Q If two bidders submit identical low bids on a construction project, and in the opinion of the school board both are equally qualified to do the construction work, can the board, in its discretion, request additional written sealed bids from the two low bidders to determine the successful bidder?

A No. The school district may not request additional sealed bids, even when the bids are identical and considered “equal” by the public entity. Pursuant to Section 31-7-13, if the school district determines, after careful scrutiny of the bids on both amount and quality, that there is still no “best bid,” it will be required to reject all bids and begin the process anew, until it can decide on a “lowest and best bidder.” (Attorney General’s Opinion to Price, March 22, 2013)