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Section 2: Pre-Bid Conference

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Introduction

Pre-bid conferences may be conducted to provide specific project information, explain any unusual aspects of the project and address any potential bidder questions.

Maintain minutes for all pre-bid conferences, both mandatory and optional; minutes may be written or recorded. Provide a copy of these minutes to all conference attendees and bidders. Include all pre-bid conference information (such as type, date, time, location, etc.) in the Notice to Contractors. Schedule pre-bid conferences approximately two weeks prior to letting to allow sufficient time to prepare and issue any needed addenda. Provide contractors adequate notification of a scheduled pre-bid conference.

When conducting a pre-bid conference, adhere to the following requirements:

  • Ensure the location and the starting time for the conference is as specified in the Notice to Contractor. Make reasonable consideration for individuals who arrive late due to circumstances beyond their control, such as weather related difficulties.
  • Ensure the attendance list contains the contractor representative’s signature, the printed name, complete firm’s name and address, and telephone and fax numbers.
  • Ensure that the conference is conducted at least two weeks prior to letting.
  • Ensure the pre-bid conference agenda covers a general review of the completed plans and specifications plus a detailed review of the contract’s special requirements.
  • Ensure that issues discussed during the pre-bid conference are not considered contractual.
  • Issue an addendum to correct a proposal as bid documents cannot be altered by a pre-bid conference.
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Optional Attendance

Pre-bid conferences where attendance is optional may be conducted at the discretion of the district for contracts with special conditions or requirements. Provide notice of the date and time of the optional pre-bid conference to all contractors. Do not exclude a contractor from bidding on a contract because of failure to attend the optional pre-bid conference.

Mandatory Attendance

In accordance with guidance issued by the Attorney General’s Office, do not conduct mandatory pre-bid conferences unless absolutely necessary to provide information to bidders that cannot be conveyed in writing. Mandatory pre-bid conferences are not recommended due to contractor concerns regarding bidding confidentiality and conference scheduling difficulties. Pre-bid conference procedural errors may result in bid rejection.

Obtain written approval from the Director of the Design Division (DES) prior to including a mandatory pre-bid conference in the proposal. If a mandatory pre-bid conference is approved, include the requirement in the proposal and the Notice to Contractors. Conduct a second pre-bid conference at least seven calendar days prior to letting for large, complex, highly technical projects that require attendance at a mandatory pre-bid conference.

Submit the list of contractors attending the mandatory pre-bid conference to CST by telephone or fax the same day of the meeting. Contractors failing to attend a mandatory pre-bid conference will not be eligible to bid.

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