American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon

QBS

Qualifications-Based Selection

On January 1, 2012, HB 3316 became effective and requires Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) for the procurement of engineers, architects, land surveyors, photogrammetrists, and transportation planners. This was significant as the bill removed previous thresholds and added local governments into the requirement to use QBS.

For projects with estimated design fees above $100,000 QBS will be required and this is clearly outlined in the links to the law and rules listed below. For projects below $100,000 in estimated design fees state and local governments may choose between a QBS process, a direct appointment process or they may use a hybrid process that includes fees. The language in HB 3316 was clearly intended to prohibit the use of fees in procurement but the intent was amended during rulemaking by the Department of Justice. 

ACEC is working to educate state and local agencies that QBS or direct appointment are much better procurement methodologies than fee bidding. While most local governments are using QBS or direct appointment for projects under $100,000 in fees, there are still outliers who continue to bid design services. When these projects are identified ACEC and AIA have been active in contacting the agency to discuss the preferred and proven procurement methodologies and have had good success in getting them to amend the procurement and move away from bidding under $100,000.
 


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