Senate File 2279 amends Iowa Code sections 26.7 & 26.10 to allow public owners to accept electronic bids for public improvement projects. The new law allows the governmental entity to determine the format in which the electronic bids will be received. The notice to bidders may specify if bids are being accepted electronically. Bids accepted electronically must still be accompanied by appropriate bid security and must otherwise comply with the requirements of Iowa Code Chapter 26.
This means that bids must still be sealed and an electronic record must be kept regarding the date and time they are received by the governmental entity. A binding form of bid security must also be provided with the bid. A governmental entity will need to engage a service provider or purchase software that can facilitate these requirements. Accepting bids by email, for example, would not be sufficient to comply with the law. Governmental entities should work closely with their design/construction administration team and legal counsel to ensure electronic bid procedures comply with the new law.
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