In a step to move the bidding system into the electronic age, Act 88 of 2006, known as the Local Government Unit Electronic Bidding Act, was passed and took effect on September 11, 2006. The Act applies to School Districts and permits electronic submission of bids as part of the traditional bidding process as well as establishes a procedure for competitive electronic option bidding. As part of the traditional bidding process where sealed bids are accepted, the District may permit the electronic submission of bids if the District has electronic capability to maintain the confidentiality of the bid until the bid opening time. The electronic bids would then be accessed at the bid opening time when the other written bids are opened and read. The Act authorizes the School District to adopt a resolution permitting the use of competitive electronic bidding limited to contracts for supplies or services, but not for construction or design professional services. The electronic option bidding process must include an invitation for bids and public notice in the same manner as currently required. A unique feature of the Act provides that each bidder must have the capability to view their bid rank or the low bid price and may reduce their bid prices during the option. The Act contains other provisions governing the electronic bidding process.
Alfred C. Maiello is the founding member of MBM and has represented area school districts as solicitor for 50 years. He counsels school districts and educational institutions on leading developments in school law and guiding them through their day-to-day and long-term challenges.