During FY 2014, the Commission implemented a new online bidding system for Commission-administered capital construction projects. The Commission 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.
With Bid Express, all documents and information needed for the submission of a sealed bid for a project is available online. Contractors 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.
Previously, contractors interested in working on Commission projects were required to physically deliver their bids to locations across Ohio, depending on where the job is to be built. Electronic bids, on the other hand, are now submitted from any location with the click of a button. Contractors can work with subcontractors and suppliers up until minutes before a bid opening.
Online training systems, as well as a customer service help center, are available to help contractors navigate the process of online bidding. Based on the Commission's success with the system, several state agencies and universities have begun implementation of Bid Express for their locally administered projects.
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 by a number of Ohio city and county governments.