Email To the Texas Engineering Community

Sent: Thursday, February 1, 2018 8:38 AM

To the Texas Engineering Community:

As mentioned in my previous e-mail blasts, occasionally you are going to receive information from me when I observe industry wide trends that need our attention.  I want to make you aware of a recent rash of disqualifications due to NLC experience requirements and then I want to also offer some advice on Administrative Qualifications for this fiscal year.

DISQUALIFICATIONS

We are doing really great on reducing disqualifications.  The numbers have come down on disqualifications by over 80% over the past two years alone.  We have taken so many steps to remove or reduce disqualifications such as removing the Org Chart, removing the Graphics Page, automating Administrative Qualifications (AQ) check and automating the precertification check.  

We have other revisions still to come such as fully electronic submittals later this year, as well as reducing our dependency on NLCs as we convert frequently used NLCs to new TxDOT precertifications starting in March 2018. 

The rash of incidents that concerns me now comes from NLC responses where firms have not met the minimum experience requirements to pass the NLC.  The problem with NLC experience seems to be from the issue relating to concurrent versus consecutive experience.  

When you are responding to an NLC that has experience requirements, please make certain that you provide enough project descriptions and depth of information so that PEPS staff can determine that you have the consecutive experience to meet the NLC requirements for that procurement.  

For instance if you have a Task Leader in 3D Visualization and that NLC requires 5 years of experience, please check your NLC write-up to make sure that you give enough projects and dates so that the individual shows 5 years of consecutive experience and not five years of concurrent experience.  Working only a single year on five concurrent projects will not satisfy the NLC requirement for 5 years experience.  Even though that individual is working on five projects, that effort only gets counted as one year of experience because those 5 projects are running concurrently. We need that individual's consecutive experience in 3D modeling to total 5 years or more. So please provide dates and project descriptions so that we can verify that the individual performing the NLC has the correct number of consecutive years of experience. 

As I said last year, we take no pleasure in disqualifying firms from solicitations. We want you to succeed and be part of the procurement process.  

ADMINISTRATIVE QUALIFICATIONS

Be sure to send your OHA report as soon as possible for Administrative Qualification (AQ) review and approval.  Last year, TxDOT faced a lengthy backlog of OH reports awaiting AQ that were submitted in late May and June 2017. This resulted in some consultant?s not receiving an AQ rate until late August. As noted in TAC 9.34, the Department will make a good faith effort to complete the AQ review process within 60 days after the day that it receives a complete and accurate audit report or self-certification. 

All reports are logged in on the day received and reviewed in order of submission.  No firms are allowed to be moved up in order over another firm. They are reviewed in order of submission no matter what solicitation you may be pursuing.  If a report is not reviewed and a rate is not provided as of 6/30/2018, the engineering consultant will not be able to propose on any contracts using Federal Highway funds.  

An AQ report is not subject to a Federal tax return being filed and may be filed at any time after the end of the fiscal year of the firm.

Please submit the cost report with all attachments via email to PEPS_Admin_Quals@txdot.gov. If your submittal is by mail, all information must be placed on a CD or Flash Drive and submitted to the following address:

PEPS Administrative Qualifications           

118 East Riverside Drive

Austin, Texas 78704

So I am asking that all engineering firms please submit your administrative qualifications for renewal to PEPS Division for processing as soon as you can for each of your firms.

Thanks so much.  

Martin Rodin, P.E.

Director of Professional Engineering Procurement Services

Learn more about Martin here: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/peps/bio.html

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