A Way Out for Public Contractors?Lee Tesser
August 16, 2011 — 349 views
The article explores recent legislation affecting bidding on public projects in the State of New Jersey. The new statutory law codifies common law that contractors have relied upon for years with regard to attempts to withdraw a bid for public works due to a mistake under certain circumstances.
When a contractor clearly has made a blatant and significant mistake in its bid, the question arises as to whether the contractor may simply withdraw the bid without incurring adverse consequences on its bid bond. Numerous courts and other jurisdictions have examined this issue and New Jersey finally enacted a law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-23.3, to permit the withdrawal of a bid due to “mistake” on the part of the bidder. The specifics of the statute and what constitutes a “mistake” are explored in the article.
Finally, the article explores some of the practical aspects of the new law and raises questions and issues that are not clearly defined and which may need to be addressed by the courts in the future.