What is a “Responsive, Responsible” Bidder?

This week's blog post is authored by Paul Schreyer, the Director of JOC Operations for the Northeast Region.

Many facility and infrastructure owners that use the Job Order Contracting process to expedite the procurement of their repair, renovation and straightforward construction work, are required to, or choose to, award the contract to the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder. So when contractors submit a bid, they use their expertise and knowledge to formulate a bid price that is accurate and competitive, but the bid must also be  “responsive” and the bidder must be “responsible.” What do these terms mean?

To be a “responsive” bid, it must meet the criteria laid out in the bidding documents. The bid has to include all the required documents and information, cannot take exceptions to the bid requirements, all forms have to be completed fully,  have the required signatures, and be submitted before the date and time specified, at the location specified, and in the way that was requested (mailed or electronically), bid name and number on the outside of envelope, and any other criteria outlined.

The requirements to be a “responsible” bidder vary from owner to owner. Generally, a responsible is a bidder that has the experience, personnel, equipment, and finances to perform the requirements of the contract. 

When facility and infrastructure owners scrutinize the bids, they may find that the lowest bid is either not responsive or not responsible, and they may therefore award to the next lowest  bidder.