When reviewing bids, an awarding authority sometimes is confronted with a bid that contains some type of deviation. The proper action to take with respect to the bid depends upon the type of defect contained in the bid. A 1989 decision by the Massachusetts Appeals Court sets forth an excellent summary of the established tenets of bid review. Peabody Construction Co., Inc. v. City of Boston, 28 Mass. App. Ct. 100, 103 (1989)

General principles of bid review include the following:

Bid Error - Statutory Requirement (Substance)

General Rule: If a bid deviates from a statutory requirement of substance, the bid must be rejected by the awarding authority.

Bid Error - Bidding Specifications (Price or Scope)

General Rule: If a bid deviates from a requirement of the bidding specifications which affects the price or scope of work, the bid must be rejected by the awarding authority.

Bid Error - Bidding Specifications (Not Price, Scope of Work)

General Rule: If a bid violates a requirement of the bidding specifications and the requirement is neither a statutory requirement of substance nor a requirement that affects the price or scope of the project work, the awarding authority has the discretion to either accept or reject the bid.