Frequently Asked Questions

Bidding

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  • Do I need to attach the agenda to the bid book?
    • Yes.
       
  • What happens if I am late delivering my bid on the due day?
    • To ensure a fair and equitable process, no bids will be accepted after the due date and time. This rule is strictly enforced.
       
  • Can I take apart the bid book in public works and only send back those pages I'm required to fill in/sign?
    • No
       
  • Why do I need to submit a duplicate copy of my bid?
    • Duplicate copies are important in verifying information as well as the intent of the bidder. 
       
  • Do I need to attend bid opening or bid award at the BOE?
    • Attendance at the Board of Estimates for bid opening or bid award is not required but is encouraged. However, should you want to protest an award, you must file a protest by the deadline and be present when it is considered by the Board.
       
  • Can I make a change to my bid if I realize I've made a mistake after I submitted it?
    • No. Once submitted, bids are irrevocable and no changes may be made. However; if, upon review by the City Department of Law, a minor deficiency or irregularity in the bid is identified, the Board of Estimates may allow the bidder to correct a mistake.
    • A minor irregularity is a failure to meet a requirement in a formal solicitation that is merely a matter of form (not substance) or is a defect or variation as to price, quantity, quality, or delivery that is a trivial or inconsequential provision when contrasted with the total cost or scope of the procurement.  A minor irregularity does not materially change the purpose or scope of the solicitation or undermine the competitive process by giving a responder an unfair advantage over others.
    • Note – the ability to cure minor irregularities is at the sole discretion of the Board of Estimates. Agencies may recommend cures. The Board may or may not accept the recommendation.
       
  • Why does the process take so long?
    • The buying power of Baltimore City government is significant. To ensure that tax dollars are expended in a fair, equitable, and deliberative manner that meets the needs of City residents, the City has established processes and procedures to solicit, review, evaluate, and award contracts.
    • The City contracts for many different types of goods and services. Some contracts are straightforward and some are more complex. Funding availability, urgent operational or administrative issues, and potential legal issues may delay contract awards.
    • It is important to stay in contact with the contracting agency as they will be able to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.
       
  • Why is the procurement process so complicated?
    • See above re why does the process take so long. Baltimore City must ensure tax dollars are expended in a fair, equitable and deliberative manner that meets the needs of City residents. The current processes and procedures are intended to ensure a thoughtful and evaluative approach to contracting.
    • That being said, we do recognize these processes are complicated and often confuse bidders. We have established this website to answer questions and provide information on the contracting process. We have also developed regulations, which incorporate all the laws, policies, rules, and procedures for procurement in Baltimore City into one document.
       
  • How can I get a copy of my contract?
    • Copies of contracts for materials, supplies, and equipment are available on the CitiBuy website. Copies of construction and public works contracts may be obtained from the Baltimore City Comptroller's Office, which is located in Room 204 in Baltimore City Hall.
       
  • Can I submit bids electronically?
    • No. While we want to eventually accept electronic bids, at this time, we cannot accommodate that. 
    • All bids must be submitted in the manner indicated on the solicitation.
       
  • When does the Board open bids?
  • Where is the Comptroller's Office located?
    • The Baltimore City Comptroller's Office is located in room 204 in Baltimore City Hall.
       
  • How do I register to do business with the City?
  • Where can I find available opportunities?
    • You can find available opportunities on this website by going to _____[LINK TO AVAILABLE CONTRACTS________ 
       
  • Where do I send a protest?
    • Protest(s) should be submitted in writing by noon on the Tuesday preceding the Board meeting. Please submit protests to:
            Board of Estimates
            c/o Clerk to the Board
            204 City Hall
            100 N. Holliday Street
            Baltimore, Maryland 21202
       
  • How many copies of my bid do I need to submit?
    • Depends on the solicitation, which specifies the number of copies.
       
  • What is the difference between a bid and a proposal?
    • A bid is a submission in response to either an Invitation for Bids (for non-construction or public works contracts) or a Notice of Letting (for construction or public works contracts). Bids are irrevocable and binding. They are either accepted by the City or rejected. Contracts are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.
    • A proposal is a submission in response to a Request for Proposals. They are irrevocable but may be negotiated between the City and proposer if provided for in the solicitation. Proposals are scored using a predetermined rubric and are generally submitted in two parts: technical and financial. Contracts are awarded to the highest scoring responsive and responsible proposer.

Bonding

  • Do I need to provide a bond with my bid?
    • There are several types of bonding or security that you may need when submitting a bid or proposal. The solicitation will describe what is required. For more information, contact the procuring agency.
       
  • When do I get my bid security back?
    • Bid security will be returned when the successful bidder executes the contract and, if required, the performance bond.

MBE/WBE

  • How can I get certified as an MBE/WBE?
  • Do my subs have to be prequalified when I submit my bid?
    • No, but they must be prequalified to begin work on the project.
       
  • Do my subs need to be certified by the Minority and Women Owned Business Opportunity Office (MWBOO) when I submit my bid?
    • Subs must be certified by MWBOO when bids are submitted for them to count towards an MBE or WBE goal. The certification process can be found at https://law.baltimorecity.gov/certification-process
    • Subs that are not certified will not count towards the MBE or WBE goal, which may result in the bid or proposal being rejected as unresponsive.

Post Award

  • When can I begin working after I am awarded a contract?
    • You may not begin work until officially issued a letter or notice of award by the procuring agency. The agency is responsible for managing the contract, including initiation.  Professional services can start upon date of signature by necessary party (agency or BOE)
       
    • Exceptions:
      • Bureau of Procurement Contracts may have retroactive start dates.
      • Professional Services Contracts may have retroactive start dates.
  • Who can I talk to if I'm not getting paid on time?
    • It depends on whether you are a prime or sub-contractor. Prime contractors should contact the City agency managing the work or services being performed.
    • If you are a sub-contractor, you should contact the Minority and Women Owned Business Opportunity Office (MWBOO). The contact information is as follows:
            City Hall, Room 101
            100 N. Holliday Street
            Baltimore, Maryland 21202
            (410) 396-4355
       
  • Who do I contact if I have other questions about the process?
    • For the best and most detailed information, you should contact the procuring agency directly. Contact information is included in the solicitation.
    • For general questions, you may send an email to GENERIC EMAIL ACCOUNT. Note that it may take some time to obtain a response if you submit an item to this email account as it will need to be referred to the correct agency or office.