Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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Bidding FAQ's

Q. What electronic bonding firms does the electronic bidding system support?
A. iCX currently supports two electronic bonding clearinghouses – SurePath and Surety2000.

Q. How do I fill out my Form A and B?
A. Download and follow the Disclosure Instructions

Q. How do I access the Vendor Portal so I can register my company?
A. Go to https://services.illinois.gov/VendorPortal/ and log in using your State of Illinois Digital ID.

Q. How do I obtain a State of Illinois Digital ID?
A. Go to http://www.illinois.gov/pki and follow the instructions. You will need your Illinois Drivers License or Illinois ID Card to apply. Out-of-state residents will need to complete an application for a digital ID. The application and instructions are available at this same Web address.

Q. Can I still submit a paper bid or do I have to submit my bid electronically?
A. It is the Department’s preference that all bidders utilize electronic bidding, however, paper bids will be accepted. You cannot submit both an
electronic and a paper bid. If both are submitted, the electronic bid will be the official bid and the paper bid will be returned.

Q. When will I be able to submit my bid electronically?
A. Electronic bids will be accepted beginning with the November 8, 2013 letting

Q. Why is iCX not validating my e-bid bond?
A. If you are receiving an error message from iCX concerning the validation of your e-bid bond be sure to contact your surety company. In some instances, EBids users are having issues with validating e-bid bonds within the iCX software. The iCX software uses key pieces of specific information to electronically validate your e-bid bond. You must use your four character contractor number assigned by IDOT and the five character contract number (i.e. 60W18). EBids Testers have experienced validation problems when using their company TIN and/or using the Letting Item Number (036, 06A).

Q. Why am I getting a Java warning message when accessing the iCX?
A. This message appears as a result of a new security update. When the message appears click the checkbox “Do not show this again…” and then click “Run”. For more information read the EBids Application Changes.

Q. Why, after entering my digital signature user ID and password, am I stuck on “Authenticating user… Please wait while you are authenticated to the server”?
A. One possible solution is to ensure there is a forward slash at the end of your Vendor Portal web address http://services.illinois.gov/VendorPortal/

Q: Can you archive bids from previous lettings so they don't appear on the Dashboard?
A: Changing the functionality of the Dashboard has been discussed and is on our list of enhancements. The Dashboard serves only as a “history” of the contracts you have accessed. Rather than “archiving” the Dashboard items, they would be sorted by letting date. You also have the ability to save your submitted bid report in a folder of your own making.

Q: Is there a user guide available for new users?
A: Yes. To view the IDOT Vendor Portal User Guide, go to http://www.dot.il.gov/desenv/IDOTVPUSERGUIDE.pdf

For help with the iCX application, click “Help” inside the iCX application

To view the EBIDS Training Video, go to http://www.dot.il.gov/desenv/ebids.html and click on “EBids Training Video”. In order to view the video, you must first download the GoToMeeting Codec by accessing the “Click Here” link.

Q: Am I required to upload the Joint Venture Proposal Signature Sheet if I am NOT submitting a bid as a Joint Venture?
A: No.

Q: When bidding as a Joint Venture, is there any way to link our financial Form A or 10K Report, and Form B to the Joint Venture entity in the iCX rather than having to complete the financials each time?
A: Not at this time. An enhancement in the future may be possible.

Q: Will all contracts our firm has had access to always be listed in the Select Contract dropdown for all lettings, both previous and current?
A: Yes, and we are preparing an enhancement to sort the contracts in Letting Date order.

Q: If a bidder does not have all Subcontractor information at the time of bidding, can this information be submitted later?
A: Yes. Simply check the radio button “Yes, but not known”. Please note you will need to include any DBE sub with an annual value of more than $50,000 if they will be included in your DBE goal commitment.

Q: Do we still need to submit a Form A every time we bid?
A: No. Once you have completed the Form A(s) in the iCX system, you do not need to do this every time you bid. If your financial information changes, it is your responsibility to update the Form A(s) in the iCX system. When completing certifications, you must acknowledge your financials are accurate and up-to-date before you will be able to submit your bid.

Q: Would it be possible to upload a list of Subcontractors rather than typing each one in?
A: No.

Q: Will we have the ability to copy / paste bid prices from an external spreadsheet to the ICX site?
A: The functionality to Export pay items to Excel, HCSS, Hard Dollar or Bid2Win already exists in the iCX system. Once you have exported and completed your unit prices, you also have the ability to Import your unit prices. Check the Help inside the iCX system for further instruction.

Q: When accessing the iCX system, Internet Explorer crashes frequently. Can this be fixed?
A: Yes. ExeVision is aware of the issue and is working on a solution. We recommend updating your browser to Internet Explorer 11.

Q: If you submit an electronic bid and withdraw it, then submit a paper bid instead, would your paper bid be accepted?
A: Yes. IDOT does not have any knowledge of bids that have been submitted then withdrawn.

Q: If the EBids system would go down for a significant amount of time in the hours leading to the letting, would the letting be canceled?
A: A cancellation is not likely. IDOT has a postponement process in place in the event of a system outage. Everyone on the Electronic Subscription Service will be notified of a postponement through this system.

Q: When bidding as a Joint Venture I had issues with choosing my default firm. How do I ensure I am accessing the iCX as the correct Joint Venture entity?
A: When a Vendor has multiple companies or Joint Venture entities, you must select the appropriate company prior to clicking on the iCX link from the Vendor Portal. Please refer to Page 26 of the IDOT Vendor Portal User Guide for instructions.

Q: On Letting day, a high percentage of bids are submitted in the 9:00am hour. With the increased volume of traffic during this time, will there be an issue with bid submission?
A: We have not yet seen any issues caused by high volume. ExeVision is aware of high traffic with last minute submissions and is actively working to ensure the system is not affected. We recommend bids be submitted as early as possible to avoid any unforeseen issues.
 

Annual Bid Bonds

Q: I have used Surety 2000 for Bid Bonds. My bonding company said I can now use an Annual Bid Bond. Would I select "Mailed Bid Bond” when validating my bid bond in the iCX?
A: Yes. If you do not have an Annual Bid Bond number from Surety2000 enter “Annual Bond on File” in the “Bond or Check #” field.

Q. Does IDOT require a set time frame for the Annual Bid Bond?
A. IDOT is leaving that decision to individual contractors and their surety. We are simply limiting the bonds to not to exceed one year.

Q. If we choose to use the Annual Bid Bond and continue to submit paper bids do we need a bid bond number?
A. No, there is no change in submitting paper bids with the Annual Bid Bond.

Q.  How long will IDOT be accepting paper bids?
A.  IDOT will be accepting paper bids for the foreseeable future.

Q.  What electronic bonding firms does the electronic bidding system support?
A.  iCX currently supports two electronic bonding clearinghouses - SurePath and Surety2000.


 

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