Potential Scheme: Leaking of Bid Information

Project officials can leak confidential information, such as, among many other things:

  • That a firm is on the approved shortlist (before the list is formally announced, to give the favored bidder additional time to prepare its bid)
  • Budgets and estimates
  • Preferred solutions, or
  • Competing bid information

to help a favored bidder gain an advantage.  Leaking of bid information usually indicates a corrupt relationship between the parties.

RED FLAGS OF LEAKING OF BID INFORMATION

  • Winning bid is just under the next lowest bid
  • Bid is too close to budget, estimate or preferred solution
  • Inadequate bidding procedures, e.g., acceptance of late bids, non-public bid openings, taking breaks during the bid opening (to provide the opportunity to share the content of certain bids and to amend others), etc.
  • Late bidder is the winning bidder
  • A questionable agent, “consultant” or “middleman” is involved in the bidding process
  • Project officials and a bidder communicate or meet during the bidding process

CASE EXAMPLES OF LEAKING OF BID INFORMATION

See actual case examples of leaking of bid information from investigated cases.

BASIC STEPS TO DETECT AND PROVE LEAKING OF BID INFORMATION

  1. Identify and interview all complainants and confidential sources to obtain further detail.
  2. Obtain the following bidding documents and examine them for the red flags listed above:
    • Requests for bids
    • Winning and losing bids
    • Bid evaluation reports
    • Minutes of bid opening
  3. Compare information in bids and proposals to confidential information in the files of the bidding organization, including budgets, cost estimates and competing bids.
  4. Interview witnesses and examine telephone, email records and visitors logs to determine if there were communications or meetings between a bidder and project officials during the bidding period.