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(c) Additional (or special) criteria developed for the specific project shall be considered and evaluated as may be appropriate. 99-4.1004-3 Collection of data on architect-engineer firms.

ERDA offices that regularly procure architect-engineer services shall collect and maintain current qualifications and performance data files on architect-engineer firms, including information on their past experience on various types of construction projects. Normally, Standard Form 254, Architect-Engineer and Related Services Questionnaire, shall be used for this purpose. Information from other sources, such as appraisals of performance of previous projects awarded to the firm, may also be included in the files.

$9-4.1004-4 Evaluation of qualifications and performance data.

(a) After the notice of intention to contract for architectengineer services has been published and the date for submission of the standard forms has passed, the contracting officer or the evaluation board and/or the selecting official shall review and evaluate the Standard Form 254 and the Standard Form 255, where applicable, submitted in response to the public announcement, and other Standard Forms 254 on file in the procuring office. Consideration should be given to requesting submission of a Standard Form 255 by qualified firms which fail to respond to the public announcement to assure adequate competition. Based on this evaluation, no less than three firms shall be selected for the purpose of holding discussions. It is not necessary to hold discussions with any firm that fails to submit a standard Form 255, where required.

(b) Normally, only those firms which are compatible with the size and complexity of the job requirements should be considered for discussions; that is, for a small relatively simple job, firms whose resources and qualifications are far in excess of the job requirements should not be considered, and where size and simplicity of the project permit, consideration should be limited to the geographic area of the project.

(c) Every opportunity and encouragement shall be given to small business and minority firms. Toward this end groups who propose to form a joint venture or engage the services of small consulting firms for portions of the effort shall be given full consideration by the evaluation board and the selection official of their combined qualifications.

$9-4.1004-5 Conducting discussions.

After three or more firms have been selected in accordance with $9-4.1004-1, discussions shall be held with these firms regarding

anticipated concepts and the relative utility of alternative methods of approach for furnishing the required services. These discussions may be used to obtain additional qualification and performance data, and other information needed to properly apply the evaluation criteria and evaluate the firms under consideration. (See $ 9-18.306-50)

$9-4.1004-6 Use of requests for proposals.

(a) Requests for proposals may not be used as a means of obtaining an initial expression of interest in obtaining a particular con tract. Firms indicate their initial interest by either submitting the Standard Form 254 on an annual basis or by submitting a Standard Form 254 or 255 in response to the public announcement for a particular project. Additional information may be solicited as a means of initiating the discussion phase of the architect-engineer selection process. This may be particularly appropriate for the larger or more complex projects where sufficient qualification and performance data are not available from the Standard Forms 254 and 255, and additional information beyond that already furnished is needed to apply the selection criteria and evaluate and rank the firms. Firms should not be requested to furnish the same information previously submitted on Standard Forms 254 and 255, nor should they be requested to submit preliminary designs, plans and drawings, except in appropriate circumstances involving design competitions.

(b) Requests for additional information shall not request firms to submit price proposals. Such requests can be used only to obtain information that will enable ERDA to select the best qualified contractor.

(c) When a request for additional information is made, some wording should be included to identify it with the discussion phase of the selection process, similar to the following: "As a result of our evaluation of material on file with this office and the SF's 254 and/ or 255 submitted in response to Public Announcement

, we have selected your firm for further consideration for selection and award of a contract to perform the architect-engineer services which are described below. The principal purpose of this request is to obtain additional specific qualification and performance data concerning your firm."

$9-4.1004-7 Selection of most highly qualified firm for negotiation.

Upon completion of discussions and evaluation of the firms that were selected for discussions, the Board shall recommend to the selecting official, in order of preference, based upon the criteria in $9-4.1004-2 and any special criteria included in the public announcement, no less than three firms deemed to be the most highly qualified

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anticipated concepts and the relative utility of alternative methods of approach for furnishing the required services. These discussions may be used to obtain additional qualification and performance data, and other information needed to properly apply the evaluation criteria and evaluate the firms under consideration. (See $9-18.306-50)

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(a) Requests for proposals may not be used as a means of obtaining an initial expression of interest in obtaining a particular contract. Firms indicate their initial interest by either submitting the Standard Form 254 on an annual basis or by submitting a Standard Form 254 or 255 in response to the public announcement for a particular project. Additional information may be solicited as a means of initiating the discussion phase of the architect-engineer selection process. This may be particularly appropriate for the larger or more complex projects where sufficient qualification and performance data are not available from the Standard Forms 254 and 255, and additional information beyond that already furnished is needed to apply the selection criteria and evaluate and rank the firms. Firms should not be requested to furnish the same information previously submitted on Standard Forms 254 and 255, nor should they be requested to submit preliminary designs, plans and drawings, except in appropriate circumstances involving design competitions.

(b) Requests for additional information shall not request firms to submit price proposals. Such requests can be used only to obtain information that will enable ERDA to select the best qualified contractor.

(c) When a request for additional information is made, some wording should be included to identify it with the discussion phase of the selection process, similar to the following: "As a result of our evaluation of material on file with this office and the SF's 254 and/ or 255 submitted in response to Public Announcement

, we have selected your firm for further consideration for selection and award of a contract to perform the architect-engineer services which are described below. The principal purpose of this request is to obtain additional specific qualification and performance data concerning your firm."

$9-4.10047 Selection of most highly qualified firm for negotiation.

Upon completion of discussions and evaluation of the firms that were selected for discussions, the Board shall recommend to the selecting official, in order of preference, based upon the criteria in $9-4.1004-2 and any special criteria included in the public announcement, no less than three firms deemed to be the most highly qualified

to provide the services required. The Standard Form 255 submitted by firms with which written or oral discussions were held should be retained in the selection file, all other Standard Forms 255 may be discarded. The selecting official shall then select the firm determined to be most highly qualified.

$9-4.1004-8 Late proposals.

The proposals requested and received as part of the architectengineer selection process differ in substance from proposals received for other types of procurement. Consequently, the policies and procedures contained in FPR 1-3.802-1, FPR 1-3.802-2, and ERDA-PR 9-3.802-1 concerning the consideration of late proposals are not applicable to proposals submitted under the provisions of this subpart 9-4.10. $9-4.1005 Negotiation procedures.

The contracting officer shall attempt to negotiate a contract with the firm designated by the selecting official at a compensation which he determines is fair and reasonable to the Government. If the contracting officer is unable to negotiate a satisfactory contract with the designated firm at a price he considers fair and reasonable to the Government, negotiations with that firm should be formally terminated. Negotiations should then be undertaken with the second most qualified firm as designated by the selecting official. Pailing accord with the second firm, negotiations should be held with the next firm, and this procedure shall be continued until a satisfactory contract has been negotiated. If the contracting officer is unable to negotiate a contract with any of the selected firms, additional firms shall be selected in accordance with $9-4.1004, as appropriate, and negotiations shall continue in the manner described above.

$9-4.1005-2 Independent Government estimate.

Prior to the initiation of negotiations, the head of the procuring activity or designee shall develop an independent Government estimate of the cost of the required architect-engineer services based on a detailed analysis of the costs expected to be generated by the work. Consideration shall be given to the estimated value of the services to be rendered, the scope, complexity, and the nature of the project. The independent Government estimate shall be revised as required during negotiations to reflect changes in or clarification of the scope of the work to be performed by the architect-engineer. On construction projects, a fee estimate based on the application of percentage factors to project cost estimates of the various segments of the work involved may be developed for comparison purposes, but such a cost estimate shall not be used as a substitute for the independent Government estimate. The Comptroller shall have primary responsibility for the development of the independent Government cost estimate.

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