In a substantive and full two-day visit to Washington, D.C. in mid-October, IIBEC leadership, led by President Bob Card and new CEO Brian Pallasch, met for a series of meetings with elected leaders, federal agency decision makers, key congressional staff, and allied industry association professionals to advance policy agenda items central to the work of IIBEC consultant members.
On October 16 and 17, Pallasch and Card, along with First Vice President Scott Hinesley, Director of Industry Affairs Brian Gardiner, and Government Relations Advisor Jeff Taylor, took part in meetings on a variety of issues that dovetail with IIBEC’s mission, including qualifications-based selection (QBS), responsible procurement, building codes, sustainability and energy efficiency, construction technology, public building infrastructure issues, and emergency management.
The IIBEC team visited with U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC) and his staff to thank him for his active support of IIBEC’s mission. Congressman Price, who this year became the chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee, has been a strong advocate for IIBEC the past two years, including having Congress insert legislative language into two appropriations reports. IIBEC advocates also discussed working with the chairman’s office on other important initiatives.
The team met with various government officials with the General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), including those officers representing the multiple awards schedule (MAS) with the Federal Acquisition Service, the office of Federal High-Performance Buildings with the GSA Public Buildings Service, and the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Build America program. They expressed IIBEC’s views on several public policy matters that affect both taxpayers and IIBEC members in order to give these officials a more vivid illustration of IIBEC and its consultant members. IIBEC’s advocates explained specifically what its members do for a living, how U.S. government policy (particularly involving qualifications-based selections [QBS] and procurement) affects them, and how its members, as experts with real-world experience, could be of tremendous value to policy makers as they consider and draft new regulations, legislation, and policies.
The IIBEC team visited The White House and, specifically, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)—the federal agency tasked with crafting the federal budget and managing regulatory costs and processes—to discuss the importance of QBS to IIBEC and the A/E community.
Lastly, IIBEC advocates met with three key industry associations and coalitions that are associated with IIBEC’s overall mission. These are listed below.
AIA: Because many of our IIBEC members are architects and members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the team made it a point to visit with the AIA government relations team to discuss common interests and where IIBEC and AIA can help one another on the federal, state, and local levels. There is strength in numbers, and so when a bill or regulation (especially on the state level) is identified that harms (or helps) the organizations’ combined members, they can now join forces and create a larger team to assist on the matter.
COFPAES: As procurement reform—specifically QBS—is front and center in IIBEC’s public policy agenda, IIBEC recently joined a very focused and respected coalition in Washington, D.C., called the Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services (COFPAES). It is a coalition of the nation’s leading design community professional societies. Member organizations are comprised of architects, engineers, surveyors, and mapping professionals from government service and private practice. During this October trip, IIBEC leadership met with a vice president at COFPAES to go over agenda items and how we can be of value to the overall mission.
NIBS: IIBEC leadership rounded out its industry meetings with a visit to the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) to discuss mutual interests in building enclosure commissioning. NIBS shared its progress in developing education modules regarding building commissioning, and IIBEC shared its progress in creating the Certified Building Enclosure Commissioning Professional (CBECxP) certification. It was agreed that the groups will continue to coordinate activities with respect to building enclosure commissioning.