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10/26/2011

New publication explains recent amendment of QBS law

The recently enacted amendment of Ohio's Qualifications-Based Selection law for design professionals is explained in a new ACEC Ohio publication.

At the request of ACEC Ohio, language was included in the state budget bill (HB 153) that eliminated the exemption from the QBS law for contracts with an estimated fee of less than $25,000.  Effectively, all contracts for A/E services awarded by public authorities (except those of an emergency nature) now must be awarded via the qualifications-based selection process.

At the same time, the amendment gives public authorities a new, expedited selection process for awarding contracts with estimated fees of less than $50,000.

On these small design contracts, a public authority may “direct select” a single A/E from among those design professionals that have statements of qualifications on file, provided that the public authority and the selected design professional negotiate a contract as required elsewhere in the law.

“The change in the law strikes a good balance in that it allows local government officials to quickly choose qualified engineers and architects for small contracts, while at the same time protecting the professions and the public by making sure these contracts are negotiated, not simply competitively bid,” said ACEC Ohio Executive Director Don Mader.

To assist public authorities, ACEC Ohio has published a new, 16-page guide on the law, Complying with Ohio's Qualifications-Based Selection Law for Professional Engineers, Architects & Surveyors.  The booklet contains the entire text of the QBS statute, including the amendment to Revised Code Section 153.71. 

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