Responsible Bidder Area

What is a Responsible Bidder Ordinance?

It is an ordinance that sets minimal requirements for all contractors and subcontractors bidding on publicly funded projects in the political jurisdiction covered by the ordinance. The requirements are then incorporated into all bid documents (similar to other state and local regulations) so that all potential bidders will know what is expected of them.

What are the specific requirements?

All bidders must:

a) Comply with all laws pre-requisite to doing business in Illinois
b) Produce evidence of a federal employer tax number or social security number
c) Provide evidence of compliance with Equal Opportunity Employer requirements
d) Provide evidence of all specified insurance coverages
e) Comply with all provisions of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act
f) Must be participating in a USDOL approved and registered apprenticeship program
g) Comply with any other additional requirements a community may find beneficial

Why is a Responsible Bidder Ordinance needed?

The public construction market has been the scene of an extraordinary amount of legal violations in recent years. Most recently, in Illinois the effects of balancing the State budget have resulted in cuts to every level of government, creating a decline in the effectiveness of the offices charged with the enforcement of prevailing wages and other relevant laws. This combined with a bearish economic climate create competitive pressures that push unscrupulous contractors to cheat in order to submit low bids. Since awarding authorities must award projects to the lowest bidder, those who are willing to cheat, gain an enormous cost advantage, and have the effect of driving legitimate contractors out of the market.

Many people have been hurt by the destruction of standards in the public construction market. Workers have been cheated out of wages, communities have been cheated out of revenue, taxpayers have been subsidizing illegal activities, and the integrity of public officials has been brought into question after awarding contracts to dishonorable contractors who deliver poor quality products over budget and behind schedule.

While enforcement efforts may be bolstered by pending legislation, budgetary restraints will always continue to factor, so with limited resources and personnel these types of violations will most likely be a concern for years to come. What the ”Responsible Bidder Ordinance” does is address these issues up front as opposed to chasing the cheaters after the violations have occurred.

Much more information is available at:

For More Information, Contact:
Thomas A. White, Executive Director

Office: 815-741-3747
Fax: 815-230-1376

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