Q. Our Agency is preparing bid documents to purchase 43 Sport Utility Vehicles. We would like to bid the requirement for 2 variations of the vehicles; we would like the firms to price out the vehicles in 2 ways: 1 bid for a standard SUV and 1 bid for a Hybrid Version. The award would be for the lowest bid for either the standard SUV or the Hybrid version. Is there a problem with this bidding structure?
A. There is no fundamental problem with soliciting bids for both standard and hybrid vehicles, as long as you clearly inform the bidders of your intentions, being clear to leave as much flexibility as possible in making the award. For example, you may want to state it will be all standard or all hybrids, depending on the prices received in relation to the available budget. Or you may wish to say that the Agency may chose a combination of vehicle types, in which case you may want to solicit bids for varying quantities (e.g., 15-25, 25-43, etc.). (Reviewed: May 2010)