Friday, May 17, 2013

ASA Documents Updated To Fight Bid Shopping

The American Subcontractors Association this month released a new version of its Subcontractor Bid Proposal form, incorporating Consensus Docs 750 Standard Form of Agreement Between Constructor and Subcontractor, in ASA's continuing effort to thwart general contractor shopping of subcontractor and supplier bids on construction projects. ASA's new bid submission form has added the following language to the subcontractor proposal:

"Subcontractor has devoted time, money and resources toward preparing this bid in exchange for Customer's express agreement that the parties shall have a binding contract consistent with the terms of this bid proposal and Customer unconditionally and irrevocably accepts this bid proposal if it 

(A) in any way uses or relies on the bid proposal or information therein to prepare "Customer's bid" for the project at issue and Customer is awarded a contract for the work; or

(B) divulges the bid or any information therein to others competing with Subcontractor for the work."

This language is designed to deter general contractors and construction managers from shopping subcontractor bids to competitors after a contract has been awarded to the general on the general's bid  which includes the subcontractor's pricing. Bid shopping is sometimes used by unscrupulous builders to increase their profits by squeezing subcontractor pricing after award of a contract based on subcontractor bids which are then undercut by competitors who never bid on the project, or who were outbid but are willing to cut their prices once the results of the bidding are known.
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