5450.1 Pre-award qualifications of high bidder.§ 5450.1 Pre-award qualifications of high bidder.
(a) The authorized officer may require the high bidder to furnish such information as is necessary to determine the ability of the bidder to perform the obligations of the contract. The contract shall be awarded to the high bidder, unless he is not qualified or responsible, or unless all bids are rejected. If the high bidder is not qualified or responsible or fails to sign and return the contract together with the required performance bond and any required payment; the contract may be offered and awarded for the amount of the high bid to the highest of the bidders who is qualified, responsible, and willing to accept the contract.
(b) A purchaser who has defaulted on a timber sale contract under this title by failing to complete payment of its total purchase price by the expiration date of the contract is considered a risk for purposes of being awarded future timber sale contracts. If a purchaser deemed a risk is the high bidder on a new timber sale, the authorized officer shall send a notice by registered mail requiring such purchaser to establish bidder responsibility by paying or bonding, or a combination of payment and bonding, for any one of the following: The total unpaid balance of the purchase price of all defaulted sales, the unsettled damages on all defaults, or 50 percent of the purchase price of contracts bid after the most recent default. Any payment applied toward 50 percent of a contract's bid price after the default(s) will be held as final payment for timber cut and/or removed under terms of the contracts. Acceptable bonding options are listed at § 5451.1 of this title. Payment and bonding are due within time limits stated in § 5450.1(c). Should the purchaser fail to demonstrate responsibility within 30 days of receipt of the notice, the authorized officer shall offer the contract for the amount of the high bid to the highest of the bidders who is qualified, responsible, and willing to accept the contract. Failure to demonstrate responsibility within 30 days of receipt of the notice indicates that the purchaser is not responsible, and debarment proceedings shall be considered under § 5441.1 of this title.
(c) Within 30 days after receipt of the contract the successful bidder shall sign and return the contract, together with any required performance bond and any required payment: Provided, That the authorized officer may, in his discretion, extend such period an additional 30 days if the extension is applied for in writing and granted in writing within the first 30-day period. If the successful bidder fails to comply within the stipulated time, his bid deposit shall be retained as liquidated damages.
(d) Award of contracts or permits on negotiated sales occurs upon the execution of the contract or permit. Terms and conditions shall reflect the contractor's ability to perform, and shall require prevention or mitigation of environmental degradation associated with the removal of the timber or other vegetative resource.[35 FR 9786, June 13, 1970, as amended at 55 FR 3955, Feb. 6, 1990; 56 FR 10175, Mar. 11, 1991; 56 FR 47916, Sept. 23, 1991]