Construction OberView: Unbalanced = Unresponsive


In denying two appeals brought by Brawner Builder’s, Inc. (“Brawner”) against the State Highway Administration (“SHA”), the Maryland Board of Contract Appeals (the “Board”) upheld a decision by SHA that an unbalanced bid submitted by a contractor was unresponsive.

The project in question involved bridge deck overlay and painting work for two bridges in Howard County, Maryland. Of the eight bids received, Brawner submitted the low bid, however, SHA deemed it to be materially unbalanced. This was due to the inclusion in Brawner’s bid of a charge of $1.00 or less on 47 of 51 items contained in the Schedule of Prices.

After bid opening, SHA analyzed the bid quantities included in the Invitation For Bid and determined that certain quantities were in error. When the bid quantities were recalculated and the bidders’ unit prices were applied, Brawner’s bid was not the lowest. SHA decided to reject all of the bids and re-bid the project using the correct quantities. Brawner protested the decision on the basis that a rejection of all bids was not in the fiscal interest of Maryland.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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