OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 977

AN ACT CONCERNING THE MEMBERSHIP OF CONSTRUCTION SERVICE PANELS.

SUMMARY:

This bill reduces the size of several construction services panels established within the Department of Construction Services (DCS). It reduces the size of the:

1. construction services selection panels, which recommend consultants, from five members to three for (a) projects valued at less than $5 million and (b) “on-call” contracts and

2. construction services award panels, which recommend firms, from six members to five for (a) projects that use the design-build approach and (b) certain “fast-track” projects.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013

CONSTRUCTION SERVICES SELECTION PANELS

Consultant Services

The law requires DCS to establish selection panels to evaluate consultant services (e.g., architects and engineers) proposals valued at more than $300,000. The panels must submit a list of the most qualified firms to the DCS commissioner for his consideration. Each panel is project-specific; a new panel is appointed for each project.

Under current law, consultant services selection panels have five members, four current or retired DCS employees appointed by the commissioner and one appointed by the head or acting head of the user agency (i.e., the one for which the project is being administered). The bill reduces the size of these panels, from five members to three, for projects valued at less than $5 million, by eliminating two of the members who are current or former DCS employees.

On-Call Consultant Contracts

The bill similarly reduces, from five members to three, the size of the selection panels that recommend firms for “on-call” consultant contracts. By law, members of these panels are appointed by the DCS commissioner and must be current employees of DCS or any agency for which consultant services may be contracted. Members serve only for deliberations involving the selection of consultants for which they are appointed.

An on-call contract defines a broad range of consultant services (e.g., architectural services, professional engineers, accountants, and others) and is generally valid for two to three years. An on-call contract is not connected to a specific project; rather, DCS subsequently issues task letters to firms with on-call contracts that identify a specific scope of services to be performed and the fee for those services.

CONSTRUCTION SERVICES AWARD PANELS

The bill reduces, from six members to five, the size of the construction services award panels. It does so by eliminating the neutral party member appointed by the DCS commissioner, thus leaving the panels with three current DCS employees appointed by the commissioner and two members appointed by the head of the user agency. By law, the panels recommend to the DCS commissioner the most qualified firms for (1) DCS-administered design-build construction projects (where DCS contracts with a single entity that both designs and builds the project) and (2) certain “fast-track” projects.

Under the fast-track process, the DCS commissioner submits three or more qualified contractors who are prequalified to an award panel, which then makes a recommendation to the commissioner. The law establishes five fast-track projects: a community court project, downtown Hartford higher education center project, correctional facility project, juvenile detention center project, and Connecticut State University System student dormitories.

Like the selection panels described above, each award panel is project-specific.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

14

Nay

0

(03/27/2013)