The method by which contracts are awarded is ordinarily regulated by statute or constitutional provision, and the prescribed method must be followed. For significant expenditures of public funds, government bodies usually must use a bidding process. In the awarding or letting of public contracts, the public body invites bids or makes "requests for proposals" so that it can award the contract to the bidder who qualifies under the terms of the governing statute. The submission of a bid in response to an invitation is considered an offer, and although it may not be freely withdrawn prior to acceptance, it does not become a contract unless and until such time as it is accepted by the proper public authority. A bid that does not respond to the terms contained in the invitation to bid is not within statutory requirements but is considered to be a new proposition or a counterproposal.
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