Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
8/20/2018

Article 5. Remedies.

§ 2.2-4357. Ineligibility.

A. Any bidder, offeror or contractor refused permission to participate, or disqualified from participation, in public contracts shall be notified in writing. Prior to the issuance of a written determination of disqualification or ineligibility, the public body shall (i) notify the bidder in writing of the results of the evaluation, (ii) disclose the factual support for the determination, and (iii) allow the bidder an opportunity to inspect any documents that relate to the determination, if so requested by the bidder within five business days after receipt of the notice.

Within ten business days after receipt of the notice, the bidder may submit rebuttal information challenging the evaluation. The public body shall issue its written determination of disqualification or ineligibility based on all information in the possession of the public body, including any rebuttal information, within five business days of the date the public body received such rebuttal information.

If the evaluation reveals that the bidder, offeror or contractor should be allowed permission to participate in the public contract, the public body shall cancel the proposed disqualification action. If the evaluation reveals that the bidder should be refused permission to participate, or disqualified from participation, in the public contract, the public body shall so notify the bidder, offeror or contractor. The notice shall state the basis for the determination, which shall be final unless the bidder appeals the decision within ten days after receipt of the notice by invoking administrative procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, if available, or in the alternative by instituting legal action as provided in § 2.2-4364.

B. If, upon appeal, it is determined that the action taken was arbitrary or capricious, or not in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, applicable state law or regulations, the sole relief shall be restoration of eligibility.

1982, c. 647, § 11-63; 1998, c. 753; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4358. Appeal of denial of withdrawal of bid.

A. A decision denying withdrawal of bid under the provisions of § 2.2-4330 shall be final and conclusive unless the bidder appeals the decision within ten days after receipt of the decision by invoking administrative procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, if available, or in the alternative by instituting legal action as provided in § 2.2-4364.

B. If no bid bond was posted, a bidder refused withdrawal of a bid under the provisions of § 2.2-4330, prior to appealing, shall deliver to the public body a certified check or cash bond in the amount of the difference between the bid sought to be withdrawn and the next low bid. Such security shall be released only upon a final determination that the bidder was entitled to withdraw the bid.

C. If, upon appeal, it is determined that the decision refusing withdrawal of the bid was not (i) an honest exercise of discretion, but rather was arbitrary or capricious or (ii) in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, applicable state law or regulation, or the terms or conditions of the Invitation to Bid, the sole relief shall be withdrawal of the bid.

1982, c. 647, § 11-64; 1985, c. 164; 1999, c. 1008; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4359. Determination of nonresponsibility.

A. Following public opening and announcement of bids received on an Invitation to Bid, the public body shall evaluate the bids in accordance with element 4 of the process for competitive sealed bidding set forth in § 2.2-4302.1. At the same time, the public body shall determine whether the apparent low bidder is responsible. If the public body so determines, then it may proceed with an award in accordance with element 5 of the process for competitive sealed bidding set forth in § 2.2-4302.1. If the public body determines that the apparent low bidder is not responsible, it shall proceed as follows:

1. Prior to the issuance of a written determination of nonresponsibility, the public body shall (i) notify the apparent low bidder in writing of the results of the evaluation, (ii) disclose the factual support for the determination, and (iii) allow the apparent low bidder an opportunity to inspect any documents that relate to the determination, if so requested by the bidder within five business days after receipt of the notice.

2. Within ten business days after receipt of the notice, the bidder may submit rebuttal information challenging the evaluation. The public body shall issue its written determination of responsibility based on all information in the possession of the public body, including any rebuttal information, within five business days of the date the public body received the rebuttal information. At the same time, the public body shall notify, with return receipt requested, the bidder in writing of its determination.

3. Such notice shall state the basis for the determination, which shall be final unless the bidder appeals the decision within ten days after receipt of the notice by invoking administrative procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, if available, or in the alternative by instituting legal action as provided in § 2.2-4364.

The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to procurements involving the prequalification of bidders and the rights of any potential bidders under such prequalification to appeal a decision that such bidders are not responsible.

B. If, upon appeal pursuant to § 2.2-4364 or 2.2-4365, it is determined that the decision of the public body was not (i) an honest exercise of discretion, but rather was arbitrary or capricious or (ii) in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, applicable state law or regulation, or the terms or conditions of the Invitation to Bid, and the award of the contract in question has not been made, the sole relief shall be a finding that the bidder is a responsible bidder for the contract in question or directed award as provided in subsection A of § 2.2-4364 or both.

If it is determined that the decision of the public body was not an honest exercise of discretion, but rather was arbitrary or capricious or not in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, applicable state law or regulation, or the terms or conditions of the Invitation to Bid, and an award of the contract has been made, the relief shall be as set forth in subsection B of § 2.2-4360.

C. A bidder contesting a determination that he is not a responsible bidder for a particular contract shall proceed under this section, and may not protest the award or proposed award under the provisions of § 2.2-4360.

D. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require a public body, when procuring by competitive negotiation, to furnish a statement of the reasons why a particular proposal was not deemed to be the most advantageous.

