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IIBEC Organizes Opposition to Proposed Alabama Regulation Gutting QBS

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November 9, 2022

By John Boling

In early October IIBEC became aware of proposed regulations promulgated by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to overhauling state procurement procedures including a new procedure for architecture, engineering, and design services based on price (low-bid) for state-funded projects overturning the use of qualifications-based selection (QBS) for state funded projects. The requirement that QBS is used for projects that use federal funds remains in place. IIBEC reached out to organizations in the state that also support QBS to raise the alarm and confirm the proposal was in fact, gutting QBS for state-funded projects.

IIBEC submitted comments on November 4, 2022, opposing the proposal. In those comments, Brian Pallasch, executive vice president and chief executive officer of IIBEC, wrote:

“On October 27, 2022, the United States celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Brooks Act, which codified into law the principles of qualifications-based selection (QBS) of architects, engineers, and design professionals. It is concerning that at the same time the nation is recognizing the benefits that QBS has provided to the nation and its infrastructure, the ALDOT is considering regulations that sidestep this important law for projects paid for with state funds while retaining the procedure for those that access federal funds.”

Pallasch closed with asking the “director [of ALDOT] to issue a blanket determination that it is in the best interest of the state of Alabama that all contracts will follow QBS for the selection of architect, engineering, and design services of state infrastructure projects.”

IIBEC will continue advocate on behalf of all building enclosure consultants who participate in the public contracting arena and rely on QBS to ensure contracts are decided based on qualifications, not low bid. For more information about QBS, please read IIBEC’s policy statement on the issue.