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Following completion of the construction plans and specifications, the regulatory approval process begins. Since the regulatory agencies are so numerous and varied in their areas of authority, It is very difficult to describe them all even naming them all would be an difficult job specially in country like India were they easily the number may run over even more than 100.It is sufficient to say that it is the responsibility of the design professional to be fully aware of the applicable codes, rules, regulations and required approvals needed for each respective project.
Normally, following the receipt of all necessary approvals and signed easements, the client authorizes the engineer to commence the bidding process which is described in short step be step:
Ø Each proposed project has its own special parameters. Some may have state or federal wage rate requirements, special minority regulations, federal non-discrimination clauses, etc. All these special provisions and regulations must be incorporated into the bidding documents that accompany the plans and specifications.
Ø After the bidding packet; i.e., bidding documents, plans and specifications have been assembled, the advertisement for bids is prepared and properly published in the local newspapers and other applicable publications such as trade journals, builder’s exchanges, etc. At this time it is customary to send bidding packets to the client, builders exchanges and appropriate contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers.
Ø During the period from first publication date of the Ad for Bids until the bid opening, the engineer must be reasonably available to respond to questions from prospective bidders (contractors) concerning any item in the bidding documents, plans and specifications. Sometimes a pre-bid conference is held to answer questions from contractors.
Ø If a question or concern is significant, the engineer prepares a written addendum and issues it to all plan holders, prior to the bid opening. This document is intended to clarify any misunderstandings or correct any discovered error well in advance of bid opening so all prospective bidders are on a level and fair playing field.
Ø When the time arrives for the bid opening, it is customary for the client or the engineer to declare the bidding “closed”. This is a formal process and should be a public event with an attendance sign-up sheet to document who were present.
Ø All bids must be delivered in a sealed envelope prior to the time of closing and should be initialled by the receiving clerk. Following the bid closing, the engineer and client open each bid in order of receipt and read aloud each respective bidder’s proposal.
Ø Following the reading, those in the audience are excused and the engineer is assigned the task of reviewing each bid proposal in detail. Checking the math, bid bond and other applicable documents required. Usually, within a few days after bid opening, the engineer issues an official bid tabulation to all plan holders and the client.
Ø At this point in time, the engineer makes a recommendation to the client. If the low bidder has a bona fide bid bond, reasonably balanced bid, good references and has complied with all specific bidding requirements, he is recommended by the engineer.
Ø If the client agrees, a Notice of Award is issued to the successful contractor, usually through the engineer. Within a ten to fifteen day period, the contractor supplies a Performance Bond, Payment Bond, Insurance Certificate and other relevant contract documents to the engineer who assembles them into the contract for the client’s attorney to review.
Ø Following the attorney’s certification or the contract, the engineer notifies the contractor and sets a date for the Pre-Construction Conference.