GP - SECTION 2: BIDDING REQUIREMENTS AND CONDITIONS

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GP-2.01 Bid Irrevocable

Unless otherwise provided in the Invitation for Bids, bid prices are irrevocable for 90 days following bid opening.


GP-2.02 Contents of Bid Forms

On Contracts with electronic bidding TC-2.02 Contents of Bid Forms shall be used in lieu of GP-2.02.
All papers included in, bound thereto or attached to the bid form are necessary parts thereof and shall not be detached, separated or altered. The Plans, Specifications, Supplemental Specifications, referred to in the Specifications, and all other Contract Documents will be considered a part of the bid form whether attached thereto or not.


GP-2.03 Interpretation of Quantities in Bid Schedule

Where designated as estimated quantities, the quantities in the prepared bid schedule are approximate only. Payment to the Contractor will be made only for the actual quantities of work performed or materials furnished in accordance with the Contract and as provided in GP-4.04 Variations in Estimated Quantities.


GP-2.04 Site Investigation

The Contractor acknowledges that the Contractor has investigated and satisfied itself as to the conditions affecting the work, including but not restricted to those bearing upon transportation, disposal, handling and storage of materials, availability of labor, water, electric power, roads and uncertainties of weather, river stages, tides or similar physical conditions at the site, and the conformation and conditions of the ground, the character of equipment and facilities needed preliminary to and during prosecution of the work. The Contractor further acknowledges that the Contractor has satisfied itself as to the character, quality and quantity of surface and subsurface materials or obstacles to be encountered insofar as this information is reasonably ascertainable from an inspection of the site, including all exploratory work done by the State, as well as from information presented by the drawings and specifications made a part of this Contract. Any failure by the Contractor to acquaint itself with the available information may not relieve the Contractor from responsibility for estimating properly the difficulty or cost of successfully performing the work. The State assumes no responsibility for any conclusions or interpretations made by the Contractor on the basis of the information made available by the State.

GP-2.05 Taxes-Responsibility for Payment, Exemptions, Forms to File, Etc.

(a) The Contractor is responsible for, and by submitting a bid agrees to pay, all retail sales, income, real estate, sales and use, transportation and special taxes applicable to and assessable against any materials, equipment, processes and operations incident to or involved in the construction. The Contractor is responsible for ascertaining and acquainting itself with such taxes and making all necessary arrangements to pay same.
(b) The Contractor shall indicate its Federal Tax Identification or Social Security number on the face of each invoice billed to the Administration.
(c) The Administration or the Comptroller of the Treasury may withhold any payment under this Contract until the Contractor and any subcontractors performing any duties under this Contract have paid all State taxes or other obligations due the State of Maryland. The taxes or other obligations shall be resolved either by set-off of the amount due the Contractor against the amounts due the State or by direct payment.

GP-2.06 Preparation of Bid

On Contracts with electronic bidding TC-2.03 Preparation of Bid shall be used in lieu of GP-2.06.

(a) The bidder shall submit his bid upon the blank forms furnished by the Administration. The bidder shall specify a price in dollars and cents for each pay item given, and shall show the products of the respective unit prices and quantities written in figures in the column provided for that purpose, together with the total amount of the bid obtained by adding the amounts of the several items.
(b) The bid form(s) shall be filled out legibly in ink or typed. The bid, if submitted by an individual, shall be signed by the individual. If submitted by a partnership, the bid shall be signed by such member or members of the partnership and have authority to bind the partnership. If submitted by a corporation or other business entity, the same shall be signed by an officer with his or her position stated below the signature line. Such signature shall constitute the Contractor’s representation and warrant that the signing party has the Contractor’s authorization to do so, binding the Contractor to the bid and to the Contract. All bids shall be signed in ink. All erasures or alterations shall be initialed by the signer in ink.
(c) Bid Samples and Descriptive Literature. If the Invitation for Bids requires the bidder to furnish samples or descriptive literature, it shall be submitted with the bid, unless the Invitation for Bids provides otherwise.
(d) Offerors shall identify those portions of their proposals which they deem to be confidential, proprietary information or trade secrets and provide any justification of why such materials should not be disclosed by the State under the Maryland Public Information Act, Title 4 of the General Provisions Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
(e) Foreign Corporations – Pursuant to the Corporations and Associations, Title 7 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, corporations not incorporated in the State shall register with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, before doing any interstate or foreign business in this State. Before doing any intrastate business in this State, a foreign corporation shall qualify with the Department of Assessments and Taxation.

