Tools for Ensuring Contractor Performance on Public Construction Projects

Awarding to the low bidder on a public construction project means the public agency gets the lowest price and the best deal for the taxpayers. Right? Or does it? There are many challenges with ensuring effective contractor performance on low bid projects. So are public agencies at the mercy of unscrupulous and less than qualified contractors? Fortunately, there are a number of tools available that can help protect public agencies on public construction projects. In this course, we will examine a host of key practices, protections, and strategies that help protect the public’s interests and provide leverage to help ensure the contractor performs satisfactorily. 

There are currently no available dates for this course.


Upon successful completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify the protection offered by various types of surety bonds and how to obtain maximum protection from them
  • Structure bidder responsibility criteria in order to limit the chance of an unqualified contractor being awarded the project
  • Articulate the key components of a contractor performance evaluation program that can be used to find a low bidder not a responsible contractor
  • Write addenda to the bid documents that are clear and easily understood by bidders
  • Identify key costs that may be included in an agency’s establishment of a daily liquidated damages amount

Intended Audience

This course is targeted to individuals who meet or exceed the following professional demographics:  

  • Mid-level public procurement and central warehouse professionals who serve as senior buyers, managers, directors, or equivalent functions within their respective entities.   

  • Non-procurement managers and supervisors who either provide procurement functions that support entity programs under delegated authority, or who already have a good understanding of basic procurement principles but wish to get more in-depth, hands-on training.   

  • Professionals who are employed by local governing entities and special authorities (such as K-12 and higher education, publicly owned utilities, transportation providers, and other publicly funded or created entities) who either serve within or manage the procurement function.  

  • Supplier managers and supervisors seeking to understand the public procurement function from a more in-depth holistic level, including the policies, standards, and procedures by which public entities must function. 

Delivery Formats Available


Virtual Instructor-Led

Contact Hours



1 Day



Designed for public procurement professionals who have at least five years’ experience.

Available in these learning formats...


Instructor led discussion style classroom setting for those who prefer focused learning with maximum in-person interactions with instructors and peers.

1 Day Course

Course Outline

Is the Contractor Qualified?

  • Pre-qualify Bidders
  • Establish Bidder Responsibility Criteria
  • Specification Qualification Requirements
  • Subcontractor Approval Process

How Can You Manage the Bidding Process?

  • Develop Clear Bidding Documents
  • Optional vs. Mandatory Pre-Bid Meetings
  • Craft Clear Addenda
  • Accept Bidder’s Claim of Error

How Can Bonding Companies Help?

  • Bid Bonds and Other Bid Guaranties
  • Performance Bonds
  • Payment Bonds
  • Warranty Bonds

What Financial Tools Are at Your Disposal?

  • Withhold Retainage
  • Determine and Assess Liquidated Damages
  • Assess Actual Damages
  • Obtain Release of Claims Prior to Payments

What Are Effective Construction Management Practices?

  • Avoid Front-Loaded Schedule of Values
  • Inspect Work Performed
  • Review Pay Applications for Work Completed
  • Manage Claims Process
  • Control Change Orders Approved

Can You Evaluate Contractor Performance?

  • Features of Effective Contractor Performance Evaluation Programs
  • Using Results from Contractor Evaluations

When Can You Award Based on Price and Qualifications?

  • Best Value Procurement
  • Design-Build
  • Construction Manager at Risk
  • Job Order Contracting