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Sealed Bids

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does FTA require the grantee/owner to attend the bid opening of a prime contractor that is opening bids from subcontractors on a Design-Build project?

A. FTA policies do not require the grantee/owner to be present at the bid opening of a prime contractor's subcontract bids. It would be good public policy for the bid opening to be conducted in public with all bids documented in a public record. (Posted: March, 2013)

Q. Does FTA require that an owner representative be present at a bid opening when the owner has contracted with a CM for the management of bids?

A. FTA does not require the owner to be present at the bid opening. (Posted: August, 2013)

Q. Are there any rules or best practices regarding what the dollar limits are, or should be, for no bid, verbal quotes, written quotes, formal advertising etc.? For example, if our range for obtaining written quotes is $10,000 to $35,000, are there rules or best practices that say what that range should be?

A. FTA Dollar thresholds are: $3500 and less for micro-purchases and less than $150,000 for simplified acquisitions. For micro-purchases FTA does not require competitive quotes, only that the grantee document the file that the price being paid is fair and reasonable, and the basis for that determination. For procurements of $150,000 and above FTA requires that the grantee advertise (publicize) the procurement in order to notify prospective bidders. For procurements less than $150,000 there is no requirement to advertise the procurement; grantees are required, however, to ensure that they obtain adequate competition. When price quotations are solicited from vendors it is always recommended that the quotes be in writing so they can be preserved in the contract files for future inspection by those needing to review the procurement history (such as happens during a formal procurement review by FTA). Formal advertising (sealed bidding) is required by FTA for acquisitions of $150,000 and above, but grantees may elect to use sealed bids for procurements with lower dollar values if they choose to do so.
(Posted: November, 2015)