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Additive Bid Items
By Anonymous on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 11:14 am:

I am a little confused using this term "Additive Bid Items. I am putting together a pricing schedule and the specs reads that the additive bid items should be listed separately. This cost is not to be included in the lump sum amount. What is the difference between additive bid items and alternate line item? I am a beginner. With no experience.

By joel hoffman on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - 05:48 pm:

Anon, are these "additive alternates" (combinations of the base and any of one or more than one additive CLINs could be awarded) or are they to be listed in the order in which they would be awarded, if awarded (base plus first additive, base plus first and second additive, etc.)? The solicitation would have to describe the Government's intent. I think that this would be the difference between "additive bid items" and "additive alternates." happy sails!

By Vern Edwards on Wednesday, September 12, 2001 - 10:19 am:


Additive (or deductive) bid items and alternate bid items are contingent items. They are based on the same idea, but they work differently. Agencies use them in procurements for construction when they are not sure that they have enough money to do all of the work that they would like to do.

When using additive or deductive bid items, an agency writes its IFB to specify a "base bid item" and additive or deductive bid items. The base bid item describes a baseline project. The additive or deductive items describe work that can be added to or deleted from the baseline project. When the agency open bids and discover the base bid prices it then add or deduct the additive or deductive bid items, depending on the difference between base bid item prices and funds available. Additive or deductive bid item prices are added to or deducted from the base bid item price.

In order to understand how additive and deductive bid items work, see the DFARS clause at 252.236-7007, Additive or Deductive Items, or the NASA clause at 1852.236-71, Additive or Deductive Items. Both clauses include examples of how its done.

The Naval Facility Engineering Command's FAR supplement, P-68, at 14.201-100, identifies an alternate bid item as "a bid item which may be used in lieu of or as an alternative to another bid item." The base bid item describes a certain baseline project. Alternate bid items describe variations of that project that include either more or less work. If, after opening bids, the agency decides that it has enough money to more work than it described in the base bid item or not enough money to do the baseline project, it then considers the alternates instead of the base bid item.

A search of GAO protest decisions turns up a number of cases which mention or deal with additive and alternate bid items and you may gain some understanding of the concepts from them. For a case that involved additive bid items see H. Angelo & Company, Inc., B-260680, Aug. 21, 1995. For alternate bid items see Fire Security Systems, Inc., B-259076, March 2, 1995 and Lambert Roofing and Construction Co., Inc., B-255183, Feb. 14, 1994.