§ 329.14. Awarding professional service contracts through requests for proposals  

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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 service or services cannot be provided by existing city employees; and (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 proposals (hereinafter "RFP"). The RFP 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 and proposals 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 RFP 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 quality and feasibility of the offeror's technical proposal; (3) 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; (4) past performance of the offeror as reflected by 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 (5) 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 RFP by advertisement in the Columbus City Bulletin. Such advertisement shall be published sufficiently in advance of the deadline for submission of proposals to allow offerors an adequate opportunity to submit a proposal given the nature and size of the project. In no case shall the advertisement be made less than seven (7) days in advance of the deadline for submission of proposals. The city agency may also advertise the REP in newspapers, professional and trade publications, and any other appropriate publications. The city agency may also contact potential offerors directly.

    (d) The city agency shall appoint an evaluation committee (hereinafter "committee") to evaluate proposals 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. 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 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.

    (e) The committee shall evaluate all offerors and proposals received and rank the offerors based upon the evaluation criteria specified in the RFP. The committee may select two (2) or more of the highest qualified offerors with which to hold additional discussions. Offerors not selected for further discussions may be excluded from further consideration for the contract upon notification by the committee or city agency.

    The discussions identified in this subsection may include, but are not limited to, presentations by the offerors to the committee to elaborate upon their qualifications, proposals, and/or other pertinent information. The committee may permit revisions of proposals so long as all offerors who are selected for additional discussions are given equal opportunity to revise their proposals.

    (f) Based upon the content of the proposals received including any revisions thereto, and upon any additional discussions with the offerors the committee shall rank the remaining offerors based upon the evaluation criteria specified in the RFP.

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

    (h) 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 may enter into contract negotiations with another offeror as selected by the director. This process may continue until a contract is successfully negotiated.

    (i) 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 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. 23-96; Ord. 1604-01 § 2 (part); Ord. 81-02 § 1 (part): Ord. 223-06 § 1 (part).)