Expiration of Bids

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Q. 1. If a contract is awarded contingent on the availability of funding and the funding is not approved by the time the bids expire, can the selected contractor extend the validity of its bid price until funding is approved?

2. If a contract is awarded contingent on the availability of funding and the funding is not approved by the time the bids expire, can the contracting agency go back to the low bidder and negotiate a contract once funding is received? Or must the procurement process be re-started?

A. You could ask the bidders to extend the validity of their bids before they expire. Once expired, it is too late to extend. If the bids expire, you would not be able to sole source the award. You would have to re-compete.

 
Q. My company submitted a proposal in response to an RFP over a year ago for the management of paratransit services at a Texas based transit system. The contract was subsequently awarded to another contracting company. Our company was rated second out of three companies during the initial bidding process. It now appears that the Transit System wants to reconsider their award and the question now is: Can the system now re-award the contract to our company even though bids was submitted over a year ago or does the FTA require a complete re-bid?

A. We believe the transit agency should re-solicit proposals. In a year's time much can change in the industry; e.g., (i) a company's business and cost structure, which in turn would affect the prices they could offer or their personnel availability; (ii) potentially new interest by companies that did not submit proposals on the last RFP; (iii) a change in the agency's terms and conditions that would affect a company's interest in bidding, etc.
 

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