Q Section 31-7-13(d) (iv) authorizes negotiation with the low bidder for a construction project if the low bidder is not more than 10% above the funds allocated. Does that mean allocated overall for the project, or per line item? Does “funds allocated” include available funds that may be reallocated for a particular project?

A The term “allocated funds” as contemplated in Section 31-7-13(d)(iv) is limited to funds specifically allocated for the letting of the construction contract itself. Regardless of whether the funds are a “separate line item” in the entity’s project budget, the allocated funds must correspond directly to the specifications contained in the invitation for bids. The only funds that may be considered when determining whether the construction project negotiations authority granted in Section 31-7-13(d) (iv) has been triggered are the funds that the governing authority intends on using to procure the construction contract for which it has solicited bids. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Nowak, December 7, 2018)