North Dakota Senate Panel Protects Building Enclosure Consultants

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February 23, 2023

By John Boling

IIBEC recently celebrated another legislative victory, as the North Dakota Senate Committee on State and Local Government on February 17 brought up SB 2370, amended it, and then passed it on a 6–0 vote. The amendment addresses concerns IIBEC raised in its previously submitted testimony and prohibits cooperative purchasing programs from being used to procure construction design services.

IIBEC Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Pallasch said, “We applaud the actions of the state senators and appreciate their understanding of our concerns. If IIBEC had not acted, this bill would have moved forward and further undermined the qualifications-based selection (QBS) process used to select building enclosure consultants on public projects in the state.”

The original legislation would have allowed state and local political entities to use cooperative purchasing to acquire products and services at competitive prices. However, written broadly, the measure also would have allowed public entities to procure architectural, engineering, and design service using cooperative purchasing, which IIBEC opposes. The amendment that passed addresses this problem by banning the inclusion of public improvement bids and contracts from the cooperative purchasing program.

The bill was passed by the full Senate later that day on a 47–0 vote and sent it to the North Dakota House of Representatives, where it awaits consideration.