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IIBEC Opposes Missouri Bill Expanding Cooperative Purchasing to Include Design Services

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April 18, 2023

By John Boling

On April 6, 2023, IIBEC submitted testimony to the Missouri State Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability outlining opposition to S. 544, which would expand cooperative purchasing authorizations to include architectural, engineering, and design services.

IIBEC highlighted in its testimony that cooperative procurement of construction services falters on the following points:

  • Reduced costs rarely materialize.
  • The lack of competition drives up prices.
  • The system creates incentives for companies to avoid architectural and engineering design considerations, which, importantly, protect public safety and usually lower costs by ensuring reduced operating expense and by increasing the feasibility and functionality of the improvement.

Finally, the testimony cited the recent follow-up study conducted by the American Council of Engineering Cos. Foundation that revealed independent design professionals hired via the current qualifications-based selection (QBS) process save money and time while producing higher levels of client satisfaction than other procurement methods.

After the hearing concluded, Brian Pallasch, executive vice president and chief executive officer of IIBEC, said, “IIBEC will continue to fight efforts to undermine independent design professionals and will defend public procurement requirements that employ QBS and that focus on design professionals’ skills and experience rather than focusing solely on price.”

With the end of Missouri’s legislation session set for mid-May, IIBEC will be on the alert for last-minute maneuvers to advance the bill.