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Does government tort law apply to unfair business practices and possible fraud involving gov contract?

Santa Maria, CA |

I feel that my business has been damaged because of a government contract that requires them to accept the lowest responsive bid from a few vendors that they qualified though a lenghy review process. They are required to get bids from all vendors that were pre-qualified. Most of the time they go back to the same vendor and never give us a chance. When we are given the chance we win 75% of the time. These department heads do as they damn well please ignoring the terms of their own contract. We have filed protests and they get better for a short while then go back to their same old ways. Then they treat us worse because they say "we use their own policies against them". I also believe that their has been some fraud committed.

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Attorney answers 2


Which government? State, federal, local?



Santa Barbara County

Robert A. Stumpf

Robert A. Stumpf


ok, then I hope one of my California colleagues can help you, as I could more intelligently discuss bringing an action against the Federal Gov't.


Reading between the lines and presuming that you reference a local government entity such as a city, county, special district, etc., here's an answer limited only by the information you provide. While the California Public Contracts Code requires government selection of the lowest responsive and responsible bid for public works contracts, you're referencing pre-qualification. That suggests that the bid process in this instance may be informal (forced accounting, under $125K job), is taking place in a charter city with an applicable charter provision, or is not for a public works contract.

Your reference to department head discretion and your allegation of potential fraud suggests that a bit of investigation, analysis and potential action on your part may be warranted. As a former deputy DA specializing in white collar cases and former city attorney, I feel qualified to offer you that comment, even on limited information such as that provided. The pattern of conduct and allegations that you provide suggests that this is far from your first rodeo. Please review my website, and if you think I can help you, feel free to call or email. Good luck.

When I respond to a question posted on Avvo, I provide information for a general purpose. In reviewing my answer, you are specifically warned that your use of, or reliance upon any response that I provide would be a bad idea. I do not have all relevant background or facts related to your matter, and am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon any response by me does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us and does not qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose.

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