WSDOT is in the middle of one of its largest construction programs with more than 300 contracts going to bid between now and 2011. Increased competition for construction work has resulted in more bidders on each contract. In the last 12 months, the number of bidders on WSDOT contracts has increased from an average of four bidders per contract to double-digit bidder turnouts. By accepting and managing contractor bids online, WSDOT can take advantage of the latest electronic bidding technology to increase efficiency and save money and processing time.
Online bidding also eliminates bidding errors with a built-in system that verifies calculations and finds missing data.
"Disqualifying a low bid because of an error, results in taxpayers not getting the most competitive price for construction projects," said WSDOT's State Construction Engineer Jeff Carpenter. "On large contracts, the difference between the two lowest bids can be hundreds of thousands of dollars."
Thirty states already use online bidding, with five more in the process of testing bidding systems. WSDOT selected Bid Express, a Web bidding information service to administer its online bidding system. Bid Express is owned by InfoTech of Gainesville, FL. Bid Express and WSDOT will conduct several training sessions for contractors interested in submitting bids electronically for WSDOT projects. For more information about WSDOT's online bidding, visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/biz/contaa/. WSDOT is currently in Beta testing and the system will be in full production mid September 2009.