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Facilities Planning

Approved Bidding Documents


Reference Guide #C.6

Every capital construction project being bid by a public school district or a BOCES must be approved by the Commissioner of Education before the project is advertised for bid. This is mandated by Chapter 315 of the Laws of 1990. Sufficient time for Department review and approval of plans and specifications (four to six weeks) must be allowed, prior to advertising.

The plans, specifications, and addenda submitted to and approved by the Commissioner of Education are the only construction documents that may be advertised for bid. Construction documents that have been modified after approval by the Commissioner of Education are not approved construction documents.

The practice by some architects and engineers of incorporating addenda required by the Department and other "minor" modifications into a revised "final" set of construction documents after approval by the Department and then advertising the revised set is improper. The documents approved by the Commissioner are the same documents the bidders must receive.

It is imperative that school authorities advertise only approved construction documents, not only because it is the law, but because contractors' groups, which strongly support the passage of the law, will be watching for anyone, not in compliance. Any resulting litigation will unnecessarily extend the timeline and increase the costs for planned construction.