EC Pulling Bids

December 17, 2010

Q: What happens on non-public works projects when the EC, who was the apparent low bidder using our number, pulls back their bid? Are we at any risk?

A: You are at risk of losing that job unless you went in with another EC or direct to a GC. However, I don’t see that you are at any risk of the owner, GC or CM coming back at you as long as you weren’t a prime bidder or had any part in starting the default (pulling back your bid as a sub). As long as you didn’t provide a bid bond or cause this chain reaction, you shouldn’t be held responsible for the EC not honoring its price. This is becoming pretty common, actually, in situations where ECs and GCs are bidding work only to find out later that this non-bonded project will push them over the comfort level of their surety company or bank on their LOC. Bonded jobs, in some cases, are safer because a good agent will help walk them through what each project does for their capacity. Sometimes, getting jobs back to back are the cause for these unexpected withdrawals. But, most the time, this is caused by big estimating mistakes being found after the prices are exposed. We aren’t the only ones with no margin for error anymore. — CW

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