Competitive Bid and Public Works Law

Opinion # 99-139
Discussion of the exemption from the competitive bid law for custom software but not for hardware that is available from multiple sources.

Opinion # 99-158
Discussion of the requirement to competitively bid granting of an exclusive franchise such as a concessions contract.

Opinion # 99-224
Discussion of exemption from competitive bid and public works law for public building authorities.

Opinion # 99-245
Discussion of requirements and exemptions from competitive bid for imaging systems, computer hardware, and custom hardware.

Opinion #2000-219
A contract for the installation, service, and operation of pay telephones in a county jail must be competitively bid.

Opinion #2000-232
A contract granting an individual or corporation a license to operate a restaurant facility to be constructed at Tannehill Ironworks Historical Park is not required to comply with the provisions of the Land Sales Act or with the Competitive Bid Law, and is not an exclusive franchise violating Article I, Section 22 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.

Opinion # 2001-089
Discussion of "professional services" exemption under competitive bid law. See also, AG's Opinion # 2001-273.

Opinion # 2001-139
Discussion of the application of the competitive bid law and public works law to the purchases of equipment, supplies, or materials by a county water and sewer authority.

Opinion # 2001-273
Discussion of "professional services" exemption under competitive bid law. See also AG's Opinion # 2001-089.

Opinion # 2002-006
Discussion of rebidding requirements under public works law when all bids exceed the awarding authority's allocated budget.

Opinion # 2002-030
Discussion of awarding authority's legislative discretion in determining the lowest responsible bidder under the competitive bid law.

Opinion #2002-052
Discussion of "public funds" under competitive bid law and public works law.

Opinion #2002-053
Discussion of the exemption from the competitive bid law for a "comprehensive energy - savings plan" under Code of Alabama 1975, 41-16-141.

Opinion #2002-058
Discussion providing that purchases from discretionary funds controlled solely by the probate judge are not required to be competitively bid.

Opinion #2002-068
Discussion of granting an exclusive franchise to one company for online services under Section 22 of Alabama's Constitution.

Opinion #2002-070
Discussion of the local bidder preference found in the competitive bid law where the vendor's principal place of business is not in the county but the vendor has a local business location and business license.

Opinion #2002-071
Discussion of the public works law provision that a contract entered into in violation of the law is null and void.

Opinion #2002-078
Discussion of the "professional services" exemption in the competitive bid law, and in particular, whether certain "administrative services" qualify under the exemption.

Opinion #2002-082
Discussion of the limited exemption from the competitive bid law for purchases of equipment, supplies, or materials used in the routine operation of a utilities system owned by a county or municipality.

Opinion #2002-086
Discussion of the requirement to competitively bid for ambulance services if the annual payment is more than $7500.

Opinion # 2002-097
Discussion of the competitive bid law exemptions for a water authority created pursuant to 11-88-1 et seq.

Opinion #2002-126
Discussion of the prohibition against a county using public funds to pay for work performed on a public works project which initially fell under $50,000 but exceeded the threshold amount for requiring bids due to changes made in the project during construction.

Opinion #2002-152
Discussion of the applicability of the public works law to a waterworks board, including definitions of some of the terms in the law.

Opinion #2002-157
Discussion of exemption from the bid law as applicable to the State for maintenance and repair of aircraft; of the requirement that the Transportation Department comply with the family relationship disclosure requirements set out in Act #2001-955. While this opinion addresses a bid law exemption under the statute applicable to state entities, the language relied on also appears in the statute for counties.

Opinion #2002-164
Discussion providing that a criminal investigator is a professional for purposes of the competitive bid law and therefore the procurement of his or her services are exempt from competitive bidding.

Opinion #2002-182
Discussion of circumstances under which an awarding authority may authorize a change order in excess of 30% for proper completion of public works project.

Opinion #2002-206
Discussion of the proper application of the exemptions from competitive bid for certain items of computer software or services.

Opinion #2002-223
Discussion advising that the construction and lease of a fire station would be a public works project which must be bid under the public works law.

Opinion # 2002-246
Discussion providing that a bidder who previously withdrew his bid, may rebid on the same contract if all bids on the original contract are subsequently rejected and the contract is rebid, provided there is no fraud or collusion presented.

Opinion # 2002-287
Discussion providing that, where an advertisement for sealed bids did not run for the third consecutive week in the newspaper, the awarding entity should re-bid the project in compliance with the advertisement requirements of the public works law.

Opinion # 2002-297
Discussion providing that if a governmental entity finds that drug-testing lab services are professional services that require a high degree of skill where the personality of the individual plays a decisive part in a decision, these services would be exempt from the Alabama Competitive Bid Law.

Opinion # 2003-098
Discussion providing that when it is known or contemplated that like-item purchases involving $7500 or more will be made during the fiscal year, these items must be procured through competitive bid.

