Can Louisiana contractors withdraw bids on public projects?

On Behalf of Dunlap Fiore, LLC |

Sometimes a contractor in Louisiana makes a bid on a public project, but subsequently determines that their bid is faulty in some way.

Fortunately, there are some circumstances under construction law in which a contractor bidding on a public project can withdraw their bid. First, the bid must have a mistake that is patently obvious, that was made unintentionally and consisted either of a substantial computation, clerical or mechanical error. Alternatively, the bid can be withdrawn if there is an unintended and substantial omission in how much work, labor, materials or services would be needed to complete the project.

To withdraw a bid, the above conditions must be buttressed by sworn evidence of the errors in writing, and the evidence must be clear and convincing. The evidence must be objective and drawn after the original materials prepared for the bid have been inspected. The public entity behind the project must receive the contractor’s written withdrawal within 48 hours of the date the bid is open, excluding weekends and legal holidays.

If the public entity agrees that the bid had been submitted in good faith, but did contain an error as described above, then it will approve the contractor’s request to withdraw the bid. However, if a contractor withdraws a bid, they are not permitted to bid on the same project a second time. In addition, if a contractor withdraws a bid, they are not permitted to supply any materials or labor to the project at issue and they cannot be a subcontractor to the contractor whose bid on the project at issue is accepted.

This is only a brief overview of how to withdraw a bid on a public project and cannot serve as legal grounds for any particular withdrawal. Contractors looking to withdraw a bid are encouraged to seek professional guidance before proceeding, so they can ensure their withdrawal is within the confines of the law.