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Bidding ethics

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Is there a written code of bidding ethics for projects in the construction
industry?

If a client has bids on a project that I've designed, and tells me that he
wants to ask one bidder to lower his bid to that of another in order to get
the project, is that client being unethical, immoral, illegal, or shrewd?

My advice is, "Don't do it", for two reasons:
1) the bidders have a right to expect that their bids will be taken as a
serious offer to do business, not as a means of manipulating a competitor.
2) it starts the project out with the wrong kind of relationship -- one in
which each knows the other is willing to do some shady dealing.  When
something goes wrong and defenses go up, things are more likely to turn sour
if each already has reason to distrust the other.

The client says, "Its done all the time in my industry."

But this isn't his industry, its the construction industry.  Can I point
such a client to a construction industry standard on the matter?

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer