MassDOT is now testing an online application which will allow contractors to submit their sealed, secure bids electronically. The Highway Division is using Bid Express software developed through the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials by InfoTech and has selected a number of projects where bidders are being required to submit both a hard copy of their bids along with an electronic version.
During this testing phase the hardcopy of the bid will govern determination of a bidder's price if there are any discrepancies. MassDOT has conducted training sessions for almost 200 contractors on how the application works and what contractors need to do in order to set up Digital IDs and create a legal Digital signature for submitting their bids.
The testing phase will continue over the next few months to ensure that the system operates without any flaws. Acting on feedback from the contractors involved in this testing phase will help to make sure that the system works as they expect and guarantee a smooth implementation. Once this is confirmed MassDOT intends to require all bids to be submitted electronically.
Electronic submittal of bids will allow contractors to submit their bids and watch the bid openings from their offices, eliminating the need to drive to downtown Boston. This will reduce cost for contractors by reducing paperwork and eliminating multiple trips, particularly important for contractors in the western part of the state. Results can be verified more quickly.
MassDOT will save by eliminating the need to handle paper documents and in reduced data entry costs since the bids can be downloaded directly from the bidding application into MassDOT databases for processing.