Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals Rules Bids Cannot Be Modified After Submission If Extrinsic Documentation Is Required

In Appeal of Concrete General, MSBCA 2918, the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals denied the appellant the opportunity to correct errors in its initially submitted bid because the requested corrections required reference to extrinsic information not included in the initial bid.  As such, the bid was deemed non-responsive and ineligible to be considered for the project.

In this appeal, the State Highway Administration (“SHA”) issued Invitations for Bids to perform roadway improvements at Catoctin Mountain Highway and Monocacy Boulevard in Frederick County, Maryland.  Appellant Concrete General submitted the apparent low bid; however, in lieu of using the Schedule of Prices provided by the SHA, Concrete General elected to submit its own Schedule of Prices form.  Contractors are permitted to issue its own Schedule of Prices form so long as the forms emulate the Schedule of Prices form provided by the SHA and contain specific information.

Concrete General’s Schedule of Prices form, however, contained a number of errors, including a duplicate entry which resulted in incorrect item references and no reference to the last item on the Schedule of Prices – Item 5034.  The next lowest bidder, Kibler Construction Co., Inc. (“Kibler”), submitted a bid protest objecting to the award of the contract to Concrete General, claiming that Concrete General’s bid was unbalanced and non-responsive.  The SHA did not agree with Concrete General’s allegations, but determined that the bid was not responsive because it failed to submit a complete and accurate Schedule of Prices.  Concrete General appealed the SHA’s decision to the MSBCA.

The MSBCA acknowledges that COMAR allows a bidder to revise its initially submitted bid only when “the mistake and the intended correction are clearly evidenced on the face of the bid document.”  Thus, if any information outside of the documents submitted as part of the bid is needed to revise the bid, then the bid may not be modified.

The MSBCA found the errors arising out of the duplicate listing could not be corrected with reference to information not contained in the initial bid, thereby precluding the bid from being modified.  As such, the bid was deemed non-responsive and the appeal was denied.

For more information on bid protests or appeals to the MSBCA, contact Michael Siri at (410) 583-2400 or