While the Federal Government seems to have the ability to spend more money than it takes in, and thus creates increasing opportunities for governmental contract work, the State of Maryland is still a source of work for many local contractors. However, like the Federal Government, there are certain “do’s and don’ts” that a contractor must follow when bidding work in the State of Maryland. Here is a list of three critical points to remember in submitting a bid for work in Maryland.
- Submit your bid on time at the correct location. Even if you are two minutes late, your bid will be rejected. The only time a late bid will be accepted is when the government caused the lateness. For example, Bowie & Jensen prevailed on a bid protest for a client where the government changed the location of the bid drop off on the bid closing day and our client was late because of being rerouted by the government.
- Submit your bid with the MBE issues exactly right. There is no room for error here. If you use a non-certified MBE, your bid will be rejected. If you use a certified MBE for an activity for which that MBE is not certified, your bid will be rejected. We have found that the State and local governments are heavy handed when dealing with MBE issues. To reemphasize this point, the Maryland legislature recently passed a new set of laws on MBE programs in Maryland.
- Include all of the required forms. These include, MBE participation forms, performance and payment bond forms, certificates of insurance, documentation that the contractor is registered to do business in Maryland, good standing certificate, contract affidavit, living wage affidavit and escrow agreement for software code (when applicable).
Finally, if you believe that you have the right to protest a bid either because your bid was improperly rejected or another contractor’s bid was improperly selected, you must act quickly. This protest should be filed within seven days after the basis for the protest is known or should have been known. If the bid is based upon an impropriety in the solicitation that is apparent before the bid opening, the protest must be filed before the opening of the bids. In other words, contractors must act quickly to protest an award or solicitation. For further information, please contact Matt Hjortsberg at Hjortsberg@bowie-jensen.com or at 410-583-2400.