Comment: Sounds fishy but...

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Sounds fishy but...

If there were five bidders than the price tag (as high as it appears) must be valid. Unless we could see the plans we cannot assess this price.

If the bids were opened publicly (probably not at this size of bid) than there could not be bid fraud. If the bids were negotiated (secret bid opening) than the worst that could happen would be that PZP was offered to lower his bid to below the low bidder. It happens all the time. And it is not exactly bid fraud. It is unethical, but not illegal.

In contracting, overruns are not the contractors fault. There is a contract accompanied by scope of work, plans, and specifications. If the engineer and/or owner is not explicitly clear in these documents (either inexperienced, lazy, or vague) there is a chance of overruns. But it is not the contractor's fault. The contractor will take a set of crappy plans and exploit any opportunity to make money, but that's the game. It is a contract. If you sign a contract that ends up screwing you, do you call the other party a fraud? If his costs are higher than his bid he pays.

But on the other hand, the plans could have been tailored to fit what his company does to give him an advantage. He could have been involved in the planning process and as I stated before, given the job as long as he agreed to a price below the other bidders.