We have just been informed of a new Consultant Services Final Rule (23 CFR 172)
FHWA has published the Final Rule updating the Procurement, Management, and Administration of Engineering and Design Related Services regulations in the Federal Register on May 22, 2015. The Final Rule becomes effective on June 21, 2015. The Final Rule can be found on the Federal Register Web site at: https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-12024.
Significant modifications to the regulation include:
- Allows the selection of numerous consultants through a single “on-call” solicitation
- Limits the maximum length of an “on-call” or an IDIQ contract to 5 years
- Allows states the flexibility to determine their own consultant evaluation process
- Allows the use of DBE commitment and local presence as evaluation criteria for up to 10% total
- Provides flexibilities regarding what type of “discussions” will take place following the submission and evaluation of proposals
- Removes the provisions that permitted States to use “alternative” or “equivalent” State qualifications-based selection procedures (to match 2006 law change)
- Clarifies the distinction between a prohibited “local preference” and an allowable “local presence”
- Raises the small purchase procurement threshold from $100,000 to $150,000
- Revises, eliminates or includes several definitions or phrases such as the terms “subconsultant”, “fixed fee”, “management support role” and others
- Allows states 12 months to update their written policies and procedures
FHWA will be conducting rollout webinars and presentations, as well as updating the consultant services Q&As in the very near future. More information will be shared as the details of these activities are finalized.