1982, c. 647, § 11-65; 1997, c. 864; 1998, c. 753; 1999, c. 1008; 2001, c. 844; 2013, c. 583.

§ 2.2-4360. Protest of award or decision to award.

A. Any bidder or offeror, who desires to protest the award or decision to award a contract shall submit the protest in writing to the public body, or an official designated by the public body, no later than ten days after the award or the announcement of the decision to award, whichever occurs first. Public notice of the award or the announcement of the decision to award shall be given by the public body in the manner prescribed in the terms or conditions of the Invitation to Bid or Request for Proposal. Any potential bidder or offeror on a contract negotiated on a sole source or emergency basis who desires to protest the award or decision to award such contract shall submit the protest in the same manner no later than ten days after posting or publication of the notice of such contract as provided in § 2.2-4303. However, if the protest of any actual or potential bidder or offeror depends in whole or in part upon information contained in public records pertaining to the procurement transaction that are subject to inspection under § 2.2-4342, then the time within which the protest shall be submitted shall expire ten days after those records are available for inspection by such bidder or offeror under § 2.2-4342, or at such later time as provided in this section. No protest shall lie for a claim that the selected bidder or offeror is not a responsible bidder or offeror. The written protest shall include the basis for the protest and the relief sought. The public body or designated official shall issue a decision in writing within ten days stating the reasons for the action taken. This decision shall be final unless the bidder or offeror appeals within ten days of receipt of the written decision by invoking administrative procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, if available, or in the alternative by instituting legal action as provided in § 2.2-4364. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to permit a bidder to challenge the validity of the terms or conditions of the Invitation to Bid or Request for Proposal.

B. If prior to an award it is determined that the decision to award is arbitrary or capricious, then the sole relief shall be a finding to that effect. The public body shall cancel the proposed award or revise it to comply with the law. If, after an award, it is determined that an award of a contract was arbitrary or capricious, then the sole relief shall be as hereinafter provided.

Where the award has been made but performance has not begun, the performance of the contract may be enjoined. Where the award has been made and performance has begun, the public body may declare the contract void upon a finding that this action is in the best interest of the public. Where a contract is declared void, the performing contractor shall be compensated for the cost of performance up to the time of such declaration. In no event shall the performing contractor be entitled to lost profits.

C. Where a public body, an official designated by that public body, or an appeals board determines, after a hearing held following reasonable notice to all bidders, that there is probable cause to believe that a decision to award was based on fraud or corruption or on an act in violation of Article 6 (§ 2.2-4367 et seq.) of this chapter, the public body, designated official or appeals board may enjoin the award of the contract to a particular bidder.

1982, c. 647, § 11-66; 1985, c. 164; 1997, c. 864; 2000, c. 641; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4361. Effect of appeal upon contract.

Pending final determination of a protest or appeal, the validity of a contract awarded and accepted in good faith in accordance with this chapter shall not be affected by the fact that a protest or appeal has been filed.

1982, c. 647, § 11-67; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4362. Stay of award during protest.

An award need not be delayed for the period allowed a bidder or offeror to protest, but in the event of a timely protest as provided in § 2.2-4360, or the filing of a timely legal action as provided in § 2.2-4364, no further action to award the contract shall be taken unless there is a written determination that proceeding without delay is necessary to protect the public interest or unless the bid or offer would expire.

1982, c. 647, § 11-68; 1997, c. 864; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4363. Contractual disputes.

A. Contractual claims, whether for money or other relief, shall be submitted in writing no later than 60 days after final payment. However, written notice of the contractor's intention to file a claim shall be given at the time of the occurrence or beginning of the work upon which the claim is based. Nothing herein shall preclude a contract from requiring submission of an invoice for final payment within a certain time after completion and acceptance of the work or acceptance of the goods. Pendency of claims shall not delay payment of amounts agreed due in the final payment.

B. Each public body shall include in its contracts a procedure for consideration of contractual claims. Such procedure, which may be contained in the contract or may be specifically incorporated into the contract by reference and made available to the contractor, shall establish a time limit for a final decision in writing by the public body. If the public body has established administrative procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, such procedures shall be contained in the contract or specifically incorporated in the contract by reference and made available to the contractor.

C. If, however, the public body fails to include in its contracts a procedure for consideration of contractual claims, the following procedure shall apply:

1. Contractual claims, whether for money or other relief, shall be submitted in writing no later than 60 days after receipt of final payment; however, written notice of the contractor's intention to file a claim shall be given at the time of the occurrence or at the beginning of the work upon which the claim is based.

2. No written decision denying a claim or addressing issues related to the claim shall be considered a denial of the claim unless the written decision is signed by the public body's chief administrative officer or his designee. The contractor may not institute legal action prior to receipt of the final written decision on the claim unless the public body fails to render a decision within 90 days of submission of the claim. Failure of the public body to render a decision within 90 days shall not result in the contractor being awarded the relief claimed or in any other relief or penalty. The sole remedy for the public body's failure to render a decision within 90 days shall be the contractor's right to institute immediate legal action.

