(A)   Conditions for use.  Excepting professional services, all contracts of the county shall be awarded by competitively sealed bidding, except as otherwise provided in §§ 41.031, 41.032, 41.033, 41.035, 41.151 and 41.152, or as provided by state statute.
   (B)   Invitation for bids.  All invitations for bids shall be issued and shall include specifications, and all contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement.
   (C)   Public notice.  Adequate public notice of the invitation for bids shall be given a reasonable time, but not less than 12 calendar days prior to the date set forth therein for the opening of bids. The notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county at least 12 calendar days prior to the date set forth therein for the opening of bids. The public notice shall state the place, date and time of bid opening. All notices that are published in a newspaper shall also be published concurrently on the county web page giving notice that any and all questions may be e-mailed to the County Executive’s office together with a notice that any and all questions shall be answered by posting the answer on the appropriate county web page.
   (D)   Bid opening.  Bids shall be opened publicly in the presence of one or more witnesses at the time and place designated in the invitation for bids. The amount of each bid, and other relevant information as the County Executive deems appropriate, together with the name of each bidder, shall be recorded; the record and each bid shall be open to public inspection in accordance with § 41.005.
   (E)   Bid acceptance and bid evaluation.  Bids shall be unconditionally accepted without alteration or correction, except as authorized in this chapter. Bids shall be evaluated based on the requirements set forth in the invitation for bids, which may include criteria to determine acceptability such as inspection, testing, quality, workmanship, delivery and suitability for a particular purpose. Those criteria that will affect the bid price and be considered in evaluation for award shall be objectively measurable, such as discounts, transportation costs and total or life cycle costs. The invitation for bids shall set forth the evaluation criteria to be used. No criteria may be used in bid evaluation that is not set forth in the invitation for bids. Alternative bids may be considered and accepted provided they are specifically provided for in the invitation for bids and meet the evaluation criteria set forth therein. The evaluation criteria chosen for inclusion in a bid or proposal cannot exceed the minimum requirements necessary to meet the needs of the county. Evaluation criteria cannot be used to eliminate potential bidders or proposers.
   (F)   Correction or withdrawal of bids; cancellation of awards.
      (1)   Correction or withdrawal of inadvertently erroneous bids before or after bid opening or cancellation of awards or contracts based on bid mistakes, may be permitted where appropriate. Mistakes discovered before bid opening may be modified or withdrawn by written or telegraphic notice received in the office designated in the invitation for bids prior to the time set for bid opening. After bid opening, cancellation of bids shall be permitted only to the extent that the bidder can show by clear and convincing evidence that a mistake of a nonjudgmental character was made, the nature of the mistake, and the bid price actually intended. After bid opening, no changes in the bid prices or other provisions of bids prejudicial to the interest of the county in fair competition shall be permitted. In lieu of bid correction, a low bidder alleging a material mistake of fact may be permitted to withdraw its bid if:
         (a)   The mistake is clearly evident on the face of the bid document but the intended correct bid is not similarly evident; or
         (b)   The bidder submits evidence which clearly and convincingly demonstrates that a mistake was made.
      (2)   All decisions to permit the correction or withdrawal of bids, or to cancel awards of contracts based on bid mistakes, shall be supported by a written recommendation of the assigned County Board committee to the entity having the authority to approve.
   (G)   Award.  The contract shall be awarded with reasonable promptness to the lowest responsible bidder whose bid meets the requirements and criteria set forth in the invitation for bids. In the event the lowest responsible bid for a construction project exceeds available funds as certified by the County Auditor, and the bid does not exceed funds by more than 10%, the County Executive or his or her designee is authorized when time or economic considerations preclude resolicitation of work on a reduced scope, to negotiate with the lowest responsible bidder a reduction in only the price term of the bid, in order to bring the bid within the amount of available funds. Notwithstanding the above, the following language will be included in all solicitations: “the County Board retains the right to reject any and all bids, and to waive non-material informality or irregularity in any bid received in whole or part, and to determine not to proceed to contract on any particular bid”.
(1980 Code, § 41.020)  (Ord. 08-461, passed 11-20-2008)