Qualifications-Based Selection of Engineering Services: State List
Legislative/Regulatory Issue: Legislative
SB 925: Became law without Governor’s signature on 9/29/2017.
HB 5817: Became law without Governor’s signature on 7/21/2017.
HB 6197: Committee recommended measure be held for further study on 6/28/2017.
HB 7310 establishes a new comprehensive process for the procurement selection of engineering and architectural consultant services based upon demonstrated competence experience and qualifications at fair and reasonable prices.
It is articulated that the purchasing agent shall negotiate a contract with the highest qualified firm as recommended by the selection committee for architectural and engineering services at compensation which the purchasing officer determines in writing to be fair and reasonable to the state. In making this decision, the purchasing officer shall take into account the estimated value, the scope, the complexity, and the professional nature of the services to be rendered. Should the purchasing officer be unable to negotiate a satisfactory contract with the firm considered to be the most qualified, at a price the purchasing officer determines to be fair and reasonable to the state, negotiations with that firm shall be formally terminated.
It would also require the state to comply with Federal laws and regulations in the procurement of architectural and engineering services. NSPE and the Rhode Island Society of Professional Engineers are collaborating on working together on this measure to ensure QBS is upheld.
In 2017, Prior to the passage of SB 925 & HB 5817, when the purchasing agent determines that the city or town needs the services of an engineer, the purchasing agent shall follow the qualification based selection process for the procurement of engineering consulting services. These companion measures clarify that when utilized, by the city or town, the qualification based selection process must comply with federal law and regulations including, but not limited to the Brooks Act.
HB 6197 sought to establish that in the procurement of architectural, engineering, and consulting services and in the awarding of contracts, the state should comply with federal law and regulations including, but not limited to, the Brooks Architect-Engineers Act, and take all necessary steps to adapt its rules, specifications, policies, and procedures accordingly to remain eligible for federal aid. Although this measure passed the House of Representatives, the Senate Committee on Labor recommended that this measure be held for further study.