AGENDA MEMORANDUM

 

 

Meeting Date:           October 27, 2008

 

From:                          Mike Thornton, Purchasing Manager

 

Subject:                      Resolutions approving execution of agreements with two  firms to provide professional engineering services acting as the City Engineer

 

 

Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends approval of the resolutions authorizing execution of a continuing services agreement with Boyle Engineering Corporation and Jones Edmunds and Associates, Inc. to provide professional engineering services acting as the City Engineer.

 

Analysis:

The purpose of this solicitation was to establish an agreement with two qualified firms to provide professional services as the City’s engineer.  One firm will be designated as primary and one firm as secondary to serve in situations where the primary may need to recluse itself to avoid any appearance of conflict, should the primary’s established clients become involved in engineering matters with the City.

A previous Public Works Director provided services as the City Engineer.  With her departure, the City Engineer position was left vacant.  The City has unsuccessfully attempted to fill the position with a qualified professional.  Due to the unsuccessful search and growing budget constraints, staff decided  not to  fill the position of City Engineer and contract with a private firm to provide the services normally performed by an on-staff City Engineer.

All work to be performed by the private firm(s) will be directed by and coordinated through the Environmental Services and Public Works Director.  The scope of  professional engineering services includes but is not limited to performance of all tasks related to (1) consultation and technical support to the City Manager, Department Heads and City Commission; (2) receiving and resolving public inquiries and concerns; (3) traffic engineering; (4) engineering related field investigations; (5) storm water and urban runoff management; (6) periodic representation of the City in dealing with other public agencies; (7) providing technical support for grant applications; (8) services for development of regulations and review, such as plan review and inspection of privately-funded public improvements; and (9) working with the Engineering Division which manages the design and construction of the City’s Annual Capital Improvement Program.

The City will negotiate the technical aspects of the scope of work, deliverables, schedule and fee on a project-by-project basis.   The Consultant’s engineering team will work on projects identified in task orders and provide consultation and review at an hourly rate in accordance with the professional’s fee schedule.

On July 1, 2008, the Purchasing Division issued Request for Proposals (RFP) number 80342 inviting interested and qualified firms to submit Technical Proposals/Architect-Engineer Qualifications Statements which demonstrated the professional qualifications and competence of their organization by responding to specific evaluation criteria published in the RFP, by which their proposals would be judged to determine which would be best to serve the needs of the City.

 

On July 24, 2008, the City received proposals from seven engineering firms.  An evaluation committee consisting of staff from Public Works, Planning and Zoning, City Manager’s Office, and Purchasing which were familiar with engineering, construction, and acquisition matters evaluated the responses which should have detailed their team’s qualifications, specialized experience and technical competence in relation to the five  evaluation elements of the RFP.

 

The State of Florida adopted the Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA) more than 30 years ago.  This law has served as ‘the standard’ as other states have studied and enacted other qualifications-based procurement laws for professional services.  The purpose of the act was to require government agencies including municipalities to:

·         Provide public notice of all projects;

·         Select the most qualified firm for a particular project through consideration of firms’ qualifications without consideration of fees; and

·         Negotiate fair and reasonable fees with the selected firm(s).

 

This solicitation was conducted in compliance with the CCNA, Florida Statute 287.055 governing the “Acquisition of professional architectural, engineering, landscape architectural or surveying and mapping services,” which contains policy and procedural requirements to be followed when soliciting, evaluating and selecting contractors to perform professional services.  The CCNA requires the evaluation of current statements of qualifications and performance data, together with those that may be submitted by other firms regarding the proposed project demonstrating their qualifications, approach to the project, and ability to furnish the required services.

 

To comply with the CCNA the solicitation included established evaluation criterion elements successfully used to conduct similar CCNA type procurements previously.  The criterion, based on the scope of work, with their relative importance emphasized by maximum obtainable point values were:

·         Experience based on similar City engineering projects - 25 points

·         Experience of key personnel - 25 points

·         Project management experience - 10 points

·         Experience with grant funded projects - 10 points

·         Overall impression of experience and capabilities - 30 points. 

In the tradition of fundamental source selection principles which stress the need to adhere strictly to the evaluation criteria set forth in the RFP and following the evaluation and scoring methodology in the source selection/technical evaluation plan, the proposals were evaluated by the committee in a fair, uniform, and objective manner solely in accordance with the CCNA and evaluation criteria.


The result of those evaluations is detailed in the ranking list included here.

 

 

 

 

Evaluator No.

 

Evaluator No.

 

Total

Overall Ranking

                  

1

2

3

4

 

1

2

3

4

     Respondents                                        

Point Scores

 

Ranking

Boyle Engineering

90

65

91

90

 

2

4

1

1

8

1

Jones Edmunds (JE)

95

64

91

88

 

1

6

1

2

10

2

Kimley-Horn & Assoc., Inc.