Opinion # 2003-196
Discussion providing that when an awarding authority requires that a bidder submit a bid bond or a certified check with their bid, the failure by the bidder to submit a bid bond or a certified check with their bid or the failure by a bidder to have a bid bond or a certified check at the bid opening renders the bid nonresponsive.

Opinion # 2003-197
Discussion providing that where material changes have taken place, the county commission cannot renew solid waste contracts with collectors without subjecting these new contracts to the competitive bidding process.

Opinion # 2003-206
Discussion of the "professional services" exemption from the competitive bid law.

Opinion # 2003-213
Discussion regarding authority to contract for economic development projects in light of Constitutional restrictions and the competitive bid law.

Opinion # 2004-026
Discussion providing that work to be performed on public property, or property that will become public property, that is paid for entirely with private funds is not public works and contracts to perform such works are not subject to the competitive bidding requirements of the Public Works Law.

Opinion # 2004-083
Discussion providing that all separate "pieces" of a public works project must be bid if the total cost of the project exceeds $50,000, but that work to be performed "in house" need not be included in the total cost of the project.

Opinion # 2004-099
Discussion providing that in a federally funded public works project, federal laws and regulations prohibit a public entity from requiring a general contractor to provide the contractor's license number on the bid documents before the submission of a bid or before the bid may be considered for award of a contract, but that the entity may require proof of a license upon or subsequent to the award of the contract.

Opinion # 2004-111
Discussion providing that state and local entities may not purchase items directly under a contract entered into between the Federal Homeland Security Agency and a private vendor without engaging in a new bid process.

Opinion # 2004-152
Discussion providing that the county commission must follow the competitive bid law in selecting an ambulance service.

Opinion # 2004-223
Discussion providing that if a project will be paid for entirely with private funds, it is not subject to the competitive bidding requirements of the public works law.

Opinion # 2005-008
Discussion providing that, absent additional legislative authority, an awarding authority cannot limit the number of vendors to whom requests for proposals will be sent.

Opinion # 2005-017
Discussion providing that a governmental entity may enter into a contract with benefits to each party, but that if it grants a private party an exclusive franchise, it must be competitively bid.

Opinion # 2005-045
Discussion providing that a public corporation is subject to the provisions of the competitive bid law and to the public works law if a project is funded in whole or in part by public funds.

Opinion # 2005-119
Discussion providing that even if a public corporation is exempt from the competitive bid law, it must comply with the bid specifications to be considered a responsive bidder when it submits a bid in response to an invitation for bids.

Opinion # 2005-136
Discussion providing that the Department of Transportation had substantially complied with the public works law and could proceed with an executed contract where the Department had requested advertising of the project in a newspaper but learned after the contract was awarded that the ad had not run.

Opinion # 2005-158
Discussion providing that the “sole source” exemption in Section 41-16-51(a)(13) of the competitive bid law is not satisfied simply because only one provider approaches the governmental entity.

Opinion # 2005-158
Discussion providing that the contractual term limitations found in section 41-16-57(e) of the competitive bid law only apply where the contract must be competitively bid under the statute.

Opinion # 2005-158
Discussion providing that a governmental entity can only award an exclusive franchise when the service has been competitively bid, even if bidding under the competitive bid law is not required.

Opinion # 2005-160
Discussion providing that a written proposal on the outside of the envelope of a sealed bid may be considered as part of the bid proposal.

Opinion # 2009-003
Purchases from a discretionary fund of the sheriff are not required to be made by competitive bidding.

Opinion # 2009-003
The sheriff is not required to obtain the approval of the county commission before making expenditures from a Sheriff's Fund created by local law.

Opinion # 2009-012
Contracts between governmental entities are not required to be competitively bid.

Opinion # 2009-012
A county commission may sell real property from an abolished industrial park to a municipality for less than the actual cost of the property. The constitutional prohibition against granting a thing of value to a private entity would not apply where the sale is to another governmental entity and the county would continue to be the beneficiary of any development by the municipality.

Opinion # 2009-028
A governmental entity cannot contract with a private commercial interest for an exclusive franchise unless competitive bids are taken. An exclusive contract exists when a governmental entity grants a special privilege or contractual right for services to one entity.

Opinion # 2009-031
The county commission is not required to use the bid process when selling real estate owned by the county.

Opinion # 2009-033
“Maintenance” under the public works law is “the care and work put into property to keep it operating and productive” and includes general repair and upkeep.

Opinion # 2009-033
The constitutional prohibition against granting public funds to private entities (Section 94 of the Constitution) does not apply to the granting of public funds to other governmental entities.

Opinion # 2009-033
A local government may contract with a community center to renovate the center in exchange for the center making cultural facilities available to the public; provided that if the project exceeds $50,000, it is subject to bid under the public works law.

Opinion # 2009-060
A governmental entity may enter into unit price contracts for certain repair and renovation projects if the contracts are executed in compliance with the public works law.

Opinion # 2009-081
A community board which is an instrumentality of multiple counties must comply with the competitive bid law.


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