(A) For every professional design services contract, the statements of qualifications for professional design firms shall be reviewed and evaluated, upon submission.
(B) A committee convened by the director of transportation shall review and evaluate the statement of qualifications using a pre-established project criteria.
(C) The committee shall issue a list of no fewer than three firms, and preferably five firms, rated qualified to perform the required services. Upon written notification to the director of transportation or designee that fewer than three qualified firms are available, those firm(s) shall be selected.
(D) A scope clarification meeting shall be conducted with the firms listed. The discussions shall be designed to further explore the scope and nature of the services required, the various technical approaches the firms may take toward the project, unique project requirements, the project schedule, the conceptual schematic design, and the project budget. Depending on the unique nature of the project, the meeting may include a physical site visit. Any questions must be resolved at this meeting and shared with all participants, precluding any further contact with the committee.
(E) The firms will be asked to supplement their statement of qualifications with a technical proposal in accordance with the final scope of services and project requirements as may have been clarified at the scope clarification meeting.
(F) Each professional design firm requested to submit a technical proposal shall be informed of the date, time and location for such submittals.
(G) The director of transportation shall convene an evaluation committee which shall review the technical proposal and interview the firms.
(H) The committee shall evaluate, select and rank all the firms which were interviewed (no fewer than three) and determined to be the most qualified to provide the required professional design services based on their qualifications and technical proposals.
(I) Upon written notification to the director of transportation or designee that fewer than three qualified firms are available, those firm(s) shall be selected and ranked.
(J) If one firm is determined to be most qualified, the committee shall notify the director of transportation, and shall ask the firm to submit a lump sum fee proposal. If more than one firm is determined to be equally most qualified, then each firm shall be asked to submit a lump sum fee proposal. The firm(s) may submit a revised technical proposal.
(K) The firm submitting the lowest fee proposal shall be determined to be most qualified. A contract shall be negotiated with the firm ranked most qualified to perform the required services at a compensation determined, in writing, to be fair and reasonable to the state.
(L) Contract negotiations shall be directed toward:
(1) Ensuring that the professional design firm and the using agency have a mutual understanding of the essential requirements involved in providing the required services, including meeting established total project budget;
(2) Determining that the firm will make available the necessary personnel, equipment and facilities to perform the services within the required time;
(3) Agreeing upon compensation which is fair and reasonable, taking into account the estimated value, scope, complexity and nature of the services.
(M) Upon negotiation of the contract with the firm ranked most qualified, a controlling board request to make expenditures under contract shall be prepared and submitted under section 127.16 of the Revised Code, if applicable.
(N) Upon failure to negotiate a contract with the firm ranked most qualified, the firm shall be informed, in writing, of the termination of negotiations. Negotiations shall proceed with the firm ranked next most qualified. If negotiations again fail, the same procedure shall be followed with each next most qualified firm selected and ranked pursuant to paragraph (H) of this rule, in order of ranking, until a contract is negotiated.
(O) Should there be a failure to negotiate a contract with any of the firms selected pursuant to paragraph (H) of this rule, additional firms shall be selected and ranked as follows:
(1) From the list the comittee issued pursuant to paragraph (C) of this rule, or;
(2) Pursuant to paragraph (A) of this rule, or;
Upon selection, negotiations shall continue as with the firms selected and ranked initially until a contract is negotiated.