VDOT Process for Securing Professional Services
A guide to providing services for VDOT - How does the RFP process work.
The methods for procuring professional services by VDOT are set forth in Departmental Policy Memorandum 6-3 which adheres to Chapter 7, Title 11(Virginia Public Procurement Act) of the Code of Virginia.
- How does VDOT determine its need for professional services?
VDOT PROCESS FOR SECURING PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
The methods for procuring professional services by VDOT are set forth in Departmental Policy Memorandum 6-3 and Chapter 7, Title 11 (Virginia Public Procurement Act) of the Code of Virginia.
HOW DOES VDOT DETERMINE ITS NEED FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES?
Each division within VDOT and each District Administrator are responsible for determining the need for the use of the private sector to accomplish their program. This is determined by analyzing the available manpower, time available and required technical skills as they relate to the projected work program. This is normally done on an annual basis once the Six Year Improvement Plan is approved in July by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB). Upon adoption of the program, the Division/District Administrator determines the need for the use of the private sector. The advertisement process, referred to as the Request for Proposal (RFP), is then begun. Projects are advertised throughout the year.
HOW IS THE PRIVATE SECTOR NOTIFIED OF THE DEPARTMENT'S NEED FOR PRIVATE SECTOR SERVICES?
VDOT advertises for services in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and another paper of general circulation in the area of the project. In addition, an advertisement is placed in a weekly publication of the Commonwealth of Virginia known as the Virginia Business Opportunities (VBO) and on the Department's Business Internet Website.
HOW CAN FIRMS GAIN ACCESS TO THE VBO?
Access is gained through your computer and an Internet account.
The Internet address is http://www.eva.virginia.gov/.
HOW CAN FIRMS GAIN ACCESS TO THE INTERNET OPPORTUNITIES NETWORK?
Access is gained through your computer and an Internet account. The Internet address is
( /business/default.asp ).
Complete RFP's may be downloaded from the Business Website.
HOW ARE EOI'S SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT?
Upon acquisition of the Department's RFP for professional services, the firms responding should submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) providing the data specified in the RFP with regard to their ability to perform the specified work.
Items to be included, but not limited to, are:
1. The availability and qualifications of members of the firm who will perform the work.
2. The firm's current workload with the Department in the category indicated on the score sheet.
3. The firm's financial capability.
4. Identification of similar work performed by the firm which illustrates the firm's qualifications; relevant to the specific project.
5. Identification of DBE participation, if required. DBE firms must be certified by VDOT.
6. Location of office where the work will be performed.
7. Current GSA Standard Form 254 and GSA Standard Form 255.
HOW IS A FIRM SELECTED?
A selection committee, consisting of three or more members, is appointed by the Division Administrator to individually evaluate each EOI received. This evaluation is conducted utilizing an evaluation sheet similar to Attachment 2. Attachment 2 is only provided as a sample and may vary from project to project. The actual evaluation form will be included with the RFP.
After the individual committee members have completed their review of the EOI's submitted, the selection committee convenes and combines their individual scores to obtain a weighted rating for each firm. Any subconsultants are included in the overall evaluation.
From this effort, a short list of a minimum of two firms is selected. Usually three or more firms are selected and invited for an interview and/or technical presentation of their qualifications before the selection committee. At the interview/technical presentation, additional non-voting members of VDOT staff may attend to assist the selection committee in determining the firm’s qualifications.
Firms selected for the short list are notified and given the date and time for their interview. Firms are normally given 1-2 weeks to prepare for the interview. Those firms not short listed are notified and provided an alphabetical list of all firms that were short listed.
Firms are normally given 30-45 minutes to make their presentations with an additional 15 minutes for the selection committee to ask any questions that they may have. Upon completion of the interview process and evaluation of information provided at the interview and in the EOI, the selection committee prepares a narrative rating of the firms and submits it to the Division Administrator. The Division Administrator reviews the selection committee's recommendations and approves the top rated firm being asked to submit a cost proposal.
WHAT OCCURS AFTER SELECTION?
A scoping meeting is conducted with the selected firm to provide all available information to assist the firm in the preparation of an estimate of the number of manhours and non-salary direct costs required to complete the project. The firm is given a period of time to submit the fee proposal. FAR audit data must be submitted on the firm and all subconsultants within 10 days of being notified of selection.
Upon submittal, the fee proposal is reviewed by various disciplines to determine if the manhours and non-salary costs are acceptable or if they need to be negotiated. After review and negotiations are complete, a formal Memorandum of Agreement is executed and presented to the CTB for approval. If successful negotiations cannot be concluded with the top rated firm, negotiations will be terminated and negotiations will be conducted with the second ranked firm.
WHAT TYPES OF AGREEMENT DOES VDOT USE?
Most agreements for professional services are cost plus fixed fee. However, lump sum or fixed billable rate contracts are used on some projects. Prior to award of the contract, the prime consultant and all subconsultants must have a VDOT pre-award audit evaluation with an approved FAR overhead rate. Title VI Evaluation Reports and Certificates of Insurance must also be submitted.
HOW DOES VDOT MANAGE THE PROJECT?
Each project will have a prime coordinator assigned to assist the firm in providing services in accordance with the contract. Their will be other coordinators from different divisions to coordinate all the disciplines involved in the project. The coordinators will prepare evaluations every six months on the firm and any subconsultants and verify the quality of work and determine if the work is on schedule. Six month evaluations will be utilized to determine future work potential with VDOT.
HOW LONG IS THE PROCESS?
The period of time normally associated with the RFP process generally takes six to eight months from advertisement until the notice to proceed is issued. Multiple award contracts may take longer than six to eight months due to the additional procedures required for multiple awards to firms.