D. A contractor may not invoke administrative procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, if available, or institute legal action as provided in § 2.2-4364, prior to receipt of the public body's decision on the claim, unless the public body fails to render such decision within the time specified in the contract or, if no time is specified, then within the time provided by subsection C. A failure of the public body to render a final decision within the time provided in subsection C shall be deemed a final decision denying the claim by the public body.

E. The decision of the public body shall be final and conclusive unless the contractor appeals within six months of the date of the final decision on the claim by the public body by invoking administrative procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, if available, or in the alternative by instituting legal action as provided in § 2.2-4364.

1982, c. 647, § 11-69; 2001, cc. 106, 844; 2005, c. 815.

§ 2.2-4364. Legal actions.

A. A bidder or offeror, actual or prospective, who is refused permission or disqualified from participation in bidding or competitive negotiation, or who is determined not to be a responsible bidder or offeror for a particular contract, may bring an action in the appropriate circuit court challenging that decision, which shall be reversed only if the petitioner establishes that the decision was not (i) an honest exercise of discretion, but rather was arbitrary or capricious; (ii) in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, applicable state law or regulation, or the terms or conditions of the Invitation to Bid; or (iii) in the case of denial of prequalification, based upon the criteria for denial of prequalification set forth in subsection B of § 2.2-4317. In the event the apparent low bidder, having been previously determined by the public body to be not responsible in accordance with § 2.2-4301, is found by the court to be a responsible bidder, the court may direct the public body to award the contract to such bidder in accordance with the requirements of this section and the Invitation to Bid.

B. A bidder denied withdrawal of a bid under § 2.2-4358 may bring an action in the appropriate circuit court challenging that decision, which shall be reversed only if the bidder establishes that the decision of the public body was not (i) an honest exercise of discretion, but rather was arbitrary or capricious or (ii) in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, applicable state law or regulation, or the terms or conditions of the Invitation to Bid.

C. A bidder, offeror or contractor, or a potential bidder or offeror on a contract negotiated on a sole source or emergency basis in the manner provided in § 2.2-4303, whose protest of an award or decision to award under § 2.2-4360 is denied, may bring an action in the appropriate circuit court challenging a proposed award or the award of a contract, which shall be reversed only if the petitioner establishes that the proposed award or the award is not (i) an honest exercise of discretion, but rather is arbitrary or capricious or (ii) in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, applicable state law or regulation, or the terms and conditions of the Invitation to Bid or Request for Proposal.

D. If injunctive relief is granted, the court, upon request of the public body, shall require the posting of reasonable security to protect the public body.

E. A contractor may bring an action involving a contract dispute with a public body in the appropriate circuit court. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Comptroller shall not be named as a defendant in any action brought pursuant to this chapter or § 33.2-1103, except for disputes involving contracts of the Office of the Comptroller or the Department of Accounts.

F. A bidder, offeror or contractor need not utilize administrative procedures meeting the standards of § 2.2-4365, if available, but if those procedures are invoked by the bidder, offeror or contractor, the procedures shall be exhausted prior to instituting legal action concerning the same procurement transaction unless the public body agrees otherwise.

G. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent a public body from instituting legal action against a contractor.

1982, c. 647, § 11-70; 1985, c. 164; 1994, c. 918; 1995, c. 527; 1997, c. 864; 1998, cc. 205, 753; 1999, c. 1008; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4365. Administrative appeals procedure.

A. A public body may establish an administrative procedure for hearing (i) protests of a decision to award or an award, (ii) appeals from refusals to allow withdrawal of bids, (iii) appeals from disqualifications and determinations of nonresponsibility, and (iv) appeals from decisions on disputes arising during the performance of a contract, or (v) any of these. Such administrative procedure shall provide for a hearing before a disinterested person or panel, the opportunity to present pertinent information and the issuance of a written decision containing findings of fact. The disinterested person or panel shall not be an employee of the governmental entity against whom the claim has been filed. The findings of fact shall be final and conclusive and shall not be set aside unless the same are (a) fraudulent, arbitrary or capricious; (b) so grossly erroneous as to imply bad faith; or (c) in the case of denial of prequalification, the findings were not based upon the criteria for denial of prequalification set forth in subsection B of § 2.2-4317. No determination on an issue of law shall be final if appropriate legal action is instituted in a timely manner.

B. Any party to the administrative procedure, including the public body, shall be entitled to institute judicial review if such action is brought within thirty days of receipt of the written decision.

1982, c. 647, § 11-71; 1994, cc. 660, 918; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-4366. Alternative dispute resolution.

Public bodies may enter into agreements to submit disputes arising from contracts entered into pursuant to this chapter to arbitration and utilize mediation and other alternative dispute resolution procedures. However, such procedures entered into by the Commonwealth, or any department, institution, division, commission, board or bureau thereof, shall be nonbinding and subject to § 2.2-514, as applicable. Alternative dispute resolution procedures entered into by school boards shall be nonbinding.

1995, c. 760, § 11-71.1; 2001, c. 844.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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