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It seems to be well recognized that the Advertisement should state when the work is to be begun and when completed, and this seems to be wise and proper provision; a Contractor whose force is engaged upon a Contract not quite completed may often find it undesirable to bid on work which must start before his other Contract is out of the way. A difference of a few weeks sometimes would make a difference as to whether or not he should bid, and the information is sufficiently valuable so that it ought to appear in the Advertisement of every Contract.
There are sometimes peculiar legal requirements to be observed in connection with the letting of Contracts or in making bids, and in such cases it is often extremely desirable that these provisions should be specified as early as in the Advertisement and not left for the Information for Bidders. The following examples illustrate this point:
a. The usual conditions relating to tendering as prescribed by City By-Law must be strictly complied with, or the tenders will not be entertained.
b. No bid will be considered unless accompanied by a certificate from the City Solicitor that the provisions of an ordinance requiring proposal bonds when the bids exceed in amount five hundred dollars, approved May 25, 1860, have been complied with.
c. All contracts for State highway construction are subject by law to the approval of the State Geological Survey Commission and must be so approved before they can be executed.
d. All bids and the contract shall be subject to all the provisions, terms and conditions of said ordinance and of an Act of the General Assembly of Colorado entitled, “An Act to Provide for the Construction of Local Improvements in Cities of all Classes,” etc., approved April 8, 1899, being Chapter 151 of the Session Laws of 1899.
e. Bidders must have paid their City License in order that their bids may be accepted.
In the case of State or municipal work, or other public work, the services of an attorney are commonly available, and compliance with all technical requirements of law should depend upon their advice. Labor laws in particular have of late years attained such importance that a lawyer's advice as to proper compliance with them is substantially necessary in all public work.
Provisions for reserving the right to reject all bids depends somewhat on the requirements of Statute Law. Where there is a requirement that the Contract shall be let to the lowest bidder, the form of statement must be different from that where, as is very common, the “right to reject any or all bids is reserved.”
Forms in use appear as follows:
h. The Commission reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to accept the proposal deemed best for the Commonwealth.
The statement as to where the forms of Proposal, etc., and as to where the plans may be seen is sometimes modified by statements that plans and forms may be seen also in some central place, perhaps in New York City, Chicago, Boston, or Washington. The office of Engineering News, or of the Engineering Record (now consolidated) in New York has been sometimes used for this purpose in accord with good practice. Sometimes an Engineer in New York City acts as Consulting Engineer and the Advertisement specifies his office as a place where plans may be seen.
A further provision sometimes made is that a deposit will be required in order to take plans, or plans and Specifications, from the office. This is a provision by no means uncommon, but in the case of many Contracts there is no occasion for it, so that this provision is not made a part of the sample Contract. Examples of such provisions are shown below:
i. Sets of plans may be taken from the office upon making a deposit of two dollars for each set taken; this deposit to be refunded upon return of plans.
j. A deposit of $10 (Ten Dollars) will be required for use of plans and specifications, which will be returned upon letting of contracts.
k. The specifications and blue-prints of Contract plans may be seen at the office of the Bureau of Filtration, and a limited edition can be obtained by bonafide intending bidders on making a deposit varying from $10 to $25 for the specifications, and from $50 to $200 for the Contract plans, which amounts will be returned on return of the specifications and plans in good condition.
l. A payment of two dollars ($2) will be required for copies of the pamphlet containing the contract, specifications, etc.; the same to be returned in case the person taking the copy makes a bid for the work in the form contained in said pamphlet, or returns the pamphlet before the time of opening the bids.
These provisions apparently should occur in the Advertisement rather than in the Information for Bidders, but may, perhaps, properly occur in both.
THE term Information for Bidders seems somewhat preferable to Notice to Contractors, although the latter is also common. It matters little, however, which is used. One form in use reads Requirements for Bidding and Instructions to Bidders.
