bidding advice for a contract, part 2
Okay, guys, I'm about four hours into this with the client, and have
had some direct and blunt conversation with three of the principals.
We both have a firmed up expectation of the work to be done.
I have a legal background as I have previously noted but I have not
relied on any forms or boilerplate contracts. What follows below is an
on-the-fly response to the client's solicitation for a fixed price
bid. I know it's not perfect. I would appreciate your comments. I will
be sending this to them at COB today.
RESPONSE TO SOLICITATION FOR BID
Fee for service
In accordance with the bid solicitation dated August 14, 2008 and with
the terms and conditions stated in this response, my flat rate bid for
the construction of the IMD database, phases 1 through 5, is:
My hourly charge for completion of phase 6 (support) is $40.00 per
hour billed in increments of .25/hr.
Scope of work
The work consists of six phases, purchasing, manufacturing, inventory
control, refinements, documentation, and support, as outlined in the
solicitation. My charge is based on piece work rates for components as
Database tables -$60 each
Graphical user interfaces -$100 each
CSV reports (Excel format) -$25 each
Log files -$0
Command line interfaces -$0
Phase 1 (purchasing) consists of four tables, four interfaces, and two
reports, for a total cost of $690, which represents 15% of the whole
project. Thus, the cost of 100% of the project is $4,600.
Platform and technologies
The IMD database will be build with a client/server model using a
browser interface. The database will be MySQL. The interface will use
HTTP to communicate with web browsers on client machines which will be
served by the Apache http server. The application language will the
You will furnish the hardware and software necessary to construct and
run this application. The hardware should be a commodity x86 (Intel
compatible) machine. This does not have to be a high-end machine, the
technologies listed can run quite well on a modest platform. These
technologies do not require much processor speed or memory, and by
themselves need little storage. The total amount of storage depends on
your needs, and I do not have the information at hand to gauge your
data storage needs. Here are the technologies I need to construct the
MySQL 5.0 or better
Apache 2.0 or better
Perl 5.8 or better
SSH or equivalent connection n/a
operating System OS agnostic (Linux or Windows)
Secrets and confidentiality
I will honor the confidentiality of this project and not disclose your
data or information to third parties without your express consent and
only then in connection with the work to be performed. You need to
identify explicitly those matters that you consider trade secrets as a
precaution so that I can guard these secrets in the application. I
reserve the right to discuss the project with third parties in
general, non-specific, and non-identifiable fashion in order to
resolve technical issues.
Intellectual property issues
I will use free and open source technology to construct the IMD
database. These technologies are released under various open source
licenses, such as the GPL, Apache License, Artistic License, etc. I
do not claim any intellectual property interest in the work. When I
deliver the code base, you will own it and can use it, sell it,
transfer it as you see fit. Likewise, I will retain the same rights in
the code base. All data are your property and will remain your
Documentation and no vendor lock in
At the conclusion of each phase, I will deliver you a fully functional
and documented version of the application. I will only use open source
and freely available technologies, and will build the project in such
a fashion that any capable developer can understand and enhance. All
software shall be self documenting.
We both acknowledge that the flat rate quoted above might prove to be
improvident in the light of factors that are unknown at present. This
includes factors that may increase the contract price or decrease the
contract price. In this event, we will both undertake to renegotiate
the contract price in good faith, with the primary criteria that the
price should reflect both the amount of the work to be done and the
value of the work to be done.
If at any time you choose to discontinue this project, you may notify
me and pay me for the work to date. I have no claim on full completion
of the contract. If I face circumstances that prevent me from
completing the contract, I will fully perform to the end of the then
current phase and deliver to you a fully functional and documented
version to the end of that phase. I will also work with you to ensure
that your needs will continue to be met in any transition period.
Payment of compensation
You will pay the contract price as set out in the bid solicitation of
August 14, 2008. I am not set up as self employed, and I would request
that this be paid as W-2 wages. I understand that the net payments
would be reduced by the amount of required withholdings (FICA, income
tax, etc.) In all other respects, I am an independent contractor with
other means of livelihood, and am not an employee of XXXXXXXXXXXX,
Inc. I will work on this project on my own time as I judge
appropriate, and you have no control over my schedule or work hours
except as to the due date of each deliverable.
We both understand that I cannot build the IMD project unless you
furnish full, complete, and unambiguous requirements specifications.
You commit to timely delivery of requirements specifications. IEEE Std
830-1998 sets out recommended practices for software requirements
specifications, and you will conform to these recommended practices to
the extent practicable given the nature of the project, i.e., that
this standard is very much overkill for a small project like this one.
I commit to adjusting to reasonable changing requirements, knowing
that the completion of each phase may reveal the existence of new,
previously unknown requirements and the obsolescing of previously
identified requirements. I cannot build a system unless I know the
specific inputs, specific outputs, and specific functional
requirements. Any delay in the identification of these items on your
part will extend the due date of each phase as appropriate.
Good faith and best efforts
Each of us has the obligation to work on this project in good faith
using our best efforts. Differences of opinion and issues of
communication will be resolved by discussion and full disclosure of
all relevant factors. I commit to completing the project on time and
Thank you for the opportunity to bid on this project. I look forward
to assisting you in this.
Re: bidding advice for a contract, part 2
cartercc <email@example.com> wrote:
> Okay, guys, I'm about four hours into this with the client, and have
> had some direct and blunt conversation with three of the principals.
> We both have a firmed up expectation of the work to be done.
This isn't really about Perl, and if you are seeking business advice on
contracts, you probably want to talk to a lawyer or business coach
about it. There might be other newsgroups that discuss business topics.
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