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A. Applicability. All purchases or services acquisition required by law or by action of the Board of Supervisors shall comply with the following formal bid procedure (provisions subsections (B) through (C)).

B. Bid Specifications and Documents. Formal bid procedure requires the preparation and advance approval by the Board of Supervisors of bidding documents including specification, conditions and contracts.

C. Notice. A notice inviting sealed bids shall be published at least twice in a newspaper of general circulation not less than five days apart, with the first publication completed not less than 10 days before the bid deadline. The notice shall describe the project, state where bid documents are to be obtained and filed, and the bid deadline.

D. Determination of Bids. In its discretion, the Board of Supervisors shall follow any of the following alternatives after the opening of bids:

1. The Board shall accept the lowest responsible bid.

2. The Board shall reject all bids. After such rejection, supplies and equipment may be purchased at a lower cost than the lowest responsible bid without further compliance with this chapter. After such rejection, work on public projects shall not be undertaken without compliance with one of the following procedures:

a. Bids shall again be solicited pursuant to this chapter. After such rebidding, the Board shall accept the lowest responsible bid or shall reject all bids; and thereafter

b. The Board shall reevaluate the cost estimates of the project and pass a resolution by a four-fifths vote declaring that the project can be performed more economically by county personnel, or that a contract to perform the project can be negotiated at a lower price than in any of the bids, or that the materials and supplies involved in the public project can be furnished at a lower price in the open market. Upon adoption of the resolution, the Board shall have the project done in the manner stated without further compliance with this chapter.

3. If no bids are received by the bid deadline, supplies and equipment may be purchased and work on public projects may be performed without further compliance with this chapter.

E. Bonding and Insurance Requirements for Public Works Projects under Certain Circumstances.

1. Purpose. It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to make the bid and performance bonding requirements for public works projects more accessible and affordable to local contractors, while providing a reasonable level of protection and security during the construction of small public works projects.

2. Covered Territory. The regulations contained in this chapter shall apply to all projects within Sierra County.

3. Bonding Requirements for Contracts under $25,000. On any “public works project” which is subject to the provisions of the Public Contracts Code, where the bids are less than $25,000, the performance bond and labor and materialmen bond shall each be in the amount to 50 percent of the value of the contract; provided, however, that the Board of Supervisors may waive all bonds where the Board finds that it would be in the public interest to do so.

A bidder’s bond shall be executed by an admitted surety insurer, made payable to Sierra County, for all projects in excess of $25,000.

Upon an award to the lowest bidder, the security of an unsuccessful bidder shall be returned in a reasonable period of time, but in no event shall that security be held by the county beyond 60 days from the time the award is made.

4. Insurance Requirements for Contracts under $25,000. The county shall require a policy of business insurance covering liability for all work on public works contracts in the amount of not less than $250,000. For projects greater than $25,000 or where specific circumstances indicate a need for higher amounts of insurance, the county shall have the absolute right to set a higher amount as a condition to the award of a public works contract.

F. Formal Bid Protest Procedures.

1. Bid Protest. A bid protest may be filed to protest any bid submitted pursuant to this section (Formal bid procedures). Such protests must be timely filed with the County Clerk. All bid protests must be in writing and received by the County Clerk before 5:00 p.m. no later than five working days following bid opening (the “bid protest deadline”). For purposes of this section a “working day” means a day that the County is open for normal business, and excludes weekends and holidays observed by the County. The County Clerk shall transmit a copy of the timely filed bid protest to the issuing department.

2. General. Only a bidder who has actually submitted a timely bid proposal is eligible to submit a bid protest against another bidder. Subcontractors are not eligible to submit bid protests. A bidder may not rely on the bid protest submitted by another bidder, but must timely pursue its own protest. If required, the protesting bidder must submit a nonrefundable fee in the amount of $500.00 based upon reasonable costs to administer the bid protest. Any such fee must be submitted to the County Clerk no later than the bid protest deadline, unless otherwise specified.

3. Protest Contents. The bid protest must contain a complete statement of the basis for the protest, all supporting documentation and a statement of compliance with subsection (F)(4) of this section, Copy to Protested Bidder. Material submitted after the bid protest deadline will not be considered. The protest must refer to the specific portion or portions of the contract documents upon which the protest is based. The protest must include the name, address, email address, and telephone number of the person representing the protesting bidder if different from the protesting bidder. Incomplete bid protests will be rejected unless corrected before the bid protest deadline.

4. Copy to Protested Bidder. A copy of the protest and all supporting documents must be concurrently transmitted by fax or by email, by or before the bid protest deadline, to all submitting bidders in addition to the protested bidder.

5. Response to Protest. The protested bidder may submit a written response to the protest provided the response is received by the County before 5:00 p.m., within five working days after the bid protest deadline or after actual receipt of the bid protest, whichever is sooner (the “response deadline”). The response must include all supporting documentation. Material submitted after the response deadline will not be considered. The response must include the name, address, email address, and telephone number of the person representing the protested bidder if different from the protested bidder.

6. Protesting Bidder. A copy of the response and all supporting documents must be concurrently transmitted by fax or by email, by or before the bid response deadline, to all bidders in addition to the protesting bidder.

7. Exclusive Remedy. The procedure and time limits set forth in this section are mandatory and constitute the sole and exclusive remedy for alleged bidding irregularities and alleged failure of qualification of a bidding party. A bidding party’s failure to comply with these procedures will constitute a waiver of any right to further pursue a bid protest, including filing a Government Code claim or initiation of legal proceedings to challenge the award of a bid.

8. Hearing. The Board of Supervisors shall conduct a hearing at a regular or special meeting of the Board within 20 days of receipt of the bid protest by the County Clerk and shall issue a ruling within five days of the hearing regarding said bid protest.

9. Right to Award. The Board of Supervisors reserves the right to award the contract to the bidder it has determined to be the responsible bidder submitting the lowest responsive bid, and to issue a “notice to award” following the hearing conducted pursuant to subsection (F)(8) of this section, notwithstanding any pending or continuing challenge to its determination. The Board shall refer to the relevant department following the hearing for further procedures.

10. Bid Package. The procedure established in this section shall be a prominent part of the bid package issued by the County of Sierra on all formal bidding projects. (Ord. 1106, eff. 11/18/21; Ord. 870, eff. 10/15/98; Ord. 801, eff. 1/14/93)