ConstructionDesignImageLast week, we discussed the requirements of the selection process for the architect of a state-assisted school construction project as well as the importance of procurement protocols for all projects regardless of the source of funding.  Now, we will discuss the basic requirements for your RFQ and RFP solicitation documents for the selection of your design professional.

At the outset, it is essential to the procurement process that your solicitation document (RFQ and/or RFP) include comprehensive, relevant, well organized and statutorily compliant content. A solicitation that meets this standard is more likely to elicit proposals that also meet such standards which will facilitate and streamline your evaluation and selection process.  Such a solicitation will also reduce the likelihood of bid disputes and aid in the defense of a bid dispute should one arise.

In the case of a solicitation for architectural services, Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-287(b)(2) requires a quality-based selection process which is a two-step process involving an RFQ and RFP.  An RFQ should describe:

  • the project
  • the deadlines and schedule for the procurement process
  • a comprehensive list of the criteria that will be used to evaluate each proposer
  • the evaluation process (methodology for rating proposers)
  • the form and content of the information that a response must include
  • the basis for rejecting a proposal or proposer from the qualification process

In all cases, you will want the proposer to confirm the proposer’s experience performing projects similar in scope and size to your project. It is advisable to include criteria tailored specifically to your project. For example, for a project involving the demolition of an older building, you may want a proposer to exhibit experience with asbestos abatement. If you neglect to include an element of the criteria in your solicitation documents, you could face a bid dispute if you base your selection on that missing element. The information and documentation that the proposer is required to provide in its response to the RFQ/RFP should be clearly described in the RFQ/RFP so as to elicit responses that will best enable you to evaluate the relative qualifications of the various proposers and the substance of their respective proposals.

All proposers that are deemed to be qualified pursuant to the requirements of your RFQ should receive an RFP for your project. The RFP should describe:

  • the project in more detail as necessary to enable bidding
  • the deadlines and schedule for the procurement process
  • the evaluation criteria required by statute
    • due consideration of pricing
    • experience with work of similar size and scope
    • organizational and team structure
    • past performance data (adherence to project schedules and project budgets   and number of change orders for the project)
    • the approach to the work
    • documented contract oversight capabilities
  • other evaluation criteria selected by you
  • the anticipated schedule for the project
  • the basis upon which the proposer is to price the work of the project (e.g., lump   sum)

Based on the consideration of all of the criteria set forth in the RFQ and the RFP, proposals from proposers deemed qualified should be evaluated to identify the four most responsible qualified proposers.  The contract must be awarded to one of these four proposers after consideration of all of the criteria included in the RFQ and RFP.

Although public school projects that are not state assisted and projects for private educational institutions are not subject to these same statutory and regulatory procurement requirements, in those cases where there is a solicitation of proposals for design services, the above described statutory and regulatory requirements may provide some helpful guidance as to the qualifications, evaluation criteria and other elements that may be important to include in the RFQ/RFP documents.

Stay tuned for next week’s Construction Corner post, when we will discuss in more detail the selection and role of a construction manager.