3311 AR - Bids

Business and Noninstructional Operations
Administrative Regulation No. 3311, Bids
Regulation reviewed:  April 6, 2017



Advertised/Competitive Bids

The district may advertise for competitive bids when any public project contract involves an expenditure of $15,000 or more. Public project includes construction, reconstruction, erection, alteration, renovation, improvement, painting, repainting, demolition and repair work involving a district owned, leased or operated facility.  (Public Contract Code 20111, 22002)

The District shall also advertise for competitive bids when a contract exceeds the amount specified in law, and as annually adjusted by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, for any of the following:  (Public Contract Code 20111)

1.    The purchase of equipment, material or supplies to be furnished, sold or leased to the district.

2.   Services, not including construction services, or special services and advice such as accounting, financial, legal or administrative matters.

3.    Repairs that are not a public project, including maintenance.

Maintenance means routine, recurring and usual work for preserving, protecting and keeping a district facility operating in a safe, efficient and continually usable condition for the intended purpose for which it was designed, improved, constructed, altered or repaired.  Maintenance includes, but is not limited to, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, glazing and other craft work designed to preserve the facility as well as repairs, cleaning and other operations on machinery and other permanently attached equipment.  Maintenance does not include, painting, repainting or decorating other than touchup or among other types of work, janitorial or custodial services and protection provided by security forces.  (Public Contract Code 20115)

Instructions and Procedures for Advertised Bids

The Superintendent or designee shall call for bids by placing a notice at least once a week for two weeks in a local newspaper of general circulation published in the district, or if no such paper exists then in some newspaper of general circulation, circulated in the county, and may also post the notice on the district’s web site or other electronic portal.  The notice shall state the work to be done or materials or supplies to be furnished and the time and place where bids will be opened.  (Public Contract Code 20112).  The district may accept a bid submitted electronically or on paper.

The notice shall contain the time, date and location of any mandatory prebid conference, site visit or meeting. The notice shall also detail when and where project documents, including final plans and specifications, are available.  Any such mandatory visit or meeting shall not occur within a minimum of five calendar days of the publication of the initial notice.  (Public Contract Code 6610) 

Bid instructions and specifications shall include the following requirements and information:

         1.  All bidders shall certify the minimum, if not exact, percentage of post consumer materials in the products, materials, goods or supplies offered or sold. (Public Contract Code 22152)

         2.  All bids for construction work shall be presented under sealed cover and shall be accompanied by one of the following forms of bidder’s security:  (Public Contract Code 20107, 20111)

            a.   Cash

            b.   A cashier’s check made payable to the district

            c.   A certified check made payable to the district

            d.   A bidder’s bond executed by an admitted surety insurer and made payable to the district

            The security of unsuccessful bidders shall be returned in a reasonable period of time, in no event any later than 60 days after the bid is awarded.  (Public Contract Code 20111)

         3.  When a standardized proposal form is provided by the district, bids not presented on the standard form shall be disregarded.  (Public Contract Code 20111.5)

         4.  Bids shall not be accepted after the advertised bid opening time, regardless of whether the bids are actually opened at that time.  (Public Contract Code 20112)

         5.  When two or more identical lowest or highest bids are received, the Board may determine by lot which bid shall be accepted.  (Public Contract Code 20117)

         6.  If the district requires that the bid include prices for items that may be added to or deducted from the scope of work in the contract, depending on the availability of funds, the bid solicitation shall specify which one of the following methods will be used to determine the lowest bid.  In the absence of such a specification, only the method provided in item #a, below, will be used:  (Public Contract Code 20103.8      

                 a.  The lowest bid shall be the lowest bid price on the base contract without consideration of the prices on the additive or deductive items.

                 b. The lowest bid shall be the lowest total of the bid prices on the base contract and those additive or deductive items that were specifically identified in the bid solicitation as being used for the purpose of determining the lowest bid price.

                  c.   The lowest bid shall the lowest total of the bid prices on the base contract and those additive or deductive items taken in order from a specifically identified list of those items, and added to or subtracted from the base contact, are less than or equal to a funding amount publicly disclosed by the district before the first bid is opened.

                  The lowest bid shall be determined in a manner that prevents any information that would identify any of the bidders from being revealed to the public entity before the ranking of all bidders from lowest to highest has been determined.

         7    Any subsequent change or alteration of a contract shall be governed by the provisions of Public Contract Code 20118.4.

         8. After being opened, all submitted bids become public records pursuant to Government Code 6252 and shall be made available for review pursuant to law, Board policy, and administrative regulation. 
         9.  When a bid is disqualified as nonresponsive based on district investigation or other information not obtained from the submitted bid, the Superintendent or designee shall notify the bidder and give him/her an opportunity to respond to the information.

