NSPE sent a public comment to the Florida House Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee in opposition to a bill that would eliminate QBS and replace it with a “best value selection process.”
If enacted, H.B. 789 would allow price to influence as much as 50% of the selection process. This would create a procurement system in which price is given priority over the competence and qualifications of the provider in making procurement commitments. In the letter, NSPE President Kodi Jean Verhalen, P.E., Esq., F.NSPE, cited a Florida Department of Transportation analysis of the bill. She stated, “imposition of price would outweigh innovation as a selection factor, and encourage selection based on the cheapest proposal or design. This may result in higher transportation project life cycle costs, since the cheapest design is not always the most efficient or sustainable design.”
NSPE has been collaborating with the Florida Engineering Society to defeat this legislation. The legislation passed out of committee on March 28. An amendment was added to exempt transportation projects to ensure continued federal funding. However, it still impacts nontransportation projects. NSPE continues to work with FES on next steps to defeat the bill.