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City wins case after rejected contractor takes matters to court

The Aberdeen Fire Hall
June 23, 2015 - 5:41 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Supreme Court Justice dismissed a civil suit between the City of Kamloops and a construction company that was denied a bid on a municipal project after ruling construction company officials did not comply with instructions on the paperwork. 

True Construction Ltd. challenged city officials after its bid in 2010 to build the Aberdeen Fire Hall was rejected on the basis of incomplete forms.

Ernie Koeck, the director of True, said the forms were incomplete as the company waited for budget costs from sub-contractors and suppliers. The company claimed the instructions to fill out the bid application were ambiguous and argued the company delivered the completed forms via facsimile before bidding closed. The bid from True was the lowest in cost out of 12 bids.

In defence of the city, officials said revisions to the bid were permitted, but True never completed the full application, which Justice Hope Hyslop agreed with in her decision.

“A revision is impossible as there is nothing to revise,” she said. "True never completed its sealed bid; its fax completing that which should have been in its sealed bid was not an acceptable revision."

Hyslop said the faxed documents “breached secrecy” of the bid.

Drawing upon testimony from the city’s Community Safety Manager, David Duckworth, Hyslop noted if officials waived the issue of incomplete forms it would create a negative precedent for future bidders.

"Mr. Duckworth was aware in considering True’s bid that the City could waive an irregularity, but concluded the errors made were a critical requirement to the bid. He was aware that the City could potentially face a lawsuit. Mr. Duckworth stated that choosing True’s bid would have damaged the City’s ability to contract quality bidders for future projects."

Construction of the fire hall was eventually awarded to Tri-City Contracting for a bid of around $3.58 million - the second lowest bid. True’s bid was approximately $3.43 million.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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