(A)   (1)   If the municipality is required by law or by an ordinance or resolution adopted under division (C) of this section to award a contract to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, a bidder on the contract shall be considered responsive if the bidder’s proposal responds to bid specifications in all material respects and contains no irregularities or deviations from the specifications which would affect the amount of the bid or otherwise give the bidder a competitive advantage. The factors that the municipality shall consider in determining whether a bidder on the contract is responsible include the experience of the bidder, the bidder’s financial condition, conduct and performance on previous contracts, facilities, management skills, and ability to execute the contract properly.
      (2)   For purposes of this division, the provision of a bid guaranty in accordance with R.C. § 153.54(A)(1) and (B) issued by a surety licensed to do business in this state is evidence of financial responsibility, but the municipality may request additional financial information for review from an apparent low bidder after it opens all submitted bids. The municipality shall keep additional financial information it receives pursuant to a request under this division confidential, except under proper order of a court. The additional financial information is not a public record under R.C. § 149.43.
      (3)   An apparent low bidder found not to be responsive and responsible shall be notified by the municipality of that finding and the reasons for it. The notification shall be given in writing and either by certified mail or, if the municipality has record of an internet identifier of record associated with the bidder, by ordinary mail and by that internet identifier of record.
   (B)   Where the municipality has adopted an ordinance or resolution under division (C) of this section and determines to award a contract to a bidder other than the apparent low bidder or bidders for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, alteration, repair, painting or decoration of a public improvement, it shall meet with the apparent low bidder or bidders upon a filing of a timely written protest. The protest must be received within five days of the notification required in division (A) of this section. No final award shall be made until the municipality either affirms or reverses its earlier determination. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Ohio Revised Code, the procedure described in this division is not subject to R.C. Chapter 119.
   (C)   The municipality may, by ordinance or resolution, adopt a policy of requiring each competitively bid contract it awards to be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in accordance with this section.
   (D)   As used in this section, INTERNET IDENTIFIER OF RECORD means an electronic mail address, or any other designation used for self-identification or routing in internet communication or posting, provided for the purpose of receiving communication.
(R.C. § 9.312) (Rev. 2019)