Category:134 Engineering Professional Services
When projected workloads and available resources indicate the need for a consultant’s professional services on a project, the Engineering Professional Services Guidelines (EPS) provide Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) staff with the basic information needed to engage a consultant for the provision of specific services.
134.1 Guideline Summary
These guidelines are provided in three sections – consultant procurement, contracting procedures, and dispute resolution.
The Consultant Procurement Process describes policies and procedures related to hiring a consultant:
- 1. Approval to hire a consultant
- 2. Soliciting letters of interest from consultants
- 3. Selecting a consultant
- 4. Approval of selected consultant
The Contracting Procedures describes the activities a MoDOT project manager performs while the contract is active:
- 1. Which contract to use
- 2. Negotiating man-hours of effort required by the consultant
- 3. Pre-audit process
- 4. Executing the contract
- 5. Invoice procedures
- 6. Evaluating the consultant’s performance
The Dispute Resolution Process describes the formal process for resolving a disagreement between the consultant and MoDOT:
- 1. How the process is started
- 2. Documentation required
- 3. Meetings between consultant and MoDOT
- 4. Concluding the process
134.2 The Professional Services Committee (PSC) and Qualifications Based Selection (QBS)
The PSC ensures that MoDOT follows State and Federal guidelines for the use of engineering consultants. The committee is composed of the Director of Program Delivery (who chairs the committee), the State Design Engineer, and the State Bridge Engineer.
MoDOT is committed to getting the best value for every dollar spent. How is that accomplished when selecting professional services where low bid selection may compromise the quality of the services? The process is called QBS and is governed by both State and Federal regulations.
At the federal level, the Brooks Act (Public Law 92-582, 1972) requires agencies to “promote open competition by advertising, ranking, selecting, and negotiating contracts based on demonstrated competence and qualifications for the type of engineering and design services being procured, and at a fair and reasonable price.” This requirement applies to all federally funded projects.
The State of Missouri, in Sections 8.285 thru 8.291 RSMo, requires QBS for all architectural and engineering professional services and reflects the language contained in the federal legislation.
MoDOT’s QBS process can be summarized in 7 Steps:
- 1. MoDOT solicits qualifications for identified professional services.
- 2. Interested professionals submit qualifications.
- 3. MoDOT evaluates the firms based on a) practical design, b) experience and competence, c) the capacity of the firm to perform the work in the timeframe needed, d) past performance, and e) proximity to and familiarity with the project area. The top 2 - 5 firms are placed on the “short list.”
- 4. MoDOT evaluates the firms on the short list to determine the firm most qualified to perform the services. This may include interviews or presentations. Performance evaluations from the Design Consultant Database are reviewed for past performance ratings.
- 5. MoDOT provides an initial scope of services. The best scope and method of delivery are negotiated between MoDOT and the consultant.
- 6. Consulting firm determines the hours and fee needed to deliver the services.
- 7. MoDOT and the consultant negotiate to assure the hours and fees are reasonable and fair. If an agreement cannot be reached with the first short listed firm, negotiations may be terminated and initiated with the second firm.
The PSC is responsible for ensuring MoDOT follows the QBS process.
However, there are two primary exceptions to this process. They are:
- 1. Execution of contracts involving emergency projects and
- 2. Execution of contracts to procure consultants for MoDOT’s three Design/Build projects has been given to the specific Project Directors.
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