order for re-sequencing the schedule, in which case rejection is perfectly appropriate.
Posted by: James G. McConnell - Friday, May 29, 2015 12:35 PM


2 out of 1,000 items; .002%, and considered non-responsive. Ridiculous.

No wonder hammers cost the government $800.
Posted by: R Phillips - Friday, May 29, 2015 12:47 PM


If the Owner requires a specific sequence of work for the entire contract period, then the owner's schedule should be put in the documents in full detail. In this case it appears that a portion of scheduling was, "...an existing storm drain had to remain operational until installation of a new box culvert." Even so, a missed sequence, if not egregious, could easily be corrected upon review by the owner. There are several ways to vet a qualified contractor after bid (references, bonding, etc.). I concur with the others that think a contractor generated fully detailed schedule prior to work is a waste of time for all bidders and increases the bid. It could also have ramifications regarding 'means and methods'.
Posted by: W.Jody Heady, AIA - Friday, May 29, 2015 1:01 PM


Its is not only detailed schedule there are several other requirements that should not be in the technical proposal with bid submittal. The Government places undue financial burden especially on small businesses by imposing unnecessary requirement such as the detailed schedule without any guarantee of any contract award or compensation for the information provided. I feel sorry for the contractor whose proposal was rejected for two out of sequence activities. Technical proposals have become just an subjective tool to select the chosen ones, and eliminate other bidders resulting in unfair and non competitive bidding.
Posted by: Bhavi Raju - Friday, May 29, 2015 2:34 PM


Bid submittal comprised of all estimates which best thoughts by the contractor and if theres an item that was missed during qty take-off then that's the risk taken by the contractor. Same goes on considering its corresponding bid schedule; a wrong logic sequence does not mean the project cannot be done on particular time and should not disqualify the bidder.
Posted by: J.Lawas - Saturday, May 30, 2015 1:15 AM


I have to agree with James G. McConnell's assesment that this was not responsive. Our program is contemplating requiring CPM schedules in the bid documents, but we are hesitent to add prejudice in "lowest bidder" procurement where it is often difficult to disqualify the lowest bid. We have stripped any "Suggested Schedules" from our contracts since historically they have been used against us by contractors. Similarily, acceptance of a contractor with a bust in the schedule may open us up to the contract starting out with a challange to the acceptance of the bid schedule. What language can you put in a contract that protects the owner from errors submitted during the bid?
Posted by: Thomas Long - Tuesday, June 02, 2015 8:23 AM










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