§ 329.13. Awarding professional service contracts through requests for statements of qualifications  

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  • Professional service contracts shall be awarded under this section as follows:

    (a) Prior to initiating the selection process, the city agency shall send a written notice to city council which: (1) states that the city agency anticipates awarding a professional service contract expected to cost in excess of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00); and (2) describes the project for which the service is needed.

    In this notice, the city agency shall also explain or state: (1) why the needed professional service(s) cannot be provided by existing city employees; (2) the frequency with which such services have been needed in the past and the anticipated need for such services in the future; and (3) whether it would be cost effective for the city to hire city employees to provide the required service in the future.

    (b) The city agency shall prepare a request for statements of qualifications (hereinafter "RFSQ"). The RFSQ shall include: (1) a general description of the project; (2) a statement of the city agency's needs and requirements; (3) a list of criteria by which offerors will be evaluated; (4) notice of any offeror's meeting or conference that will be held; and (5) where the city agency intends to evaluate offers using the environmentally preferable factor, the RFSQ shall so indicate that intention.

    The evaluation criteria for any contract awarded under this section shall include, but need not be limited to, the following: (1) the competence of the offeror to perform the required service as indicated by the technical training, education and experience of the offeror's personnel who would be assigned to perform the work; (2) the ability of the offeror to perform the required service competently and expeditiously as indicated by the offeror's workload and the availability of necessary personnel, equipment and facilities; (3) past performance of the offeror as reflected by the evaluations of the city agency, other city agencies and other previous clients of the offeror with respect to such factors as quality of work, success in controlling costs, and success in meeting deadlines; and (4) an environmentally preferable factor except when there is not an environmentally preferable manner in which to carry out the purpose of the contract.

    (c) The city agency shall give notice of the RFSQ by advertisement in the Columbus City Bulletin. Such advertisement shall be published at least one (1) week prior to the deadline by which offerors must submit statements of qualifications (hereinafter "SOQ"). The city agency may also advertise in newspapers, professional and trade publications, and other appropriate publications. The city agency may also contact potential offerors directly.

    (d) The city agency shall form an evaluation committee (hereinafter "committee") to evaluate SOQs received. The committee shall consist of an odd number of members, no less than three (3), selected from the city agency, other city agencies or both. The committee may also include noncity employees so long as neither they, nor any member of their families, nor any of their business associates have an interest in the contract being awarded. Unless manifestly impractical, at least one (1) member of the selection committee shall hold the same professional license or certification required by the offerors. The agency may elect to utilize two (2) separate committees, one (1) for section (e) below, and one (1) for sections (f), (g) , and (h) below.

    (e) The committee shall evaluate all SOQs received based upon the evaluation criteria specified in the RFSQ. On the basis of these evaluations, the committee shall select three (3) or more of the highest qualified offerors for further consideration. If the committee received less than three (3) SOQs, or determines that fewer than three (3) offerors are qualified to perform the required service, then the committee may select less than three (3) offerors for further consideration, or cancel the selection process.

    (f) The committee shall request technical proposals from each of the offerors selected for further consideration. The committee may also request that all offerors selected for further consideration make a presentation to the committee to elaborate upon their technical proposals, statements of qualifications, and/or any other pertinent information. The committee may permit revision of proposals so long as all offerors who have been selected for further consideration are given equal opportunity to revise their proposals.

    (g) The committee shall rank all remaining offerors based upon the quality and feasibility of their proposals and any revisions thereto.

    (h) The committee shall submit its ranking of the offerors, along with a written explanation of the basis for the ranking, to the director of the city agency. The ranking and written explanation shall become part of the contract file.

    (i) The director of the city agency shall have discretion consistent with appropriate departmental and/or citywide administrative rules in selecting the offeror with which to enter into contract negotiations. The city agency shall enter into contract negotiations with the selected offeror to determine the terms and conditions of the contract, including compensation to be paid by the city. If negotiations fail, negotiations with this offeror shall be terminated, and the city agency shall enter into contract negotiations with another offeror as selected by the director. This process shall continue until a contract is successfully negotiated. If the city agency is unable to successfully negotiate a contract with any of the contractors, it may cancel the selection process.

    (j) After successfully negotiating a contract, the city agency shall submit legislation to city council requesting approval of the contract. In its request for approval, the city agency shall identify the contractors who were selected for further consideration under subsection (e), and shall explain the basis for the selection of the chosen contractor. No contract awarded under this section shall be effective until approved by ordinance of city council.

(Ord. 1426-88; Ord. 1604-01 § 2 (part); Ord. 81-02 § 1 (part): Ord. 223-06 § 1 (part).)