Brooks Act Turns 48

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November 17, 2020
By Brian Gardiner

Forty-eight years ago in October, the Brooks Act (Public Law 92-582) was enacted, requiring a qualifications-based selection (QBS) process for choosing design professionals on federal projects.

The federal government uses QBS as incorporated into Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 36.6 – Architect-Engineer Services. Over 45 states have adopted some form of QBS.

Professional fees are typically less than 2% of a building’s total lifecycle costs, yet they can have a profound effect on the other 98% (construction ~12% & operations and maintenance ~86%) of a building’s overall cost.

Choosing the most qualified AEC is a key component in the ultimate success of a publicly funded construction project. A well-qualified AEC, selected through the QBS process, is more prone to create high-quality, best-value construction project documents that encourage fair and open bidding amongst contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers.

It is key for any government procurement system to be fair, transparent, and open to competition by qualified companies.

The IIBEC Board adopted a policy statement (Qualifications-Based Selection of Building Enclosure Consultant Services) supporting the use of qualifications based selection earlier this year.  For more information go to the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services (COFPAES) news release.