Two-Step Sealed Bidding Law and Legal Definition

Two-step sealed bidding is a variation of sealed bidding. Generally, there are two steps to obtain benefits of sealed bidding when adequate specifications are not available. Two-step sealed bidding is especially useful in acquisitions requiring technical proposals, particularly those for complex items.

The two steps involved in two-step sealed bidding are the following:

1.In the first step, technical proposals are obtained, and discussions held;

2. In the second step, contractors with technically acceptable proposals from the first step are invited to submit bids based on their individual proposal. An award is then made to the lowest bidder in the same way as it would have been made under a sealed bidding procedure.

One perceived advantage of two-step sealed bidding is that it puts considerable pressure on bidders to come up with a low price. The disadvantages are that the two-step sealed bidding usually takes a long time and in the second step leaves the contracting officer with little choice as to which company will be selected for award. [Irvin Industries Canada, Ltd. v. United States Air Force, 924 F.2d 1068 (D.C. Cir. 1990)]