This section contains instructions as to the schedule and procedure for submitting and clarifying bids.



Written instructions issued by the [ County ] prior to time bids are due and which modify or interpret the Bid Documents by additions, deletions, clarifications or corrections.

Bid Documents.

The advertisement or invitation to bid and all documents contained in this bid package plus any addenda which may be subsequently issued.  Bid Documents include the following:

Advertisement or Invitation to Bid

Instruction to Bidders - #1 - [ _____ ]

Bid Specifications

Bid Form

Proposed Contract


The [ County of _____ ]

Equal or Equivalent.

This term when contained in the bid specifications is intended to establish a level of quality and is not to be interpreted as a preference for a particular brand.  Other brands meeting the specification requirements will be accepted, with prior written county approval.  The materials, products, and equipment described in the bid documents establish a standard of type, funtion and quality to be met by any proposed subsitution.

Successful bid ( or bidder ).

The lowest responsive bid ( or bidder ) selected by the county for award of the contract.


A pre-bid conference is scheduled for [ DATE AND TIME ] at [ ADDRESS ].

County staff will be available to review the bid docuemtns, respond to questions and discuss the project in general.

*Attendance at this meeting is optional.


*Attendance at the pre-bid conference by a representative of each potential bidder is required.  Any bid from a non-attending bidder will be rejected unless justifiable reasons for non-attendance are approved by [ NAME ] prior to the conference.


The County reserves the right to modify or interpret the Bid Documents by additions, deletions, clarifications or corrections.

If any potential bidder desires clarification or interpretation of any aspect of these Bid Documents,

*A written request must be sent by certified mail


*such request may be made to:  [ NAME ], [ TITLE ], [ ADDRESS ]

Requests will be accepted until [ TIME/DATE ].  The County will use its best efforts to answer all requests within five working days of receipt.  A reply to such requests will be in wiriting and deemed an addendum to the Bid Documents.  Copies of any addenda will be mailed or delivered to all who have requested a complete set of Bid Documents from the County.  However, it is the responsibility of each bidder to ascertain prior to submission of a bid that all addenda have been received.

  1. ERRORS.

Bidders shall not be allowed to take advantage of any errors or omissions.

Potential bidders shall promptly notify name/title/address/phone of any ambiguity, inconsistency or material error which may be discovered upon examination of the Bid Documents.  Modifications, corrections and clarifications to the Bid Documents will be made by addenda.  Any modification, correction or clarification made in any other manner shall be cause for rejection of the bid.



Bids must be submitted on the bid form provided by or identical to the one provided by the County.


All blank spaces on the form must be completed in ink or typewritten.  Illegible bids will be rejected.


Alterations or erasures must be crossed out.  Correction thereof must be printed in ink or typed next to it and initialed by each person signing the bid.


Bids must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the following inscription typed or written on the outside of the envelope:

Sealed Bid for [ DESCRIPTION ].
Due on [ TIME/DATE ].
as well as the name and address of the bidder.


All bids must be submitted by an original writing.  Oral, facsimile, telegraphic, or other electronic transmissions of bids are invalid and will not receive consideration.



Bids received prior to the time of opening will be kept secure and unopened.  The County accepts no responsibility for the premature opening of a bid not properly addressed or identified.  If a bid is prematurely opened, it will be resealed immediately and considered with the other bids unless an unfair advantage would result from such action.


Bidder is fully responsible for submitting bid by date and time stated above.  Bids received after the first bid is opened will not be considered.


*The County will not permit any bid, once submitted, to be modified or withdrawn.


**Any bid may be modified or withdrawn up until the official opening of the first bid.  Any modification or withdrawal shall be in writing signed by an authorized representative of the Bidder.  Any modification shall be worded so as to not reveal the original bid amount.


***The County will not permit any bid to be withdrawn except upon a showing of material mistake on the part of the bidder in understanding the obligations contained in the Bid Documents.


Bids must be guaranteed for [ DAYS ] following official opening of bids.  By submitting a bid, each bidder so agrees.

Bids must be accompanied by a certified check, cashier check, or bid bond payable to the [ COUNTY TREASURER ] in the amount of 5% of the bid.

The bid security will pledge that the bidder will enter into a contract with the County pursuant to the terms of the Bid Documents.  If the successful bidder fails to enter into said contract, the bid security will be forfeited to the County, not as a penalty, but as liquidated damages for review of new bids, re-advertisement or other administrative costs resulting from bidder's failure to abide by the conditions herein.

This bid security will be returned upon the earlier of [ DAYS ] after the bid opening or upon receipt of an approved performance bond and fully executed contract from the successful bidder.  In the case of the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder, the bid security will be returned after a performance bond is approved by the County and a contract has been fully executed.


This section contains information on how the bid will be evaluated and awarded, including whether alternative bids or substitutions will be considered.


