AN INVESTIGATION OF THE VARIANCE IN PRICING SIMILAR TENDERS BY INDIVIDUAL CONTRACTORS (CASE STUDY: CONTRACTORS IN NAIROBI COUNTY)

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study was to investigate the variance in pricing similar tenders by individual contractors. This included the determination of the various tendering procedures used in the construction industry, the sources of construction cost information available and the challenges faced by contractors when using prices from such sources. The study covered various areas with regard to tendering process for instance, the qualifications for registration of contractors, classification of contractors by the Ministry of Public Works and various tendering arrangements such as open tendering, selective and negotiated tendering. The research adopted administration of questionnaires to a sampled list of contractors which helped in field data collection. The research findings indicated that there are several tendering arrangements adopted in the construction industry but the ones that contractors are mostly aware of are the open, two-stage selective and negotiated tendering. There are also various sources of construction cost information and contractors in most cases use the government’s literature and builders’ price book sources. The contractors also face challenges when using these sources among them being that it is difficult to interpret the prices and prices of some items are never provided.
The study recommends that there be standard indices used in the calculation of prices of items in the construction industry and there should be a standard cost information document known and used by all the construction industry contractors

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