GP-2.07 Proposal Guaranty

On Contracts with electronic bidding TC-2.04 Proposal Guaranty shall be used in lieu of GP-2.07.
(a) No bid will be considered for any Contract in excess of $100,000 unless accompanied by a guaranty in an amount not less than 5 percent of the amount bid, or such amount as may be specified elsewhere in the bid documents and made payable to the State of Maryland.
(b) Acceptable forms of security for bid guaranty shall be:
(1) A bond in a form satisfactory to the State underwritten by a surety company authorized to do business in this State;
(2) A bank certified check, bank cashier's check, bank treasurer's check, or trust account;
(3) Pledge of securities backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government or bonds issued by the State of Maryland; or
(4) Cash or other securities—if submitted pursuant to COMAR 21.06.07.01.

GP-2.08 Delivery of Bids

On Contracts with electronic bidding TC-2.05 Delivery of Bids shall be used in lieu of GP-2.08.
Each bid must be submitted in a sealed envelope plainly marked to indicate its contents. When sent by mail, the sealed bid must be addressed to the Administration at the address and in care of the official in whose office the bids are to be received. All bids shall be filed prior to the time and at the place specified in the Notice to Contractors. Bids received after the time for opening of bids will be treated in accordance with the provisions of GP-2.12.


GP-2.09 Communications and Interpretations Prior to Bid Opening

Any information regarding the requirements or the interpretation of any provision of the General Provisions, Special General Provisions, Specifications or any part of the bidding documents shall be requested, in writing, from the procurement officer, and delivered no later than 10 days prior to the scheduled date of bid opening. Responses to questions or inquiries having any material effect on the bids shall be made by written addenda, or by written notice sent to all prospective bidders. DO NOT MAKE VERBAL INQUIRIES.
Any verbal interpretations or oral pre-bid statements made by State employees or their representatives shall not be binding upon the State.


GP-2.10 Amendments to Invitations for Bids

On Contracts with electronic bidding TC-2.06 Amendments to Invitations for Bids shall be used in lieu of GP-2.10.
(a) Form. Each amendment to an Invitation for Bids shall be in writing and identified as such.
(b) Acknowledgements. Unless otherwise provided, the bidder shall acknowledge receipt of all amendments.


GP-2.11 Pre-Opening Modification or Withdrawal of Bids

On Contracts with electronic bidding TC-2.07 Pre-Opening Modification or Withdrawal of Bids shall be used in lieu of GP-2.11.
(a) Procedure. Bids may be modified or withdrawn by written notice delivered to and received in the office designated in the Invitation for Bids before the time and date set for bid opening. Written notice of modification or withdrawal may be delivered by hand delivery, overnight carrier, or by US Postal mail. Any notice addressed in this subsection must be received before the time and date set for bid opening.
(b) Disposition of Bid Security. If a bid is withdrawn in accordance with this regulation, the bid security, if any, shall be returned to the bidder.


GP-2.12 Late Bids, Late Withdrawals, and Late Modification

On Contracts with electronic bidding TC-2.08 Late Bids, Late Withdrawals, and Late Modifications shall be used in lieu of GP-2.12.
(a) Policy. Any bid received at the place designated in the solicitation after the time and date set for receipt of bids is late. Any request for withdrawal or request for modification received after the time and date set for opening of bids at the place designated for opening is late.
(b) Treatment. A late bid, late request for modification, or late request for withdrawal may not be considered. Late bids will be returned to the bidder unopened. Upon written approval of the Office of the Attorney General, exceptions may be made when a late bid, withdrawal, or modification is received before Contract award, and the bid, withdrawal, or modification would have been timely but for the action or inaction of State personnel directing the procurement activity or their employees.
NOTE: Provision GP-2.12(b) does not apply to Federal Aid projects.


GP-2.13 Opening and Recording of Bids

(a) Opening and Recording. Bids and modifications shall be opened publicly, at the time, date, and place designated in the Invitation for Bids. The name of each bidder, the bid price, and such other information as is deemed appropriate shall be read aloud or otherwise made available. This information also shall be recorded at the time of bid opening. The bids shall be tabulated or a bid abstract made. The opened bid shall be available for public inspection at a reasonable time after bid opening but in any case before Contract award except to the extent the bidder designates trade secrets or other proprietary data to be confidential as set forth in COMAR 21. Material so designated shall accompany the bid and shall be readily separable from the bid in order to facilitate public inspection of the nonconfidential portion of the bid. Prices, makes, and model or catalog numbers of the items offered, deliveries, and terms of payment shall be publicly available at a reasonable time after bid opening but in any event before Contract award regardless of any designation to the contrary at the time of bid opening.
(b) Confidential Data. The procurement officer shall examine the bids to determine the validity of any requests for nondisclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary data identified in writing. Confidential, proprietary information, and trade secrets furnished by a bidder or offeror may be disclosed to another State agency if there is a need for the information and may not be disclosed outside of State government except as provided by the Public Information Act or other applicable laws of this State.


