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     5-18A-5.   Procedures for competitive sealed bids. The following procedures apply to the use of competitive sealed bids:
             (1)      Public notice of the invitation for bids shall be given pursuant to § 5-18A-14;
             (2)      The invitation for bids shall include a purchase description, all contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement. The invitation for bids for supplies shall include the length of time, not to exceed forty-five days, between the bid opening and the award of the bid;
             (3)      A bid may be submitted either manually or electronically in a manner authorized by the purchasing agency;
             (4)      Each bid shall be opened publicly in the presence of one or more witnesses at the time and place designated in the invitation for bids. The amount of each bid, and other relevant information as may be specified, together with the name of each bidder shall be recorded. Except as otherwise provided by law, the record and each bid shall be open to public inspection;
             (5)      Each bid shall be unconditionally accepted without alteration or correction, except as authorized in this section. Each bid shall be evaluated based on the requirements set forth in the invitation for bids, which may include criteria to determine acceptability such as inspection, testing, quality, workmanship, delivery, and suitability for a particular purpose. Those criteria that will affect the bid price and be considered in evaluation for award shall be objectively measurable, such as discounts, transportation costs, and total or life cycle costs. The invitation for bids shall set forth the evaluation criteria to be used. No criteria may be used in bid evaluation that are not set forth in the invitation for bids;
             (6)      Any bid may be withdrawn by letter, by electronic communications, or in person before the time specified in the advertisement for bid. The purchasing agency may allow modification of bids by mail, facsimile, or electronic notice received at the place designated in the invitation to bid not later than the time set for the opening of bids. A modification may not reveal the bid price but shall provide the addition, subtraction, or modification so the final prices or terms will not be known to the purchasing agency until the sealed bid is opened. A modification may not be withdrawn after the time set for the opening of bids. Each modification shall be confirmed in writing by the successful bidder before award of the contract. No bid made may be changed or altered by telephone. After bid opening, no withdrawal of a bid or change in bid prices or other provisions of bids prejudicial to the interest of the purchasing agency or fair competition is permitted. The purchasing agency may waive technical irregularities in the bid or proposal of the low bidder or offeror that do not alter the price, quality, or quantity of the services, or items of tangible personal property bid or offered. Any decision to permit the correction or withdrawal of a bid, or to cancel an award or a contract based on a bid mistake, shall be supported by a written determination made by the purchasing agency, and included in the bid file;
             (7)      The contract for services or public improvement shall be awarded within thirty days and the contract for supplies shall be awarded within forty-five days of the bid opening by written notice to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder whose bid meets the requirements and criteria set forth in the invitation for bids. The purchasing agency may reject any and all bids and readvertise for bids if none of the bids are satisfactory, or if the purchasing agency believes an agreement has been entered into by the bidders to prevent competition. If the low bidder is not responsible or the bid is not made in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and chapters 5-18B, 5-18C, and 5-18D or the low bid is withdrawn as authorized by this section, the bid of the next lowest responsible and responsive bidder may be accepted;
             (8)      If it is considered impractical to initially prepare a purchase description to support an award based on price, an invitation for bids may be issued requesting the submission of unpriced offers to be followed by an invitation for bids limited to those bidders whose offers have been qualified under the criteria set forth in the first solicitation;
             (9)      If, after advertising for bids, no firm bids are received, the purchasing agency may negotiate a contract for the purchase of the supplies, services, or public improvement projects at the most advantageous price, if the specifications of the original bid are met;
             (10)      If two or more competitive sealed bids submitted are identical in price and product quality, the bids are the low bid, and no resident bidder preference is applicable, the purchasing agency may:
             (a)      Award the bid by lottery to one of the identical low bidders; or
             (b)      Reject all the bids and resolicit bids for the required supplies, services, or public improvement.

Source: SL 2010, ch 31, § 6; SL 2016, ch 39, § 1.

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