Prequalification Procedure

When required by law or the Board, each prospective bidder shall complete and submit a standardized questionnaire and financial statement.  For this purpose, the Superintendent or designee shall provide a standardized proposal form, which requires a complete statement of the bidder's financial ability and experience in performing public works.  The bidder’s information shall be verified under oath in the manner in which civil law pleadings are verified.  The questionnaires and financial statements shall not be public records and shall not be open to public inspection.  (Public Contract Code 20111.5, 20111.6)

When any public project involves an expenditure of $1,000,000 or more and is funded or reimbursed wholly or partly by the School Facilities Program funds or other future state school bond, the district shall prequalify prospective bidders either quarterly or annually. The prequalification shall be valid for one year and the following requirements shall apply: (Education Code 17406, 17407; Public Contract Code 20111.6)

         1.  Prospective bidders, including, but not limited to, prime, general engineering, and general building contractors and electrical, mechanical, and plumbing subcontractors, as defined in the Business and Professions Code 4113, 7056, or 7057, as applicable, shall submit a standardized questionnaire and financial statement 10 or more business days, as determined by the district, before the date fixed for the public opening of sealed bids.

         2.  Prospective bidders shall be prequalified by the district five or more business days, as determined by the district, before the date fixed for the public opening of sealed bids.

If the project includes electrical, mechanical, or plumbing components that will be performed by electrical, mechanical, or plumbing contractors, the Superintendent or designee shall make available to all bidders a list of prequalified general contractors and electrical, mechanical, and plumbing subcontractors five or more business days, as determined by the district, before the date fixed for the public opening of sealed bids.

For all other contracts requiring competitive bidding, the district may establish a procedure for prequalifying bidders on a quarterly basis and may authorize that prequalification be considered valid for up to one calendar year following the date of the initial prequalification. Prospective bidders for such contracts shall submit the questionnaire and financial statement at least five days before the date fixed for public opening of sealed bids and shall be prequalified by the district at least one day before the fixed bid-opening date. (Public Contract Code 20111.5)

Award of Contract

The district shall award each contract to the lowest responsible bidder except in the following circumstances:

1.      When the contract is for the procurement and/or maintenance of electronic data processing systems and supporting software, in which case the Board may contract with any one of the three lowest responsible bidders  (Public Contract Code 20118.1)

2.      For any transportation service contract involving an expenditure of more than $10,000, which the Board contemplates may be made with a person or corporation other than a common carrier, municipally owned transit system, or a parent/guardian of students who are to be transported, in which case the Board may contract with other than the lowest bidder  (Education Code 39802)

3.      When the contract is one for which the Board has established goals and requirements relating to participation of minority, women, disabled veteran, or small business enterprises in accordance with Public Contract Code 2000-2002, in which case the Board may contract with the lowest responsible bidder who complies or makes a good faith effort to comply with the goals and requirements  (Public Contract Code 2000-2002)

Protests by Bidders

A bidder may protest a bid award if he/she believes that the award is not in compliance with law, Board policy, or the bid specification.  A protest must be filed in writing with the Superintendent or designee within five working days after receipt of notification of the contract award and shall include all documents supporting or justifying the protest.  A bidder's failure to file the protest documents in a timely manner shall constitute a waiver of his/her right to protest the award of the contract.

The Superintendent or designee shall review the documents submitted with the bidder's claims and render a decision in writing within 30 working days.  The Superintendent or designee may also convene a meeting with the bidder in order to attempt to resolve the problem.

The bidder may appeal the Superintendent or designee's decision to the Board.  The Superintendent or designee shall provide reasonable notice to the bidder of the date and time for Board consideration of the protest.  The Board's decision shall be final.

Alternative Bid Procedures for Technological Supplies and Equipment

Rather than seek competitive bids, the Board may use competitive negotiation when it makes a finding that a district procurement is for computers, software, telecommunications equipment, microwave equipment, or other related electronic equipment and apparatus.  Competitive negotiations shall not be used to contract for construction or for the procurement of any product that is available in substantial quantities to the general public.  (Public Contract Code 20118.2)

The competitive negotiation process shall include, but not be limited to, the following requirements: (Public Contract Code 20118.1)

         1.   The Superintendent or designee shall prepare a request for proposals (RFP) that shall be submitted to an adequate number of qualified sources, as determined by the district, to permit reasonable competition consistent with the nature and requirement of the procurement.

         2.   Notice of the request for proposals shall be published at least twice in a newspaper of general circulation, at least 10 days before the date for receipt of the proposals.

         3.   The Superintendent or designee shall make every effort to generate the maximum feasible number of proposals from qualified sources and shall make a finding to that effect before proceeding to negotiate if only a single response to the request for proposals is received.

         4.   The request for proposals shall identify all significant evaluation factors, including price, and their relative importance.

         5.   The Superintendent or designee shall provide reasonable procedures for the technical evaluation of the proposals received, the identification of qualified sources, and the selection for the award of the contract.

         6.   The Board shall award the contract to the qualified bidder whose proposal meets the evaluation standards and will be most advantageous to the district with price and all other factors considered.

         7.   If the Board does not award the contract to the bidder whose proposal contains the lowest price, then the district shall make a finding setting forth the basis for the award.

