Article 2. Plans And Specifications of California Public Contract Code >> Division 2. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 1. >> Article 2.

Before entering into any contract for a project, the department shall prepare full, complete, and accurate plans and specifications and estimates of cost, giving such directions as will enable any competent mechanic or other builder to carry them out.
The original draft or a certified copy of the plans, specifications, and estimates of cost shall be filed permanently in the office of the department before further action is taken.
Work on all projects shall be done under contract awarded to the lowest responsible bidder pursuant to this part, except that it may be done by day's labor under the direction of the department, by contract upon informal bids, or by a combination thereof:
  (a) In case of emergency due to the failure or threat of failure of any bridge or other highway structure.
  (b) In case of emergency due to the failure or threat of failure of any dam, reservoir, aqueduct, or other water facility or facility appurtenant thereto.
  (c) In case of emergency due to damage to a state-owned building or any other state-owned real property or improvements located thereon, by an act of God, including but not limited to damage by storm, flood, fire or earthquake, for work and remedial measures which are required immediately.
  (d) At any time after the approval of plans, specifications and estimates of cost, if the director deems the advertising or award of a contract, the acceptance of any bid, or the acceptance of any further bids after the rejection of all submitted bids, is not in the best interests of the state.
For the purposes of Section 10122, all day labor utilized by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall be performed by individuals who are represented by a duly authorized employee representative unless individuals with that qualification are not reasonably available.
Notwithstanding the project cost limit provided in Section 10105, work in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) which would otherwise constitute a project, shall not be done by day' s labor unless the requirements of Section 10122 are met.
Contracts upon informal bids authorized under Section 10122 shall be let only to a holder of a valid state contractor's license unless such work is exempt from such licensing requirement by any other provision of law.
Bids may be received and contracts awarded on a unit basis, that is, the bids compared upon the basis of estimates of the quantities of the work to be done.
Except in unit basis contracts, contracts shall not be made exceeding in amount the estimates of costs approved by the director and plans and specifications and estimates of costs including expense of advertising and inspection, shall not be approved by the director requiring a greater expenditure of money than is appropriated for the specific purpose in the law authorizing the expenditure.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 10125, the estimate of cost may be approved by the director, which includes alternates contemplating additions to, or deletions from, the base bid, provided that all of the following requirements are met:
  (a) Estimates are made for each contingency and, in the aggregate, the alternates do not exceed 10 percent of the estimated cost for the project.
  (b) The available funds are at least sufficient to cover the filed estimate for the base project.
  (c) Whenever additive or deductive items are included in a bid, the bid solicitation shall specify which one of the following methods will be used to determine the lowest bid. In the absence of such a specification, only the method provided by paragraph (1) will be used:
  (1) The lowest bid shall be the lowest bid price on the base contract without consideration of the prices on the additive or deductive items.
  (2) The lowest bid shall be the lowest total of the bid prices on the base contract and those additive or deductive items that were specifically identified in the bid solicitation as being used for the purpose of determining the lowest bid price.
  (3) The lowest bid shall be the lowest total of the bid prices on the base contract and those additive or deductive items that, when taken in order from a specifically identified list of those items in the solicitation, and added to, or subtracted from, the base contract, are less than, or equal to, a funding amount publicly disclosed by the department before the first bid is opened.
  (4) The lowest bid shall be determined in a manner that prevents any information that would identify any of the bidders or proposed subcontractors or suppliers from being revealed to the public entity before the ranking of all bidders from lowest to highest has been determined.
  (d) The contract is awarded to the lowest bidder, as determined by the method prescribed in subdivision (c).
  (e) A responsible bidder who submitted the lowest bid as determined by this section shall be awarded the contract, if it is awarded. This section does not preclude the department from adding to or deducting from the contract any of the additive or deductive items after the lowest responsible bidder has been determined.
  (f) Nothing in this section shall preclude the prequalification of subcontractors.
The department may, with the approval of the State Public Works Board, receive bids for the construction of several public works projects as a single project. Where more than one appropriation has been made for the several projects united as a single project under the provisions of this section, payments for the single project shall be made from the separate appropriations on the proportional basis that may be determined by the department and approved by the Department of Finance. In the case of several projects united as a single project pursuant to this section, those projects shall be within 100 miles of one another.
All contracts awarded under this part shall comply with the applicable provisions of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1720) of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code relating to public works contracts and shall contain all the contract provisions required therein.
(a) Notwithstanding Section 3400, no agency of the state charged with the letting of contracts for the construction, alteration, or repair of public works may draft or cause to be drafted specifications for bids, in connection with the construction, alteration, or repair of public works, (1) in a manner that limits the bidding, directly or indirectly, to any one specific concern, or (2) calling for a designated material, product, thing, or service by specific brand or trade name unless the specification is followed by the words "or equal" so that bidders may furnish any equal material, product, thing, or service. In applying this section, the awarding authority shall, if aware of an equal product manufactured in this state, name that product in the specification. Specifications shall provide a period of time prior to or after, or prior to and after, the award of the contract for submission of data substantiating a request for a substitution of "an equal" item. If no time period is specified, data may be submitted any time within 35 days after the award of the contract.
  (b) Subdivision (a) is not applicable if the awarding authority, or its designee, makes a finding that is described in the invitation for bids or request for proposals that a particular material, product, thing, or service is designated by specific brand or trade name for any of the following purposes:
  (1) In order that a field test or experiment may be made to determine the product's suitability for future use.
  (2) In order to match other products in use on a particular public improvement either completed or in the course of completion.
  (3) In order to obtain a necessary item that is only available from one source.
  (4) In order to respond to an emergency declared by the state, a state agency, or political subdivision of the state, but only if the facts setting forth the reasons for the finding of the emergency are contained in the public records of the authority issuing the invitation for bid or request for proposals.