18- 554 C.M.R. ch. 1, § 2 - SELECTION PROCESS

Any Contracting Authority contemplating the need for professional services (as defined in these procedures) for a public improvement must procure such professional services in accordance with these procedures.

Should the Contracting Authority have any question with these procedures regarding the involvement of any professional services agreement, the Contracting Authority should first contact the Bureau of General Services for clarification.

A. ADVERTISEMENT

Prior to initiating the process of selecting an architect or engineer for a project, the Contracting Authority shall advertise in the Daily Kennebec Journal at Augusta and in a daily newspaper that serves the area in which the project is located. A copy of the advertisement will be filed with the Bureau of General Services and will be available for review by the Architects and/or Engineers.

(1) CONTENT

The advertisement shall contain a brief, but informative, description of the professional services required and the name and address of the individual representing the Contracting Authority in the selection process.

The advertisement should also state the format to be used by the Architect and/or Engineer in submitting information to the Contracting Authority supporting consideration of the firm as a candidate for the project. (The Bureau will make available to the Contracting Authority sample advertisement information).

(2) PUBLICATION

The advertisement shall be published at least two weeks before the selection of the Architect or Engineer. (Large projects may require additional notification time and coverage).

(3) ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER LIST The Bureau shall maintain the Architectural & Engineer Firm List which will be available, upon request, to the Contracting Authority.
B. REVIEW BY CONTRACTING AUTHORITY
(1) SELECTION FOR INTERVIEW

The Contracting Authority shall review all responses to the advertisement and shall select at least three (3) firms to be interviewed for the project. The exact number and particular firms selected for interview will be determined by the character and scope of the Project and the Firms' professional competency as it relates to the Project.

(2) INITIAL INTERVIEW

Each Firm selected for interview shall be notified of the time and place for a personal interview. It is expected that the individual or officer of the Firm who will be directly responsible for the project will personally appear at the interview.

(3) CONDUCT OF INTERVIEW In the case of design projects, allow the Firms adequate opportunity to inspect the site and to prepare for the interview. During the interviews discuss, in depth, the proposed services required; the qualifications and performance records of each Firm; its capability to complete the project within the time allotted, and the qualifications, experience and availability of the specific key personnel to be assigned to the Project. (Bureau will assist with interviews when requested and will provide interview format questionnaire). Determine the names and locations of a number of recent clients for whom the Firm has recently done similar work.

The interview should serve as the basis of the selection arrived at following an evaluation of professional competency and qualifications required for the types of services contemplated. Fee for such services should not be a subject of the interview; but negotiated at fair and reasonable prices following the selection.

(4) REFERENCE CHECK

Check carefully with the recent clients of the Firms and obtain a candid confidential evaluation of the Firm's performance. Do NOT limit this check only to references supplied by the Firms.

(5) EVALUATION

List the three (3) or more Firms interviewed In order of their desirability, taking into account their location, reputation, competency, experience, financial standing, size, personnel available, quality of references, work load and any other factors relevant to the project being considered.

C. FEE NEGOTIATION
(1) SECOND INTERVIEW

Invite the Firm which appears to be the best qualified for the project being considered to appear for a second interview to discuss the project in-depth and to negotiate the fee. The Bureau of General Services will provide assistance in the determination of an acceptable fee.

(2) FAILURE TO REACH AGREEMENT

If the Contracting Authority and the Firm are unable to reach agreement on compensation, the negotiations should be terminated and the Firm notified in writing to that effect. The Firm deemed next best qualified for the project being considered should then be called in to negotiate a fee.

(3) CONFIDENTIALITY OF NEGOTIATIONS

All negotiations should be conducted on a confidential basis and in no event should the negotiations attempt to play off one Firm against another by disclosing the compensation discussed with the other Firm.

(4) FEE SCHEDULE

The basis of the negotiations for a fee should relate directly to the "Recommended Fee Schedule for Design of Public Improvements" established by the Bureau of General Services.

Any variance from the above referred to fee schedule must be justified prior to approval granted by the Bureau. Such justification for a variance would only be approved when the complexity, scope or other considerations pertaining to the Project warrant same.

(5) FEASIBILITY STUDIES

Negotiated fees for feasibility studies will be based upon fees for similar work or studies with comparable complexity In order to determine the reasonableness of the compensation. The Bureau will be available to assist the Contracting Authority in arriving at an acceptable fee fort he Project.

D. AGREEMENT

When the Contracting Authority and the Firm agree on an appropriate fee and when the scope of the professional services, the manner of their performance, and any time limitations have been fully disclosed, discussed and agreed upon, the parties should enter into a formal written contract. Standard agreement forms are provided by the Bureau. All agreements are to be executed on these standard forms in the required number of copies, and are subject to the approval of the Director of the Bureau.

E. CERTIFICATION

The Bureau, prior to approval of the Agreement, may require that the Contracting Authority provide certification that these selection procedures were followed. Such certification would include a copy of the actual newspaper advertisement, a list of Firms who indicated an interest in the Project, a list of the Firms interviewed and any other documentation requested by the Bureau.

Notes

18- 554 C.M.R. ch. 1, § 2

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