        8.   The Board, at its discretion, may reject all proposals and request new proposals.

         9.   Provisions in any contract concerning utilization of small business enterprises, that are in accordance with the request for proposals, shall not be subject to negotiation with the successful proposer.

Sole Sourcing

In any contract for the construction, alteration, or repair of school facilities, the Superintendent or designee shall not draft the bid specification in a manner that:  (Public Contract Code 3400)

1.      Directly or indirectly limits bidding to any one specific concern

2.      Calls for a designated material, product, thing, or service by a specific brand or trade name, unless the specification is followed by the words "or equal," so that bidders may furnish any equal material, product, thing, or service

         In any such case, the bid specification shall provide a time period, before and/or after the award of the contract, for the contractor to submit data substantiating the request for substituting the designated material, product, thing, or service.  If no such time period is specified, the contractor may submit the data within 35 days after the award of the contract.

When the bid is for a roof project, a material, product, thing, or service is considered "equal" to that designated if it is equal in quality, durability, design, and appearance; will perform the intended function equally well; and conforms substantially to the detailed requirements in the bid specification.  (Public Contract Code 3002)

However, the Superintendent or designee may designate a specific material, product, thing, or service by brand or trade name (sole sourcing), if the Board has made a finding, described in the invitation for bids or RFP, that a particular material, product, thing, or service is designated for any of the following purposes:  (Public Contract Code 3400)

1.      To conduct a field test or experiment to determine its suitability for future use

2.      To match others in use on a particular public improvement that has been completed or is in the course of completion

3.      To obtain a necessary item that is only available from one source

4.      To respond to the Board's declaration of an emergency, as long as the declaration has been approved by four-fifths of the Board when issuing the invitation for bid or RFP

(cf. 9323.2 - Actions by the Board)

Bids Not Required

Without advertising for bids and upon a determination that it is in the best interest of the district, the Board may authorize by contract, lease, requisition, or purchase order, another public corporation or agency to lease data-processing equipment, or to purchase materials, supplies, equipment, automotive vehicles, tractors and other personal property for the district in the manner that the other public corporation or agency is authorized to make the leases or purchases from a vendor. (“piggyback”)  (Public Contract Code 20118)  Alternatively, if there is an existing contract between a public corporation or agency and a vendor for the lease or purchase of personal property, the district may authorize the lease or purchase of personal property directly from the vendor by contract, lease, requisition, or purchase order and make payment to the vendor under the same terms that are available to the public corporation or agency under the contract (Public Code 20118)

In addition, upon a determination that it is in the best interest of the district and without advertising for bids, the Board may lease currently owned district property to any person, firm, or corporation for a minimum of $1 per year, as long as the lease requires the person, firm, or corporation to construct a building or buildings on the property for the district's use during the lease and the property and building(s) will vest in the district at the expiration of the lease ("lease-leaseback"). Prior to entering into a lease-leaseback agreement, the Superintendent or designee shall have on file the contractor's enforceable commitment that the contractor and its subcontractors at every tier will use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all work on the project or contract that falls within an apprenticeable occupation in the building and construction trades. (Education Code 17406, 17407.5)

(cf. 3280 - Sale or Lease of District-Owned Real Property)

Any lease-leaseback agreement shall include a lease term that specifies the district's occupancy of the building or improved property and a financing component as may be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Regardless of the funding source, when any lease-leaseback agreement is for a public project, involves an expenditure of $1,000,000 or more, and meets other criteria in Public Contract Code 20111.6, the prequalification requirements specified in the "Prequalification Procedure" section above shall be followed. (Education Code 17406)

Without advertising for bids, the Board may enter into an energy service contract and any related facility ground lease, when it determines that the terms of the contract and lease are in the best interest of the district. The Board's determination shall be made at a regularly scheduled public hearing of which notice is given to the public at least two weeks in advance and shall be based on cost comparison findings specified in Government Code 4217.12. (Government Code 4217.12)

 (cf. 9320 - Meetings and Notices)

Supplementary textbooks, library books, educational films, audiovisual materials, test materials, workbooks, instructional computer software packages, or periodicals may be purchased in any amount without taking estimates or advertising for bids. (Public Contract Code 20118.3)

 Perishable foodstuffs and seasonal commodities needed in the operations of cafeterias may be purchased through bid or on the open market. (Education Code 38083)

Bids shall not be required for day labor under circumstances specified in Public Contract Code 20114. Day labor shall include the use of maintenance personnel employed on a permanent or temporary basis. (Public Contract Code 20114)

In an emergency when any repairs, alterations, work, or improvement to any school facility is necessary to permit the continuance of existing school classes or to avoid danger to life or property, the Board may, by unanimous vote and with the approval of the County Superintendent of Schools, contract for labor and materials or supplies without advertising for or inviting bids or may authorize the use of day labor or force account for the emergency purpose. (Public Contract Code 1102, 20113)

The district may purchase any surplus property from the federal government or any of its agencies in any quantity needed for the operation of its schools without taking estimates or advertising for bids. (Education Code 17602)

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