Dear Mr. Ethics,
We have a subcontractor that has provided us with a bid that left out a couple of key design areas. We asked the subcontractor about this and expressed our concern that their bid amount does not cover this work. The subcontractor vigorously defended its bid and insists that it will complete the entire scope of its work for its bid amount if we award the contract to them. They also argued that as the lowest bidder they are due the subcontract. None of us here think they can do the work for their bid amount. Is it unethical to deny them the subcontract? What should we do?
You have acted ethically in providing the subcontractor with an opportunity to explain their bid and position with regard to same. The action you take next does not involve ethics but making a hard business decision. You do not owe the subcontractor with a contract. I would recommend that you contact counsel regarding the potential legal ramifications of having the subcontractor default during the project if you decide to award them the subcontract.
Regards, Mr. Ethics