What Is a Bid Opening?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 18 December 2018
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A bid opening is an event during which an agency that has requested work bids from companies opens all the bid envelopes to see the proposals. Unlike a closed opening, bid opening events are public. All bids are read aloud during the event and the bids are later posted for the community to see. The standard procedure to conducting bid openings involves an agency representative bringing all bids to a designated area, opening them at a specific time, and then recording all the bids in a notepad or computer. All bids must be read, though the awarding agency may or may not award a company the job during the event.

For many businesses, such as those in the construction industry, bidding is a common part of getting work. A company writes a proposal and bid amount, or how much money the company wants to do the specified job, and then mails or delivers the bid to the awarding agency. Agencies may only be looking for the lowest price, which is known as competitive bidding, but the agency is looking more often for benefits each bidding business can offer and the highest-quality work.


There are many ways of disclosing bids, and a bid opening is one of the more public methods. Anyone is able to watch the opening process, unlike a closed opening, during which only specific people are allowed to watch. During the bidding process, the awarding agency must designate a time and place where the bids will be opened. Bids cannot be delivered during the opening event; rather, the agency will specify a date when bidding is closed.

On the day of the bid opening, a representative of the awarding agency must appear at the specified area at least one hour before the event. He or she must have all the bids, along with a clock that is accurately set, to ensure that the opening occurs exactly when designated. The representative must have a notepad or computer to record the results, and may bring rubber bands, staplers and paper clips to organize bids and proposals.

When the time comes, the representative must open all the bids and read each one aloud. Even if the representative finds the exact bid he or she wants and plans to use that company for the job, he or she must continue reading all the other bids. After reading the bids, they are placed on public display so businesses and anyone else interested can view the bid amounts. The representative may choose a company at the bid opening or may choose one later, perhaps after a meeting is held to discuss the pros and cons of each bid.



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