Dollars saved by “piggybacking” contracts

Faced with soliciting bids for two projects along remote portions of the Lochsa River, District 2 structures and fleet manager Roy Hill decided to get creative with the bidding process for the benefit of taxpayers.

He calls it piggybacking contracts.

“The idea is to allow contractors to bid on projects that are close to each other to reduce their overhead and mobilization costs so that they can pass on those savings,” Hill said.

In the first trial run of the process, contractors had three options to prepare bids: the first project by itself, the second project by itself and then the combined bid for both projects with an additional line item for a deduction.

The contract allowed for the award of any of the three options individually, and in this case, the contract went to the combined bid for a savings of $5,000.

Hill’s endeavor was supported by contracting officer Todd Sorenson, who developed the innovative contract in compliance with state statutes. In the final stages, buyer Kathy Staab helped bidders understand this unique option and offered multiple solicitations.

“In this case the environment became more competitive, and if we do this more often, more contractors will likely try the combined bid to increase their savings, and ultimately, the state’s,” Hill said.

Published 08-17-18