Red Flag: Unreasonably Low Line Item Bids

An unreasonably low line item bid can indicate an unbalanced bidding scheme, probably as the result of corruption.

In an unbalanced bidding scheme, project officials leak inside information to a favored bidder that is withheld from other bidders; for example, that certain line items in the request for bids will not be called for after contract award. This allows the favored bidder to “low ball” that item in order to reduce its overall bid price and eliminate competitors.

This red flag can indicate the following schemes:

Click on the schemes listed above to see more information on each scheme, a more complete listing of their red flags and steps to determine if the schemes are actually present.