Responsible Bidding
   
 
 
 
The Benefits
What’s in it for you, as a taxing body, to bother adopting a Responsible Bidder Ordinance into your purchasing codes? We break it out under these categories, in no particular order:

Fairness
Flexibility
Protection
Safety
Value



Fairness


This refers to fairness to the contractors involved in the bidding process. By adopting an RBO and assuring that all bidding contractors will follow Illinois contracting laws and bid fairly, you are accomplishing two important goals:
1. Making sure that the lowest bidder is the lowest bidder because that company can do the work more efficiently or is willing to do it at a smaller profit margin than the other bidders, NOT because they are the one willing to cut the most corners and break the most laws. Clearly, contractors doing work funded by Illinois taxpayers should not be breaking Illinois laws.
   
2. Assuring that the best contractors in the area are willing to bid on the job. If an honest contractor feels that there will be other contractors bidding on the work that have exhibited a high likelihood of breaking laws and bending rules to win work in the past, they may not be interested in bidding the job at all. This cheats taxpayers of having the chance to hire the best, most efficient contractors for the work.



Flexibility

At first glance, an RBO may seem like it is serving only add more restrictive covenants to your procurement process. But in fact it gives you more flexibility. This is the case when you do actually want to pass on the lowest bid and move down to the number two or three bidder because the low bidder is deemed “irresponsible? for not meeting RBO criteria.

The way many current procurement codes read - specifically those without a clause defining “responsible? - it can be very difficult for you as the taxing body to ever refuse the lowest bid. An RBO makes it easy and justifiable as long as the low bidder does not meet one of the RBO qualifications. You then may have the flexibility to move to the lowest responsible bidder, and you are not restricted to having to simply accept the lowest bid regardless of the track record of that contractor.


Protection


We’ve all heard, or experienced, horror stories of contractors not living up to their end of the bargain - not completing the job on time, going over budget, using faulty materials, mistreating workers, etc. These are costly mistakes and immoral behavior that taxpayers should not have to fund.

By hiring contractors that meet the qualifications of a Responsible Bidder Ordinance, you are taking steps to protect your community and the taxpayers against these nightmares. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and this measure alone won’t ensure construction success, but it certainly shuts the door on a lot of bad companies and opens it to the good ones. Simply put, it increases your chances of success.


Safety

Construction work is different than the work a lot of us do. There are inherent major risks on a construction site and workers do get hurt. This fact has two major implications: 1) the obvious personal hardship that an injury or death brings to a worker and his or her family. This can include lost wages, loss of quality of life, etc. And 2) very high contractor insurance premiums and medical costs, which are ultimately borne by the customer.

But there are proven effective ways to mitigate those risks - mainly providing the workers with the knowledge necessary to maintain a safe work site and stay safe on that site. Basically, training. Workers who are expertly trained in their fields have a lower rate of accidents and companies that provide safety training carry lower insurance
premiums.

So, as a public body awarding construction projects, it should be a priority to utilize contractors with proven safety records and training programs - both from a health standpoint as well as financial. An RBO helps to assure that you do so by screening out those that don’t carry the necessary insurance or participate in an accredited training program.


Value


When you see a price for anything, there’s a value associated with that price. Similarly priced items can have vastly different values, dependent upon their quality and overall ability to serve their purpose. This is especially true in construction. There are many ways for different contractors to come up with a given price for a project, but in order to ensure you’ll get the most value from that price, you should make sure all the RBO criteria are met.

 



 
   
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