Construction Industry Joins Together for Two-Step Procurement for Federal Design-Build Contracts
Construction associations representing both design professionals and contractors have joined together to advocate for legislation to help smaller construction firms compete on federal design-build projects. In response, House Small Business Committee Chair Sam Graves, R-Mo., joined by a bi-partisan group of six co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 2750, the “Design Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2013,” which would require a two-phase process on most design-build projects that allows the government to conduct a first-phase technical qualifications assessment to narrow the number of firms that will be invited to submit significantly more expansive proposals for a second-phase competition. In May, construction associations told the House Small Business Committee that the cost of bidding on federal design-build projects can exceed 3 percent of the value of the contract, and thus excludes many qualified firms from the market and poses a real barrier to entry for small firms. The two-phase process supported by the construction industry would allow businesses to reserve their resources for contracts on which they will be highly competitive, and save the procuring government agency time and money, since it will no longer have to evaluate full proposals of firms that have no chance of success. “If the bid and proposal process can be streamlined to make it more efficient and cheaper for all involved, without sacrificing quality, we should do it,” Graves said. H.R. 2750 was referred to the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.