April 29, 2020

Current as of September 3, 2020

By Attorney Maria Brownell

On Friday, April 24, 2020, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation that temporarily suspends certain requirements under the public bidding law involving the distribution, receipt, opening, or recording of paper documents to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. By a subsequent proclamation, the Chapter 26-related suspensions are set to expire on September 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., unless terminated earlier or extended in writing. Currently, only bid openings scheduled to take place on or before September 20, 2020, are covered by the proclamation unless its terms are otherwise terminated or extended in writing by the Governor.

The proclamation temporarily suspends requirements related to the physical handling of paper bids, bid security, and bid documents. Electronic or digital bid documents will meet the requirements of section 26.3(2) that would otherwise require paper bid documents be made available. In addition, during the disaster proclamation period, bids may be received and opened electronically rather than in person. Note, however, the date and time of bid opening and the designee for opening bids must still be specified in the notice to bidders. 

Several provisions related to the receipt and opening of bid envelopes have been temporarily suspended. The date and time each bid is received by the governmental entity, and the name of the person receiving the bid, does not need to be recorded on a physical paper envelope containing the bid. In addition, paper copies of bid security need not be returned if bid security has been submitted electronically. 

The requirements of Chapter 26 are not otherwise suspended by any of the Governor’s disaster emergency proclamations. The governmental entity must still require bid security, must award the contract to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder, and must follow the posting and publication requirements for Notices to Bidders and Notices of Public Hearings.

The proclamation includes authorization to designate an electronic bidding service as part of the bidding process. Governmental entities considering any form of substitute document management practices under the current proclamation should work with their architect, engineer, or construction manager and contact legal counsel with questions or for more information.

About Ahlers & Cooney's Client Alerts
Our Client Alerts are intended to provide occasional general comments on new developments in Federal and State law and regulations which we believe might be of interest to our clients. The Client Alerts should not be considered opinions of Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., and are not intended to provide legal advice as a substitute for seeking professional counsel. Readers should not under any circumstance act upon the information in this publication without seeking specific professional counsel. Ahlers & Cooney will be pleased to provide additional details regarding any article upon request. Additional copies of this Client Alert may be obtained by contacting any attorney in the Firm or by visiting the Firm's website at www.ahlerslaw.com.   ©2020 Ahlers & Cooney, P.C. All Rights Reserved.

The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. This disclosure is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa. Memberships and offices in legal fraternities and legal societies, technical and professional licenses, and memberships in scientific, technical and professional associations and societies of law or field of practice does not mean that a lawyer is a specialist or expert in a field of law, nor does it mean that such lawyer is necessarily any more expert or competent than any other lawyer. All potential clients are urged to make their own independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer being considered. This notice is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa.

Bishop Sabroske, Jenna


Brownell, Maria


Haindfield, Danielle


Stone, Kristine


Wasson, Conner


« Back