GP-2.14 Mistakes in Bids

(a) Mistakes Discovered Before Opening. A bidder may correct mistakes discovered before the time and date set for bid opening by withdrawing or correcting the bid as provided in GP-2.11.
(b) Confirmation of Bid. If the procurement officer knows or has reason to conclude that a mistake may have been made, the bidder may be required to confirm the bid. Situations in which confirmation may be requested include obvious, apparent errors on the face of the bid or a bid unreasonably lower than the other bids submitted. If the bidder alleges mistake, the bid may be corrected or withdrawn upon written approval of the Office of the Attorney General if any of the following conditions are met:
(1) If the mistake and intended correction are clearly evident on the face of the bid document, the bid shall be corrected to the intended correct bid and may not be withdrawn. Examples of mistakes that may be clearly evident on the face of the bid document are typographical errors, errors in extending unit prices, transposition errors, and arithmetical errors.
(2) A bidder may be permitted to withdraw a low bid if:
(a) A mistake is clearly evident on the face of the bid document but the intended correct bid is not similarly evident; or
(b) The bidder submits proof of evidentiary value which clearly and convincingly demonstrates that a mistake was made.
(c) Mistakes Discovered After Award. Mistakes may not be corrected after award of the Contract except when the procurement officer and the head of a procurement agency makes a determination that it would be unconscionable not to allow the mistake to be corrected. Changes in price are not permitted. Corrections shall be submitted to and approved by the Office of the Attorney General.

GP-2.15 Minor Irregularities or Informalities

General. Minor irregularities or informalities in bids, as defined below, may be waived if the procurement officer determines that it shall be in the State's best interest. The procurement officer may either give a bidder an opportunity to cure any deficiency resulting from a technicality or minor irregularity in its bid, or waive the deficiency where it is to the State's advantage to do so.
When at any public opening of bids, a bid appears to be irregular, as herein specified, this fact may be announced when read. Said bid shall be read as other bids and then referred to the procurement officer for consideration and appropriate action thereon in accordance with these General Provisions, Law and Regulation.
A minor irregularity is one which is merely a matter of form and not of substance or pertains to some immaterial or inconsequential defect or variation of a bid or proposal from the exact requirement of the solicitation, the correction or waiver of which would not be prejudicial to other bidders or offerors. The defect or variation in the bid or proposal is immaterial and inconsequential when its significance as to price, quantity, quality, or delivery is trivial or negligible when contrasted with the total cost or scope of the supplies or services being procured and the intent and meaning of the entire bid or proposal is clear.


GP-2.16 Cancellation of Invitations for Bids

On Contracts with electronic bidding TC-2.09 Cancellation of Invitations for Bids shall be used in lieu of GP-2.16.
(a) Before opening of bids a solicitation may be canceled in whole or in part when the State determines this action is fiscally advantageous or otherwise in its best interest.
(b) When a solicitation is canceled before bid opening, the bids shall be returned to the vendors submitting them and notice of cancellation shall be included.


GP-2.17 Rejection of Individual Bids or Proposals

(a) Any bid may be rejected in whole or in part when it is in the best interest of the State to do so.
(b) Reasons for rejection of a bid may include but are not limited to:
(1) The bid is not responsive i.e., it does not conform in all material respects to the solicitation.
(2) Unreasonable price;
(3) The bidder submitting the bid is determined to be nonresponsible. A determination of nonresponsibility may be made for, but is not limited to, any of the following reasons:
(a) Bidder debarred or ineligible and period of debarment or ineligibility not expired.
(b) The unit prices contained in a bid are unbalanced.
(c) Evidence of collusion among bidders.
(d) Inadequate quantity and/or quality of experience, plant, equipment, financing, manpower or other resources required to perform the Contract.
(e) Bidder's workload which, in the judgement of the Administration, might hinder or prevent the prompt completion of the subject work if awarded.
(f) Default by the bidder on other Contracts.
(g) Failure to pay or satisfactorily settle all reasonable and just bills due for labor and material on prior or current Contracts.
(h) The same person has an interest in more than one bid on a Contract exclusive of being named by another bidder as a subcontractor.
(i) Failure to perform satisfactorily on other Contracts awarded, and the conditions leading to unsatisfactory performance remain unresolved.
(j) Any other reason affecting the bidder's ability to perform, or record of business integrity.
(k) Bidder not otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations.
(4) The bidder or offeror fails to supply information to the procurement officer promptly, after notification from the procurement officer that such information is required in connection with a determination to be made pursuant to this GP-2.17.


