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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1753Subpart A → §1753.8

Title 7: Agriculture
Subpart A—General

§1753.8   Contract construction procedures.

(a) Sealed, competitive bidding—(1) Bid opening date. The borrower is responsible for scheduling the bid opening date. If RUS review of P&S is required by §1753.7, the borrower shall wait until approval has been received before setting the date. In setting the date, sufficient time should be allowed for the bidders to examine the project site and prepare their bids. The borrower shall notify GFR of the bid date and invite GFR to attend.

(2) Invitations to bid. The borrower is responsible for sending invitations to prospective bidders and taking any other action necessary to procure full, free, and competitive bidding. The borrower should obtain from its engineer a list of prospective bidders and a recommendation indicating which bidders are considered qualified. The minimum number of contractors to be invited to bid on contracts for various types of facilities is set forth in subparts D, E, F, or H.

(3) Qualifying bidders. If the notice and instructions to bidders require that bidders show evidence of meeting certain requirements, the borrower shall qualify bidders before issuing P&S to them. Procedures for qualifying bidders are contained in subparts D, E, and F.

(4) Receipt of bids. The borrower shall write on the outside envelope of any bid or bid amendment, the date and time the bid was received. Any bid received from an unqualified bidder or after the time specified for opening shall be returned promptly to the bidder unopened.

(5) Procedure when fewer than three bids are received. If fewer than three valid bids are received, the borrower shall consult with RUS to determine whether the bids are to be opened or returned unopened. RUS requires that the project be rebid if fewer than three bids are received and RUS determines that one or more other bidders with an express interest in bidding is available and could meet the bid requirements, but was not invited to bid. RUS shall also require rebidding if it is found that qualified bidders were discouraged from bidding by unreasonable bid requirements (such as late notification to bidders) or if the borrower fails to follow the bid procedure.

(6) Conduct of bid openings. The borrower shall conduct bid openings open to the public. The borrower should be able to contact its attorney for immediate consultation.

(7) Review of bids. The borrower shall review all bids prior to reading any bid results to determine that:

(i) The bid guarantees are adequate.

(ii) All minor errors or irregularities made through inadvertence are corrected or waived. Failing this, the bid shall be rejected as nonresponsive.

(iii) In the event of non-minor errors or irregularities, the bid is rejected and the bid price not disclosed.

(8) Reading of bids. Bid prices shall not be read until the borrower has reviewed all bids to determine if there are any minor errors or irregularities that may affect the recommendation as to award. These shall be made public at the same time the bid price is announced.

(9) Evaluating bids. The borrower shall consider the same alternates in all bids in determining the low bid.

(10) Rejection. The borrower shall reject:

(i) All bids if quoted prices are not acceptable or if the specifications were ambiguous and resulted in bidders having different interpretations of the requirements.

(ii) Any bid that is not responsive, or is incomplete, or submitted by an unqualified bidder, or unbalanced between labor and materials or other respects.

(11) Award of contract. (i) The borrower shall obtain from the engineer the determination of the lowest responsive bid, a tabulation of all bids and the engineer's recommendation for award of the contract. Contract award is subject to RUS approval if either the cost of the project is over $500,000 or the contract is with an organization affiliated with the borrower. Contract award of all other projects is not subject to RUS approval.

(ii) If an award is made, the borrower shall award the contract to the lowest responsive bidder. The borrower may award the contract immediately upon determination of the lowest responsive bidder if the following conditions are met:

(A) The project is included in an approved loan and adequate funds were budgeted in the loan and are available.

(B) All applicable RUS procedures were followed, including those in the Notice and Instructions to Bid in the standard forms of contract.

(iii) If RUS approval of the award of contract is required under this paragraph (a)(11), the borrower shall send to RUS for consideration of approval of the award:

(A) Two copies of the low bid.

(B) The engineer's recommendation and the tabulation of all bids.

(C) Evidence of acceptance of the low bid by the borrower, such as:

(1) Certified copy of board resolution or

(2) letter or telegram to RUS signed by a properly authorized corporate official.

(iv) If RUS approval of the award of contract is not required under this paragraph (a)(11), the borrower shall keep a file available for inspection by RUS. The file shall be kept for at least two years and shall include:

(A) One copy of all received bids.

(B) The engineer's recommendation and tabulation of all bids including “Buy American” evaluations, if any, and all other evaluations required by law.

(C) Evidence of acceptance of the low bid by the borrower, such as a copy of the board resolution certified by the Secretary of the board.

(12) Execution of contract. (i) The borrower shall submit to RUS three original counterparts of the contract executed by the contractor and borrower.

(ii) If RUS approves the contract, it shall return one copy to the borrower and send one copy to the contractor.

(b) Negotiated construction contracts. (1) For the construction of certain facilities the borrower may negotiate a contract rather than solicit sealed competitive bids. Refer to the appropriate subparts E, F, or H for specific requirements and procedures.

(2) For negotiated purchases, borrowers shall use RUS contract forms, standards, and specifications.

(3) For all contract forms except RUS Form 773:

(i) After a satisfactory negotiated proposal has been obtained, the borrower shall submit it to RUS for approval, along with the engineer's recommendation, and evidence of acceptance by the borrower.

(ii) If RUS approves the negotiated proposal, the borrower shall submit three copies of the contract, executed by the contractor and borrower, to RUS for approval.

(iii) If RUS approves the contract, RUS shall return one copy of the contract to the borrower and one copy to the contractor.

(4) For RUS Form 773, the borrower is responsible for negotiating a satisfactory proposal, executing contracts, and closing the contract. See subparts F and I of this part for requirements for major and minor construction, respectively, on Form 773.

[54 FR 39267, Sept. 25, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39396, Sept. 27, 1990, as amended at 59 FR 43716, Aug. 25, 1994; 64 FR 16605, Apr. 6, 1999]

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