I have worked for main contractors for the majority of my 40-year career

As such I have seen the frustrations of trying to submit winning competitive bids - sometimes successfully - but often finding on many occasions that we have finished second, third, or worse, and that the winning bid is significantly lower than the second-place bidder. Is it not time for clients to introduce a mechanism to accept the second-lowest compliant bid?

This would stop suicide bids, negate the client’s need to have a minimum contingency of the difference between the accepted tender sum and the second place bid amount, and help to avoid the probable - if not inevitable - contract period and beyond time of aggressive, confrontational behaviour between all parties in the supply chain.

This won’t put a stop to all issues as the second-place successful contractor may still resort to confrontation rather than the more enlightened partnering principles the industry has been trying to achieve, but it won’t be because of suicide bidding.

Neal Tomlinson