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Concerns over bidding misconduct could stall construction

Before most large-scale construction projects on public property or publicly owned buildings can begin, Florida laws dictate that a solicitation for competitive bids be completed. Bidding allows interested parties to submit proposals for what they can do and how much it will cost.

When bids are solicited properly and the appropriate bid is selected, this process can run fairly smoothly. However, if there are concerns about violations or impropriety, the projects can be stalled. Delays can be quite costly, so it is crucial for all parties to know and comply with the legal requirements of the competitive bidding system.

For example, work at a university in another state could be stopped due to alleged bidding violations. According to reports, the project involved is a renovation of the school's stadium. The university solicited bids for the project and chose the second-lowest bidder.

The lowest bidder took issue with the school's selection and has accused the school of changing the scope of the bid in such a way and at such a time so that the chosen company could be selected.

This type of alleged favoritism could be grounds for other parties to take issue with the award and pursue legal action.

According to competitive bidding laws in states including Florida, bids must be selected based specifically on the criteria noted in the solicitation. If the scope of the project or requirements of the bid change, proper notification must be given or the project can be rebid. Bids must not be awarded arbitrarily or capriciously, though there are exceptions.

If there is reason to believe that a party failed to comply with local laws, the bid can be challenged. In order to avoid these types of construction disputes or resolve them, it can be crucial for anyone with questions or concerns to discuss them with an experienced attorney.

Source: The Lawton Constitution, "Lawsuit Could Halt Construction on OU Stadium," Oct. 21, 2015

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