Brief Overview of Bidding Laws

(1) Formal bids

A formal bid is required by North Carolina State law when the estimated expenditure is $90,000 or more for the purchase of apparatus, supplies, materials, and/or equipment, or if the estimated expenditure is $300,000 or more for construction and/or repair projects. The formal bid process is regulated by North Carolina Statute. It requires a minimum of three sealed bids, appropriate licensing and bonding, and specific advertisement procedures. If fewer than three sealed bids are received, a second advertisement of the proposal will be made. After the second advertisement, the award may be made even though only one bid has been received.

(2) Rejecting bids

The Commission may reject bids for the following reasons: the bid does not meet product specifications, bid estimate more than available funding, contractor error, etc. On a formal bid situation, only the Commission can reject the bids. Purchasing staff may reject bids in informal bid situations.

Minority / Women's Business Enterprise Program
It is the policy of the City of Winston-Salem to provide minorities and women equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of City procurement and construction projects.

Projects More Than $300,000
For projects estimated to cost $300,000 or more, the Internal Advisory Committee, which consists of City employees, will meet to set the goals for a project before it is bid.

After the project is bid, and the goals are met, the Commission may award the project to the apparent low bidder. If the goals are not met, the low bidder has to show documentation that a good faith effort was made. The Internal Advisory Committee will use the M/WBE test to determine if a good faith effort was made. After the test has been performed, the Committee will make a finding to the Utility Commission on the good faith effort of the bidder.

When the project is complete, and the goals are not met, the contractor has to submit documentation to the Internal Advisory Committee for their review, to determine why the goals were not met. The Committee will make a finding to the Utility Commission to determine if a good faith effort was made. If it is deemed that the contractor did not make a good faith effort, he may be assessed a penalty equal to 5 percent of his total contract. If it is determined that a good faith effort was made, the Commission approves the final payment.

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