Public Law

Public Law Journal: Summer 2016, Vol. 39, No. 3

Bid Problems Do Not Have to Be Big Problems Part One: Avoiding Bid Protests

By Clare M. Gibson*

I. INTRODUCTION

This is a good time for public agency attorneys to consider practical measures to reduce exposure to the cost and risk of public works bid protests. Pending state legislation, if approved, could result in billions of dollars of new funding for state and local public works projects in California. The November ballot will also include local bond and parcel tax measures for funding local and regional infrastructure projects. Most of the projects which may benefit from these future funding sources will be subject to public bidding requirements.1 And when public bidding is required, there is always the possibility that a bid protest may be filed.

Not every public bid draws a protest, but even routine protests can be costly and time-consuming. At worst, protests can result in litigation, project delay, and even loss of project funding. This Part One of a two-part series on bid protests provides practical recommendations for avoiding bid protests – or at least those that can be avoided. Part Two, which will appear in the fall issue of the Public Law Journal, will focus on effectively managing bid protests when they do arise.2

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