Article 5. Award Of Contracts of California Public Contract Code >> Division 2. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 2.5. >> Article 5.

On the day named in the public notice the trustees shall publicly open the sealed bids and award the contracts to the lowest responsible bidders.
The trustees may require a bid for a public works contract to include prices for items that may be added to, or deducted from, the scope of work in the contract for which the bid is being submitted. 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 subdivision (a) will be used:
  (a) The lowest bid shall be the lowest bid price on the base contract without consideration of the prices on the additive or deductive items.
  (b) 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.
  (c) 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 trustees before the first bid is opened.
  (d) 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. 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 trustees from adding to or deducting from the contract any of the additive or deductive items after the lowest responsible bidder has been determined.
  (e) Nothing in this section shall preclude the prequalification of subcontractors.
If the successful bidder fails to execute the contract, the bidder's security shall be forfeited to the state. The cash or proceeds shall be deposited in the fund out of which the expenses of preparation and printing of the plans and specifications, estimates of cost, and publication of notice are paid.
If the trustees deem it is for the best interest of the state, they may, on the refusal or failure of the successful bidder to execute the contract, award it to the second lowest responsible bidder. If the second lowest responsible bidder fails or refuses to execute the contract, the trustees may likewise award it to the third lowest responsible bidder. On the failure or refusal of the second or third lowest bidder, to whom a contract is so awarded, to execute it, the bidder's security shall be likewise forfeited to the state.
The failure of the successful bidder to furnish any bond required by law, within the time fixed for execution of the contract, constitutes a failure to execute the contract.
The bidder's security of the second and third lowest responsible bidders may be withheld until the contract has been finally executed. The cash, cashier's checks, and certified checks submitted by all other unsuccessful bidders shall be returned to them within 10 days after the contract is awarded, and their bidders' bonds shall be of no further effect.
If the trustees deem the acceptance of the lowest responsible bid or bids is not for the best interests of the state, they may reject all bids and proceed by day's labor or advertise for other bids in the manner required by this chapter.