By John Boling
On Monday, January 24, IIBEC sent a letter to West Virginia state senators outlining the industry’s concerns with state senate bill 241, which would undermine Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) by introducing price competition into the process. Specifically, the bill would replace the process where an architectural, engineering, or design firm competing for a public project is selected on the basis of qualifications and competence in relation to the scope of the project and instead would have three qualified firms bid on the project after being briefed, with the low-price bid being selected.
The letter states, “QBS allows procurement officials to exercise greater latitude in selecting design professionals like building enclosure consultants (BEC), by recognizing both objective and subjective criteria such as innovation, unique design approaches, sustainable design, and in identifying the best match for a project’s size, scope, location, and regulatory requirements.
“For decades QBS has proven that contract negotiations that start with qualifications and experience have resulted in better, more cost-effective construction projects. When it comes to the design of buildings, roads, bridges, or water systems, the citizens of West Virginia are best served by the qualified professionals—not the lowest bidder,” concluded Brian Pallasch, IIBEC chief executive officer and executive vice president.
In addition to sending this letter to all the members of the West Virginia Senate Committee on Government Organization, IIBEC has also alerted our sister A/E design and construction industry associations who also support QBS to voice their opposition as well. IIBEC will continue to follow this legislation and take additional action, if necessary.