Correction of a bid mistake after bids have been opened and prices revealed is controversial. The financial interests of other bidders, who did not make mistakes when preparing their bids, are at stake. More fundamentally, the integrity of the competitive bidding system is unavoidably called into question.
The Mississippi Supreme Court recently addressed a situation in which the apparent low bidder acknowledged receipt of an amendment to the bid solicitation, which doubled the required quantities of rip rap and aggregate, but mistakenly used the original bid form rather than the amended bid form. The bidder said the line item totals for the items in question reflected its intended price for the increased quantities. The court had to decide whether the bid should have been disqualified or corrected and accepted as the low bid.
The other case in this issue involved a subcontract arbitration clause that called for arbitration only when the matter in question was required to be arbitrated between the prime contractor and the project owner. The prime contract included the broad “all disputes” arbitration clause of the AIA general conditions. The Nevada Supreme Court was asked if the limitation in the subcontract arbitration clause had any real meaning.