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List of Recommendations
1. Base procurement of architect-engineer services, so far as practicable, on competitive negotiations, taking into account the technical competence of the proposers, the proposed concept of the end product, and the estimated cost of the project, including fee. The Commission's support of competitive negotiations is based on the premise that the fee to be charged will not be the dominant factor in contracting for professional services. The primary factor should be the relative merits of proposals for the end product, including cost, sought by the Government, with fee becoming important only when technical proposals are equal. The practice of initially selecting one firm for negotiation should be discouraged, except in those rare instances when a single firm is uniquely qualified to fill an unusual need for professional services.
Dissenting Recommendation 1. The procurement of A-E services should continue to be based on a competitive selection process as outlined in Public Law 92–582, which focuses on the technical competence of interested prospects. Solicitations of a price proposal and negotiations as to price should be undertaken only when the best qualified firm has been ascertained; if mutual agreement cannot be reached, the next best qualified firm should be asked for a price proposal, followed by negotiation; and if necessary, the process should be repeated until a satisfactory contract has been negotiated. [Offered in lieu of Commission recommendations 1 and 2.]
3. Consider reimbursing A-Es for the costs incurred in submitting proposals in those instances where unusual design and engineering problems are involved and substantial work effort is necessary for A-Es to submit proposals.
4. Repeal the statutory six-percent limitation on A-E fees. Authorize the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to provide appropriate policy guidelines to ensure consistency of action and protection of the Government's interest.
2. Provide policy guidance, through the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, specifying that on projects with estimated costs in excess of $500,000 proposals for A-E contracts should include estimates of the total economic (lifecycle) cost of the project to the Government where it appears that realistic estimates are feasible. Exceptions to this policy should be provided by the agency head or his designee.