Interview Questions: Collusive Bidding by Contractors

Questions that might reveal collusive bidding include:

  • Do you know or suspect, or have you heard, that certain bidders have engaged in collusive bidding?
  • Do certain companies win contract awards on a rotating basis, or obtain the majority of work in a particular area?
  • Do losing bidders appear as sub-contractors to the winning bidder?
  • Are the winning and low bids on certain contracts unreasonably high?
  • Are certain line items in losing bids unreasonably high?
  • Are there physical similarities in bids submitted by different companies, such as identical formats or common spelling errors?
  • Are there unusual bidding patterns, such as winning and next lowest bids on several contracts differing by exact amounts, or bidders submitting the same price on different contracts?
  • Have different bidders on a contract submitted sequential bid securities, or securities purchased at the same time or the same bank?
  • Do some losing bids contain what appear to be deliberate errors, or appear to be deliberately incomplete?
  • Do the same bidders bid on every job?
  • Do qualified bidders who once bid no longer submit bids?
  • Are there qualified bidders who never submit a bid?
  • Do prices drop when a new bidder enters the competition?
  • Is there correspondence or other indications that contractors engage in pricing agreements, bidder’s conferences, or other agreements?
  • Are controls and procedures to prevent collusive bidding in place and enforced?