March 1, 2013 (COLUMBUS) The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) today announced plans to use an innovative electronic bidding system that will streamline bidding on construction contracts.
OFCC Executive Director Richard Hickman says the Commission has selected Bid Express, an internet-based bidding information service, as the vehicle for submitting and processing sealed bids for all multiple-prime and general contracting projects managed by the agency.
Hickman said that with Bid Express, all documents and information needed for the submission of a sealed bid for a project will be available on-line. Contractors will submit bids through a secure web site and receive a printable date/time stamp. The software includes a check for errors and completeness of the bid. At bid opening time, the system unlocks the bids and allows the agency staff to review the tabulated bids, with the results available on the web site soon after the bid deadline.
Currently, contractors interested in working on OFCC projects must physically deliver their bids to locations across Ohio, depending on where the job is to be built. Electronic bids, on the other hand, can be submitted from any location with the click of a button. Contractors can work with subcontractors and suppliers up until minutes before a bid opening.
OFCC will start training contractors for pilot projects starting in late spring, with full roll-out expected in summer 2013. There will be a series of contractor outreach sessions and a customer service help center to assist contractors interested in filing bids. Once the system is implemented, electronic bidding will be available to state agencies and state supported colleges and universities with local administration authority.
According to OFCC Executive Director Richard Hickman, “Moving to electronic bidding benefits both the state and contractors who will be able to prepare and submit bids without having to develop a paper bid, travel to submit bids, or attend bid openings.” He noted that the placement of bid drawings, bidding specifications, and other documents on the web means that the information will be available 24/7 for those interested in preparing a bid.
The Bid Express service is offered by Info Tech, Inc. of Gainesville, Florida, and is currently used by state departments of transportation in 39 states nationwide, including the Ohio Department of Transportation, and with a number of Ohio city and county governments.