GP-2.18 Rejection of All Bids

(a) After opening of bids or proposals but before award, all bids or proposals may be rejected in whole or in part when the procurement officer, with the approval of the appropriate Department head or designee, determines that this action is fiscally advantageous or otherwise in the State's best interest.
(b) A notice of rejection of all bids shall be sent to all vendors that submitted bids, and bids which have been opened shall be retained by the Administration.

GP-2.19 Bid Evaluation and Award

(a) General. The Contract is to be awarded to the responsible and responsive bidder whose bid meets the requirements and evaluation criteria set forth in the Invitation for Bids, and is either the lowest bid price or lowest evaluated bid price.
(b) Determination of Lowest Bidder. Bids shall be evaluated to determine which bidder offers the lowest cost to the State in accordance with the evaluation criteria set forth in the Invitation for Bids.
Except as otherwise provided under GP-2.14 Mistakes in Bids:
(1) The unit price will govern in the event of a discrepancy between the unit price bid and the extended price (product of unit price multiplied by the quantity).
(2) The sum of the extended prices will govern in the event of a discrepancy between the total lump sum bid and the extended prices.
(3) The written words will govern in the event of a discrepancy between the prices written in words and the prices written in figures.
(4) If a unit price has been omitted, the unit price will be determined by dividing the extended price by the quantity.
The Administration reserves the right to make the award by item, or groups of items, or total bid if it is in the best interest of the State to do so unless the bidder specifies in his bid that a particular or progressive award is not acceptable.
(c) Award. Upon determination of the lowest bidder, review of the bid for responsiveness, and satisfaction that the bidder is responsible, the Contract may be awarded to that bidder. A Contract may be awarded to a bidder offering a higher quality item than that designated in the Invitation for Bids if that bidder is also the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.

GP-2.20 Tie Bids

On Administration Federal Aid Contracts, the preference to in-State Contractors does not apply.

(a) Definition. Tie bids are responsive bids from responsible bidders that are identical in price, terms and conditions and which meet all the requirements and evaluation criteria set forth in the Invitation for Bids.
(b) Award. In the instance of tie bids, the award shall be made in accordance with COMAR 21.05.02.14. If identical low bids are received from an in-State and out-of-State bidder, the award shall be made to the in-State bidder. If identical low bids are received from in-State bidders or from out-of-State bidders, a drawing shall be conducted, and a witness shall be present to verify and certify the result.


GP-2.21 Resident Business Preference

(a) When awarding a Contract by competitive sealed bidding, if the State in which a nonresident firm submitting the lowest responsible bid is located gives a competitive advantage to its resident businesses, a procurement agency may give an identical competitive advantage to the Maryland firm submitting the lowest responsive and responsible bid in order to determine Contract award.
(b) A competitive advantage may include:
(1) A percentage preference;
(2) An employee residency requirement;
(3) Any other provision that favors a nonresident firm over a Maryland firm.
(c) This provision GP-2.21 shall not apply if it conflicts with any Federal grant or regulation affecting this Contract.


GP-2.22 Multiple or Alternate Bids

Unless multiple or alternate bids are requested in the solicitation, these bids may not be accepted. However, if a bidder clearly indicates a base bid, it shall be considered for award as though it were the only bid submitted by the bidder.


GP-2.23 Bid Protests

A bid protest must be in writing and filed with the procurement officer. Oral objections, whether or not acted on, are not protests.
(a) Time for Filing.
(1) A bid protest shall be filed not later than 7 days after the basis for protest is known or should have been known, whichever is earlier.
(2) A protest based on alleged improprieties in the solicitation which are apparent before the bid opening or the closing date for receipt of initial proposals shall be filed before the opening date or the closing date for receipt of initial proposals.
(b) Content of Written Protest.
(1) Name and address of protestor.
(2) Bid or Contract number.
(3) Reasons for protest.
(4) Supporting exhibits, evidence or documents to support claim. If not available within filing time, indicate expected availability date.
(5) Mark envelope "protest."
Bid protests will be resolved pursuant to COMAR 21.10.02.