Contracts FAQ 11

How should a municipality proceed when it receives identical low bids?
 
State law does not address the possibility of identical bids. Case law favors giving municipalities discretion under sec. 62.15 to deal with problems in a practical, sensible way that achieves the statutory goals of preventing fraud, favoritism, and improvidence in the administration of public business while still ensuring that the public receives the best work or supplies at the most reasonable price. Power Systems Analysis, Inc. v. City of Bloomer, 197 Wis.2d 817, 541 N.W.2d 214 (Ct. App. 1995). Accordingly, League counsel has opined that in the rare event identical low bids for a public construction project are submitted, the municipality may accept the bid determined to be most advantageous to the municipality, elect to choose the successful low bidder by lot, or rebid. Contracts # 317.