NPM 017-2011

Requesting Entity: Bureau of Fire Protection

Issues Concern: No Contact Rule



1.Whether the no-contact rule prohibits the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) from answering/replying to a correspondence sent by the bidder inquiring on the status of a particular procurement.

[I]t is our view that mere inquiry or follow-up on the status of a procurement activity, i.e., the stage or progress of the bidding process where the procurement activity is at, is not within the scope of the prohibited communication contemplated under the rules, and may thus be accepted and responded to by the BAC. Accordingly, we wish to stress that the response of the procuring entity should only indicate the status of the procurement activity and not include any other information relative to the evaluation of bids, such as, but not limited to, the result of the evaluation process, outcome of the post-qualification, and the name of the winning bidder.

2.What stage of the procurement process should the no-contact rule apply.

[R]eference to Section 32.1 and consideration of the rationale behind the policy dictate that the prohibition attaches at the bid evaluation stage, which commences immediately after the preliminary examination of bids, and ends upon the issuance of the Notice of Award.