Construction File: The Importance of Providing Bid Results
Why is knowing the bid results after closing so important to the construction industry? Firstly, providing bid results is an important part of a fair, open and transparent bidding process. Secondly, this information is an expedient resource to bidders and suppliers. These businesses rely on this information for the life blood of their procurement world and are a mainstay of the way they do business.
Having this information available to the construction community is of great benefit to all those up the construction procurement chain as well:
- It allows for greater competition when all contractors and suppliers have the opportunity to be aware of the successful bidder and the final bid amount.
- For suppliers they can make sure all contractors have the best pricing.
- For contractors they know what the market trends are and can make sure they are always providing the most competitive bid. The process of preparing bids and responding to tender calls is a time consuming and expensive process for contractors, and it is only reasonable that owners respect this by providing information on the results of their call for tenders.
- For the surety industry bid results allow the surety to review a contractor’s capacity to bid on and engage in additional work.
- In the long run, this greater competition benefits the owner with lower pricing.
To ensure you are maximizing the competition we recommend making all information about your project as easily accessible as possible.
Providing this information is a core service provided by the Construction Associations for almost a century. By providing access to the information about the successful bid from one reliable source is efficient and reasonable, for if businesses had to scour the industry looking for results, it would be a time consuming and not always fruitful exercise. Lists of successful bidders that are provided to the Construction Associations are a centralized and efficient method of disseminating useful information.
Recently, we have had increasing concerns about owners not providing accessibility to this project information. One question that comes up from time to time on the release of the information is whether its release compromises Freedom of Information legislation in any way:
- Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Part 2, Division 2, Clause 21 it says, in summary, that the release of third party information can be withheld when it reveals trade secrets, it was supplied in confidence or results in undue financial loss to anyone.
- It also requires the information to be released if the third party consents to disclosure.
We don’t believe that any of these conditions give legal justification for withholding the information. If the construction industry was to start making Freedom of Information requests to get the bid results information it would end up being a time consuming exercise for an owner.
In British Columbia there is almost 100 years of history supporting the sharing of this information to industry. We are not aware of any overwhelming downside that has led the industry to change how it has done business for the past century or a desire to change how it continues to do business.
Providing bid results to those down the construction procurement chain provides efficient access to information for contractors and suppliers. Providing this information allows owners and others up the construction procurement chain to maximize the competitiveness for their construction procurement opportunity. Additionally, for owners it serves to confirm that their procurement was done in a fair, open and transparent manner. In the public sector this has enormous benefit to the taxpayers in British Columbia.