The bid award shall be based on, but not necessarily limited to, the following factors:


adherence to all conditions and requirements of the bid specifications.


total bid price


unit bid price


extended price


general reputation and experience of bidders


estimated total cost


hourly rates for specified personnel


County's evaluation of the bidder's ability to service the County


the financial responsibility of the bidder


the County's prior knowledge or experience with the bidder in terms of past performance


the needs and requirements of the County


the County's experience with the products involved


the nature and extent of company data furnished upon request of the County


the size and location of the bidder's warehouse


quantity of merchandise offered


results of testing samples


overall completeness of line offered


bidder's ability to meet delivery and stocking requirements


delivery date

Failure to meet a material requirement of the bid documents is reason for rejection of any bid.

The County reserves the right to waive any informality or minor defect where the acceptance, rejection or waiving of such is in the best interests of the County.

The County reserves the right to disqualify any bid, before or after opening, upon evidence of collusion, intent to defraud or any other illegal practice on the part of any bidder.

The County reserves the right to reject all bids.


The County reserves the right to request and test samples from the apparent successful bidder.

Prior to the award of the contract, the apparent successful bidder, if requested by the county, shall furnish current information and data regarding the bidder's [ RESOURCES ] [ PERSONNEL ] [ ORGANIZATION ] within [ NUMBER ] days.

The County reserves the right to reject the bid of the apparent successful bidder where the available evidence or information does not satisfy the County that the bidder is qualified to properly carry out the terms of the contract.

The apparent successful bidder shall be required to supply the names and addresses of material suppliers and subcontractors when requested to do so by the County.


*Unless the particular specification prohibits substitution, bidders are encouraged to propose materials, products, or equipment of comparable type, function and quality.  Bids for substitute items shall be stated in the appropriate blank on the bid form, or if the bid form does not contain blanks for substitutions, on the bidder's letterhead attached to the bid form.  Bidders shall attach to the bid form a statement of the manufacturer and brand name of each proposed substitution plus a complete description of the item including descriptive literature, illustrations, performance and test data and any other information necessary for an evaluation.  The burden of proof that the substitution is equal or equivalent is upon the bidder.


*The materials, products, and equipment described in the bid documents establish a standard of quality to be met by any and all proposed substitutions.  No substitution will be considered unless prior to receipt of bids a written request for approval has been received by [ NAME ] at least [ NUMBER ] work days prior to the date for receipt of bids.  Each request shall include the name of the material or equipment for which it is to be substituted and a complete description of the proposed substitute including but not limited to drawings, cuts, performance and test data and any other information necessary for complete evaluation.  The burden of proof that the proposed substitute is equal or equivalent is upon the

bidder requesting such substitution.  If the County approves any proposed substitution prior to the receipt of bids, such approval will be set forth in an Addendum.


*The bidder shall furnish only those brands proposed in the bid documents.


Bidders may submit alternative bids, bidding on one or more items individually, all items together or both, or substituting equivalent items for those specified.


    The successful bidder will be required to execute a contract with the  County within [ NUMBER ] days of

*notification of award


*receipt of contract

The contract shall be substantially in the form contained in the Bid Documents (See Proposed Contract Terms, page [ 39 ]).

The County reserves the right to incorporate by reference these Bid Documents and/or the successful bid in the contract resulting from the award of the bid.

The County reserves the right to award this bid in whole or in part, by itme, group of items or by section where such action serves the County's best interests.


This section contains other information of importance to the bidder in considering whether to submit a bid.

  1. COSTS.

Under no circumstances does the County accept responsibility for the costs of preparing a bid.


    Information supplied by a bidder to the County is subject to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. § 13.01 et seq.  Such information shall become public unless it falls within one of the exceptions in the Act, such as security information, trade secret information, or labor relations information.  If a bidder believes any information which is not public will be supplied in its bid, a bidder shall take reasonable steps to identify for the County which data, if any, falls within the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act exceptions.  If the bid is not marked in such a way as to identify not public data, the County will treat the information as public and release it upon request after the bid opening.  In addition, the County reserves the right to make the final determination of whether data identified by a bidder as not public falls within the exceptions in the Act.

    The County assumes no obligaton to defend any action by a third party seeking to obtain access to material determined by a bidder to be not public information.  Defense of such actions shall be the responsibility of the bidder.  The County will release any or all data necessary to comply with administrative or court order.  The County further assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage which may result from the release of data provided by a bidder to the County.

  2. TAXES.

The County is subject to federal excise or Minnesota sales taxes, unless the appropriate exemption numbers or certificates can be furnished to the successful bidder.


By submission of a bid each bidder represents that the bidder has read and understood the bid documents and that the bid is made in accordance therewith.

It is the responsibility of each bidder to become familiarized with the conditions under which the work is to be done.

  1. OTHER.



financing to be used for project


description of long-term goals of the county regarding this type of purchase/development


description of the land/building where the equipment is to be installed or place where blue prints may be reviewed.