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Redundancy in bid notices is redonkulous

By Jeff Moore

“The work shall consist of furnishing all materials, equipment, and labor necessary to complete the project.”

This common note in bid advertisements bothers me because, really, how else is the damn job going to get done? By sorcery? Time travel involving conjuring pre-assembled materials that don’t exist from the future so the job gets done in the amount of time it takes to fire up the time machine, put the future order in and have the finished job delivered to the past?

If this note isn’t included in a bid ad, do the contractors assume they do not have to furnish all materials, equipment, and labor necessary complete the project? Also, the work doesn’t consist of furnishing all materials, equipment, and labor; the work consists of doing something with those items.

I love/hate to nitpick but that is where my training has lead me. But we are, in general, a very anti-education nation so I guess daft notes like the above are needed to ensure some schlemiel understands he/she needs to actually come up with labor, equipment and materials to do the work they are committed to doing by contract.

And redundant acronyms. Oi. For example: .pdf format — write it out and you get portable display format format. ATM machine comes out as automatic teller machine machine and PIN number comes in at personal identification number number. More examples are: SAT tests, CSS style sheets and, of course, RAP phrases — redundant acronym phrases phrases.

Also, what other state do .pdf files exist in other than an electronic state? The only way to get documents in electronic format is to download them. We see the phrase “… available in electronic, downloadable .pdf format …” quite a bit and I think, really? Someone actually assembled those words into a string without catching the multiple, jejune redundancies?

Jeff Moore is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. Sorry, that was redundant.


  1. Todd Farnsworthy

    The answer is clear. Because shifty contractors have, in the past, played the “I didn’t know that was supposed to be my scope” card and have found ways to make additional money on a contract. This has nothing to do with education or making sure that someone bidding on work understands their scope. The bidders fully understand what they’re supposed to do, and they’re trained to find ways to squeeze a little extra margin where possible. I assume any GC who’s survived this recession has staff whose only jobs are to pour over documents/specs/etc to find loopholes that can be leveraged for additional fee. It’s the old adage of “contract amount” vs “change order.”

  2. Hi Todd. I do get that things have to be spelled out as such for the exact reasons you mention, but furnishing all materials, equipment, and labor to do the work one bid on seems like a given, you know? I dunno. We run across notes like that all the time which causes us to shake our collective heads, partly in stupefied wonder and partly in disbelief, that something so basic still has to be spelled out like that. The second most annoying note are those which state that one cannot receive plans and specs until they have paid for them. Obviously, like the note I wrote about, above there is some history to them I am unaware of. I would like to watch a contractor try to justify that he/she isn’t supplying all the materials and labor and equipment to do the project because the contract documents didn’t specify such a requirement. Thanks for you comments Todd.

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