The bidder who has submitted a bid in response to an invitation for bids in Pennsylvania requires presenting all the documents required to bid or negotiate the construction agreement or contract. The Bidding Documents required for bidding in Pennsylvania should be prepared jointly by the Consultant and Municipal Solicitor or Non-Profit Attorney. It is the responsibility of the solicitor or attorney, to check the legal conformance and adequacy of all documents and methods for the municipality or non-profit to meet local government ordinances and laws of the Commonwealth and the Federal government. Bidding documents for public contract work usually consist of the following:
- Advertisement or Invitation to Bid
- Instructions to Bidders
- Qualifications of Bidder's Statement
- Summary of Work to be Performed
- Bid Proposal Form - All Alternate or Unit Price Bid Items should be clearly stating and delineating on the Bid Proposal Form. In some cases, the Department may also ask for unqualified work and costs to be mentioned on the Bid Proposal Form for accounting and auditing purposes.
- Contract Agreement - A written agreement between the successful bidder and the Municipal Grantee or Non-Profit ought to be completely implemented and forwarded to the Department for approval before construction starts. Standard Contract Agreement Forms as used by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute of Architects, or the National Society of Professional Engineers can be employed. In all cases, all Contract Agreements must be dated and mention the scope of work, contract amount, method of payment, starting and completion times, equal opportunity clauses, and any other conditions unique to the completion of the contract or observance of applicable State and Federal laws and regulations.
A Contract includes all types of commitments that obligate the Government to an expenditure of appropriated funds and that, except as otherwise authorized, are in writing. Contracts also include bilateral instruments as well as awards and notices of awards; job orders or task letters issued under basic ordering agreements; letter contracts; orders, such as purchase orders, under which the contract becomes effective by written acceptance or performance; and bilateral contract modifications. It is required to note that contracts do not include grants and cooperative agreements.
A Contract Bid Schedule is developed as part of the specifications and describes the extent of work. When the extent of the work cannot be adequately shown in a Lump Sum, each bid item is listed by specification section in a numerical order that describes the bid items measurement and payment.
- Applicable Laws and Regulations -
All applicable laws and regulations must be adhered to. The following Federal and State Laws and regulations influence the preparation of the Bid Documents and govern the advertising and awarding of contracts and construction of the project. Adherence to these laws and regulations is mandatory for all projects:
- Wage Rates - Pennsylvania prevailing wage rates are required if the total project cost is estimated to be in excess of $25,000. If the Municipal Grantee/Non-Profit will be using Federal Funds as a part of the local match, and the contracts or subcontracts exceed $2,000, adherence to Davis-Bacon Federal Wage Rates can be needed. The appropriate wage rates should be included into the specifications and bidding documents before the advertising, in all cases.
- Nondiscrimination/Sexual Harassment Clause - All construction contracts or subcontracts awarded for the project must provide for compliance and adherence to applicable Contract Compliance Regulations for Nondiscrimination/Sexual Harassment. Where state funds are used, all construction contracts or sub-contracts must contain the Nondiscrimination/Sexual Harassment Clause enclosed with this packet. This Clause can be incorporated into the specifications for each contract or subcontract to be awarded.
- Separation Act of 1913 (Act 104), as amended - When developing for the erection, construction, and alteration of any public building, the applicable municipal codes mandate that contract documents for electrical, plumbing, and mechanical (heating and air conditioning) work should be prepared in separate drawings and separate specifications from those generated for the general construction and landscape work for all projects where cost of construction exceeds $4,000 for 1st and 2nd class Townships, 1st and 2nd class Cities, and 3rd through 8th class Counties. For 3rd class Cities and 2nd class Counties, the separation requirements do not take effect until the project cost exceeds $10,000. Separate bids shall be taken and separate contracts shall be awarded in the same categories as described for preparation of documents. The Borough Code gives Boroughs the option to separate these elements when construction costs exceed $4,000. This Act is not applicable to grantees who are not political subdivisions.
- Federal Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970 (O.S.H.A.) - o This Act includes regulations to assure safe and healthy work conditions. Compliance includes recording and reporting. The Consultant shall incorporate in contract specifications the contractor's specific responsibility to comply with regulations of the Act and to perform recording and reporting requirements. O.S.H.A. applies to all construction projects, however funded, and supercedes any local or state regulations related to safe and healthy work conditions.
- Pennsylvania Act 287, as amended by Act 181 of 2006- This act requires, among other things, that:
- The Pennsylvania One Call System is utilized.
- Each Designer preparing a drawing requiring excavation or demolition in a site within a political subdivision shall show upon the drawing the approximate location and type of each underground utility line or pipe.
- Each Contractor intending to perform excavation or demolition work on a site within a political subdivision shall ascertain the location and type of utility lines and pipes at each site and notify the utility companies three working days in advance of performing the excavation or demolition.
For unclassified bids, the bid opening officer (or delegated assistant) must decide when the time set for opening bids in the solicitation has arrived and inform those present of that decision. The bid opening officer or delegated assistant must:
Personally and publicly open all bids received before that time.
Read the bids aloud to the persons present.
Have the bids recorded. The original of each bid must be carefully safeguarded, particularly until the abstract of bids has been made and its accuracy verified.
Permit the examination of bids by interested persons if it does not interfere unduly with the conduct of Government business.