January 20, 2019

Competitive Bidding

Competitive Bidding Laws for Iowa

Iowa’s competitive bidding statutes are based on a method of project delivery process in which the owner procures the design and construction documents from an independent designer, uses competitive bidding rules to get prices for all work required to build the project as specified, and then selects a contractor to build the project on the basis of a responsive low bid received from a responsible contractor.

Iowa Code Chapter 26, 73A and 262 outline the “rules of the game” in how most public owners in Iowa procure buildings and related construction projects.  Iowa Code Chapter 26 applies to schools, counties and cities; Chapter 73A applies to municipalities; and Chapter 262 covers Regent Institutions.  All three chapters are similar, but do have slight variations.  To view each respective chapter see below:

Iowa Code Chapter 26

This chapter outlines the competitive bidding requirements for schools, cities, counties and the Department of Administrative Services.  This particular code chapter designates the competitive bidding threshold, outlines the procedure for early release of retainage and spells out the competitive solicitation process for certain projects.

Iowa Code Chapter 73A

This chapter pertains to municipalities, which are defined as townships and the Iowa State Fair Board.  There are references back to Iowa Code Chapter 26 in relation to process and thresholds. 

Iowa Code Chapter 262

The Regents follow the competitive bidding process of Chapter 262.34.  The competitive bidding process is essentially the same for the Regents in comparison with other public owners, but with a few, slight variations.


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