Most bidders find themselves needing to stay well informed of the twists and turns of current bidding laws as new cases wind their way through the court systems changing the precedents and seemingly establishing new standards. The issues being litigated can be the very finest of points. I have personally been an expert witness on a bidding related question to answer the question of when is 2:00. One of the parties seemed to be arguing it was a period of time rather than an instant in time. You be the judge.
The specifics of the cases are different but there is a very common thread in a great many cases. Someone feels aggrieved and believes they were not treated fairly. So ... avoiding problems is easy ... just treat all bidders fairly. Operating a clear and efficient process that all bidders understand and that treats all bidders equally eliminates the vast majority of process based disputes.
As this is a technology blog it is worth asking whether technology can help. The simple answer is yes. Some of the many benefits of using a secure bid event platform include:
A single repository of all bid documents equally available to every bidder so everyone has exactly the same information – guaranteed.
A complete and detailed audit trail of exactly who saw what and when that eliminates the potential for errors or omissions in recording and tracking the distribution of information to bidders.
Detailed bid forms that cannot be submitted unless the bidder has completed all the mandatory elements of the bid eliminating incomplete bids that have to be declared non-compliant.
A single reverse countdown clock that displays exactly the same time to every bidder coupled with an automated closing that ensures no bids can be submitted after the specified closing time eliminates any question related to whether a bid was received on time.
Using an online process makes it easy for all bidders to complete the bid form without the added risk and pressure of having to deliver the physical copy to the closing location. It also eliminates the need to separately receive and reconcile faxed amendments eliminating the potential for incomplete or late bids.
After 35 years in the industry I know better than to suggest that online bidding is the panacea for all the ills of the competitive bidding process but all that experience does help me conclude that it is much fairer than most of the paper based process in place today