Under this head should be included all the information contained in the Advertisement, in some cases in greater detail or more extended form, together with other information necessary to enable a Contractor to make an intelligent and proper bid. It is not important to economize space or to make the information unduly concise. The Contractor or bidder who has become interested can be expected to read what is written, the cost of printing is small, and all such information or instruction as seems necessary or wise should be included.
The following is given as a sample or standard form containing many desirable features:
A. Information for Bidders
Board of Sewer Commissioners of the City of Franktown, Mass.
Sealed proposals or bids for the construction of a sewer will be received by the Board of Sewer Commissioners of the City of Franktown, Mass., at their office in the City Hall, until two o'clock P.M., Thursday, March 10, 1917, at which time and place the bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. The Proposal should be enclosed in a sealed envelope addressed to the Board of Sewer Commissioners of the City of Franktown, and indorsed “Proposal for Sewer Construction, to be opened March 10, 1917,” and delivered to the Board or its clerk. The sealed envelope will be deposited in a locked box provided for that purpose. No bid shall be withdrawn for any purpose whatever after it has been deposited. Plans may be seen, and form of Proposal, Specifications, Contract, and Bond may be obtained from Richard Roe, City Engineer of Franktown, Mass., at his office in the City Hall. All bids shall be made on the blank form of Proposal annexed hereto, shall give the price for each item of the proposed work in ink and stated both in words and figures, and shall be signed and sworn to by the bidder with his full name, and with his business address and place of residence; in case of a firm, the name and residence of each and every member of the firm shall be inserted; and in case the bid shall be submitted by or in behalf of a corporation, it shall be signed in the name of such corporation, by some duly authorized agent thereof who shall also subscribe his own name and the title of his office and, if practicable, the seal of the corporation shall be affixed.
Each bid must be accompanied by a certified check drawn upon a national bank or trust company established in the City of Boston or the City of New York, and certified by the cashier (or other suitable officer) of the bank upon which it is drawn, for four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500), payable to the order of the Board of Sewer Commissioners of the City of Franktown, such check to be returned to the bidder unless forfeited under the condition herein stipulated. This check should not be enclosed in the sealed envelope containing the bid, but should be delivered to the Board or its secretary, who will give a proper voucher for the deposit. All such deposits, except that made by the bidder to whom the Contract shall be awarded, will be returned to the person or persons making the same within three days after the execution of the Contract and filing of the surety company's Bond, or in case of the rejection of all bids within three days after such rejection.
A Bond in the sum of thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) with a surety company satisfactory to the Board, as surety, will be required for the faithful performance of the Contract, and the Proposal shall state the name and address of the surety company or surety companies which will be offered as surety in case the contract is awarded to the bidder.
The party to whom the Contract is awarded will be required forthwith to execute in triplicate the Contract in the form on file in the office of the City Engineer as specified in the Proposal, and to provide the Bond of a surety company satisfactory to the Board, all within ten days (not including Sundays or holidays) from the date when a written notice of the award of the Contract is mailed to the bidder at the address given by him; in case of his failure to do so, the Board of Sewer Commissioners may at its option consider that the bidder has abandoned the Contract, in which case the certified check accompanying the Proposal shall become the property of the Board, and in consideration of the receipt by the Board of said certified check and the payment thereof, this Proposal and its acceptance shall become in other respects null and void, and the Board shall be at liberty to make other Contracts with other parties as it sees fit.
After signing of the Contract and the acceptance of the Bond by the Board, the certified check of the successful bidder shall be returned forthwith.
All bids will be compared on the basis of the City Engineer's estimate of the quantities of work to be done as follows:
Item 1. 1971 lineal feet of 7' 6" sewer
Item 2. 2417 lineal feet of 7' 9” sewer
Item 3. 1557 lineal feet of 8' 0” sewer
Item 4. 440 lineal feet of 8’ 6” sewer
All to be of circular form and built of reinforced concrete, and prices to include excavation and backfilling.
Item 5. Manholes
Item 6. Catch basins
Item 7. Branch pipes for house connections.
It is expressly understood that the foregoing quantities are approximate only; that they are stated merely as a basis for the comparison of bids; that the Board