The contracting of services at the lowest and best bid is the primary function of Memphis Light, Gas and Water's Contracts Management Department. MLGW’s need for services is great due to the demand generated by the electric, gas and water systems as well as the related support equipment and maintenance essential in keeping the entire operation functioning efficiently.
Contracting at MLGW
During the development of a contract, specifications are prepared by an engineer or project leader as directed by the manager of the appropriate department (or by outside engineers, consultants or architects employed by MLGW for work on a particular job, primarily on major construction projects). The finished specifications are reviewed by the department manager and the Contract Management department to ensure that technical points, as well as other MLGW requirements, are covered. For some labor-intense services, specific items and commercial terms—such as appropriate insurance coverages, licensing, bonding, etc.—will be required in order to protect MLGW and the Contractor/Consultant.
Request for Bids, Proposals, or Qualifications
Formal requests are submitted, as well as publicly advertised, to prospective Bidders for items/services that will meet the specifications. Contractors/Consultants who wish to bid any alternate(s) to MLGW's requested specifications must give complete specifications and descriptions of the alternate offered to permit full and proper evaluation. The alternate bids should be equal to or better than requested specifications. MLGW reserves the right to determine if the product or service quoted is equal to that specified.
Often, Bidder's Orientation meetings are held before bids are submitted. These meetings are designed to provide in-depth information to prospective Bidders which will be helpful in bidding on the contract. If a Bidder's Orientation meeting is scheduled, all prospective bidders will be given adequate advance notice as to the time and place.
The bid due date is set as reasonably as possible to permit full competitive bidding, proper evaluation of bids and timely placement of orders and contracts within the required need date of the material or service. Identical information is given to all Contractors/Consultants invited to bid. Addenda are sent to all prospective Bidders in sufficient time to allow them to be incorporated into quotations in an orderly manner. During the solicitation process, firms shall not contact any MLGW staff except those designated in the RFP or subsequent addenda or correspondence. Noncompliance with this provision may result in rejection of the firm’s proposal.
Awarding the Contract
During the bid evaluation process, other departments must have approval from the Contracts Management Department to contact any Contractors or Consultant regarding their quotations. All information is confidential and proprietary and is not to be discussed with anyone but affected MLGW personnel.
Contract awards are based on evaluated price, specification compliance, diversification of suppliers and subcontractors, delivery, service representation and experience with the product(s) and/or service(s) in question. The selection of a prospective Contractor/Consultant indicates MLGW's confidence in the fitm’s ability to provide products and/or services of acceptable quality.
Award recommendations may require the approvals of the MLGW Board of Commissioners and the Memphis City Council. After award, the Contracts Management Department will execute the contract and may conduct a Pre-Construction/Pre-Commencement meeting to define the general procedures and arrangements. The successful Bidder who receives the award enters into a formal contract with MLGW.
Tips for Successful Bidding
When you receive a request to bid, read the specifications carefully. The entire specification that you receive will be incorporated as part of your bid to MLGW. If you can supply the service(s) requested, you should complete all requested forms in the supplied bid package and return them by the specified date. Before submitting your completed bids, please verify your quotations because they cannot be withdrawn or corrected after being opened.
For additional information, please contact:
Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division
Contract Management Department
P.O. Box 430
Memphis, Tennessee 38101-0430
Phone: (901) 528-4020
Fax: (901) 528-4374