Is Competitive Price Bidding for Professional Services Practical—

by Alice Tulloch, Student; Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, Oreg.,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 57-61

Document Type: Journal Paper


The implementation of competitive bidding for professional services is possible, but inadvisable. Procedures borrowed from construction contracting could be established to facilitate bidding for professional services. The scope of an engineer's responsibility could not, however, be adequately defined by this process. Informational exchange between engineer and owner would be limited. Time and money pressures would erode technical competence, thoroughness, and innovation. Competitive bidding would reduce costs by eliminating some waste, procrastination, and padding. But long-term costs due to increased administration, bribery, estimating margins, and errors would offset these savings. Public confidence in the engineering profession will decline as hazardous errors appear and true economic implications are manifest.

Subject Headings: Public health and safety | Pricing | Bids | Professional practice | Owners | Erosion | Innovation | Waste management

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