Generally, state agencies, counties, cities, villages, towns and other public entities must award public works projects to the “lowest responsible bidder.” See, e.g., Wis. Stat. §§ 16.855(1m), 59.52(29), 60.47(3), 62.15(1), and 66.0901(1m). Who is a “responsible” bidder is not well-defined in the statutes, and courts have generally held that whether a bidder is “responsible” is a matter left to the discretion of the public entity. D.M.K., Inc. v. Town Of Pittsfield, 2006 WI App 40, ¶¶ 13-19, 290 Wis. 2d 474, 711 N.W.2d 672; Glacier State Distrib. Servs., Inc. v. DOT, 221 Wis. 2d 359, 367-68 & n.6, 585 N.W.2d 652 (Ct. App. 1998); Aqua-Tech, Inc. v. Como Lake Prot. & Rehab. Dist., 71 Wis. 2d 541, 551, 239 N.W.2d 25 (1976).
To assist state agencies, counties, cities, village, towns and other public entities, CBG has collected publicly available information and documents on over 7,000 businesses. Information and documents have been gathered from state and federal agencies, Wisconsin state courts, federal courts, municipal clerks and a variety of other public sources. Is a bidder properly registered with DFI to do business in the State of Wisconsin? Has the bidder been found to have violated OSHA, environmental, or employment regulations? Does the bidder have monetary judgments against them in a Wisconsin state or federal court? All this information and more is available in one convenient location with hyperlinks to downloadable public documents that have been collected by CBG.
While CBG endeavors to provide reliable information and reviews all entries annually, the Bidder Database is not a substitute for your own research and due diligence. Furthermore, by giving access to the Bidder Database, CBG is not providing public entities or other users any legal advice or an opinion or a recommendation as to whether an entity listed in the bidder database is or is not “responsible” or should or should not be used, hired, contracted with or awarded work. Those are decisions that must be made by project owners in consultation with their legal counsel.