84

66

88

74

 

4

3

3

3

13

3

Booth Ern Straughan Hiott

88

71

70

62

 

3

1

5

5

14

4

HDR Engineering, Inc.

83

55

82

79

 

5

7

4

4

20

5

Springstead Engineering, Inc.

38

69

52

43

 

7

2

6

6

21

6

Riddle-Newman Engineering

60

65

48

32

 

6

4

7

7

24

7

TABLE 1 – Evaluation Scoring & Ranking

 

For each firm evaluated, raw point scores assigned by each member were totaled and converted to a ranking.  The rankings for each firm were totaled and then converted to an overall ordinal score.  Using this method has proven to minimize the effects of large variances in any one evaluators’ scoring.  An example can be noted in TABLE 1 above in regard to the scores assigned to the highest ranked firm. 

 

During a consensus meeting the evaluators noted and discussed the strengths, weaknesses, and deficiencies; and the disparity of scores where a majority of firms did not achieve at least 80 percent of the available points with some firms attaining less than 50 percent.  In this regard, the cause is mainly attributed to the lack of relevant information regarding competence and qualifications which the firms did not include in their responses. 

 

Historically, acquisition research sources have indicated prospective contractors fail to provide enough relevant information that would allow source selection panels to fully consider and determine their qualifications.  Much research in regard to contract award protests has been conducted by procurement agencies in an effort to identify the reasons for this occurrence.  Their findings have revealed many reasons, but in most cases the main reasons were because the solicitation contained restrictive provisions or conditions; was not written in sufficient detail to permit an understanding of their competence and qualifications; respondents not knowing how and where to place the information in their proposal; and what were the criterion elements (evaluation criteria) and what is the relative importance the procuring agency places on the various elements. 

 


Through experience, research and training the City’s Purchasing Division has strived to construct competitive solicitation packages which provide the right information, guidance and tools to prospective contractors which will assist and allow them to develop informative responses that will demonstrate their competence and professional qualifications according to the scope of work and the specific criteria published in the solicitation. 

 

The Special Conditions in solicitation 80432 contained no restrictions.  The scope of services was clear and considered easy to follow.  The response submission instructions were clear and standardized forms (SF-330 Architect - Engineer Qualifications) were included as tools for the Offerors to use in developing their responses and eliciting relevant information which would permit the evaluators to make well-informed, sound judgments about competence and qualifications in terms of the evaluation criteria.  The instructions advised that failure to provide all the information may result in rejection or reduction of evaluation points and indicated how the response was to be formatted and where to place the information.  Also, the Method of Evaluation (evaluation criteria) clearly established the important elements of emphasis and relative value the evaluators would be considering.

 

Unfortunately, in a number of other submissions responding to 80342, “Approaches” were described in generalities and without many details.  Where the solicitation invited up to ten pages of narrative and five pages of sketches to describe a firm’s approach to working with a City and its personnel on engineering challenges, one response included a little over one page containing a very weak general narrative.  The proposal submission created a perception the writer was under an impression the evaluation committee was thoroughly knowledgeable in the firm’s history and its relationship with municipal, county, and Leesburg agencies.  Some evaluators did know of the firm and due to the lack of detail responding to the criteria, the firm did not score many points in most evaluation areas.  In a number of other cases, again too many important details were omitted.  Information addressing relevant projects did not provide many details and did not establish any connection to the many tasks required by the Scope of Work (SOW) in the solicitation. 

 

Options:

1.         Approve execution of the agreements with the number 1 and number 2 ranked firms; or

2.         Such other action as the Commission deems appropriate.

 

Fiscal Impact:

The actual fiscal impact is unknown at this time.  If the City were to fill the position of City Engineer, the estimated annual compensation would be in the range of $85,531.68 to $125,573.60 based on their pay step (including benefits).  Staff does not anticipate expenses for City Engineer tasks to exceed the low end of this range.

 

Actual expenditures will depend on hours billed for plan review, consulting, and other fee based services.  Special projects will be estimated and detailed in separate  task orders.  The cost of the project based work will be charged to the specific project.  As future projects are identified commission approval will be sought when the project cost warrants such approval.  Any costs associated with developer related work will be recovered from the private party.


 

Submission Date and Time:    10/24/2008 6:01 PM____

 

Department: _Public Works____________

Prepared by:  _Mike Thornton_______                      

Attachments:         Yes____   No __X___

Advertised:   _X__Not Required ______                     

Dates:   June 20, 2008________________                     

Attorney Review :       Yes___  No ____

                                                

_________________________________           

Revised 6/10/04

 

Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________

 

Finance  Dept. __________JB______                                     

                              

Deputy C.M. ___________________                                                                         

Submitted by:

City Manager ___________________

 

Account No. _________________

 

Project No. ___________________

 

WF No. ______________________

 

Budget  ______________________

 

Available _____________________