Chapter 5526: CONTRACTS FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

5526.01 Contracts for professional services definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Firm" means any person or limited liability company that is legally engaged in rendering professional services.

(B) "Federal Water Pollution Control Act" has the same meaning as in section 6111.01 of the Revised Code.

(C) "Professional services" means any of the following:

(1) The practice of engineering as defined in section 4733.01 of the Revised Code;

(2) The practice of surveying as defined in section 4733.01 of the Revised Code;

(3) The practice of landscape architecture as defined in section 4703.30 of the Revised Code;

(4) The evaluation of environmental impacts performed in accordance with the "National Environmental Policy Act of 1969," 83 Stat. 852, 42 U.S.C. 4321, as amended, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, or any other applicable law or regulation;

(5) Right-of-way acquisition services such as right-of-way project management, title searches, property valuations, appraisals, appraisal reviews, negotiations, relocation services, appropriation activities, real estate closings, and property management activities that are performed for the purpose of properly acquiring private and public property rights in conjunction with public highway projects and that conform to Chapters 163. and 5501. of the Revised Code; rules 5501:2-5-01 to 5501:2-5-06 of the Ohio Administrative Code; the "Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970," 84 Stat. 1894, 42 U.S.C. 4601, et seq., as amended; the "Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987," Public Law No. 100-17, 101 Stat. 132; applicable provisions of Titles 23 and 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations; and any applicable policies and procedures established by the department of transportation;

(6) Services related to the department's administration of construction contract claims, including, but not limited to, the analysis of claims, assistance in negotiations, and assistance during litigation;

(7) Architectural services related to bridges;

(8) Any other professional service that is determined by the director of transportation or any other designated officials of the department to be necessary for the provision of transportation services or to provide assistance to the department in furtherance of its statutory duties and powers.

"Professional services" does not mean the practice of architecture as regulated under Chapter 4703. of the Revised Code, except landscape architecture and architectural services related to bridges as provided in divisions (C)(3) and (7) of this section.

(D) "Qualifications" means all of the following:

(1) The competence of a firm to perform required professional services as indicated by the technical training, education, and experience of the firm's personnel, in particular the technical training, education, and experience of the firm's personnel assigned to perform professional services for the department;

(2) The ability of a firm in terms of its workload and the availability of qualified personnel, equipment, and facilities to perform the required professional services competently and expeditiously;

(3) The past performance of a firm as indicated by evaluations of previous clients of the firm with respect to such factors as control of costs, quality of work, and meeting of deadlines;

(4) Any other relevant factors as determined by the director.

Cite as R.C. § 5526.01

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 7, HB 51, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2013.

Effective Date: 06-29-2001

5526.02 Contracts for professional services.

Notwithstanding Chapter 125. and sections 153.65 to 153.71 of the Revised Code, the director of transportation may employ or enter into contracts with any qualified firm for professional services in accordance with this chapter.

Cite as R.C. § 5526.02

Effective Date: 06-29-2001

5526.03 Notice of intent to enter into contract for professional services.

The director of transportation shall issue public notice of the intent of the department of transportation to enter into a contract for professional services. The director shall advertise the public notice via the internet or by other means to ensure that qualified firms are notified and given the opportunity to be considered for the award of the contract. The director may include more than one contract in a single public notice. The director may limit the number of contracts to which a firm may respond for the purpose of ensuring quality in the performance of those contracts.

A public notice issued under this section shall be issued in a uniform and consistent manner, shall be issued sufficiently in advance of the time that responses must be received, and shall do both of the following:

(A) Include a general description of the project, a statement of the specific professional services required, and a description of the qualifications required for the project;

(B) Describe the procedures by which firms may submit statements of qualifications in order to be considered for a contract.

Cite as R.C. § 5526.03

Effective Date: 06-29-2001

5526.04 Prequalification requirements for firms seeking to provide professional services.

The director of transportation may institute prequalification requirements for firms seeking to provide professional services and may require that each prequalified firm maintain a current statement of qualifications with the department of transportation. The prequalification requirements shall be based on the factors set forth in division (D) of section 5526.01 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 5526.04

Effective Date: 06-29-2001

5526.05 Evaluation of qualifications.

(A) For every professional service contract for which the department of transportation provides public notice under section 5526.03 of the Revised Code, the director of transportation shall evaluate the qualifications of each firm seeking to enter into the contract with the department. The director may hold discussions with any such firm for the purposes of obtaining more information about a statement of qualifications submitted by the firm, the scope and nature of the services that the firm would provide, and the various technical approaches that the firm may take with respect to the project to which the proposed contract applies.

(B) Following the evaluation of the qualifications of firms and any additional discussions with those firms with respect to a contract for professional services, the director shall do both of the following:

(1) Select and rank no fewer than three firms that the director considers to be the most qualified to provide the required professional services unless the director determines that fewer than three qualified firms are available, in which case the director shall select and rank those firms;

(2) Negotiate a contract with the firm that is ranked the most qualified to perform the required professional services. The contract negotiations shall be directed toward all of the following:

(a) Ensuring that the firm and the department have a mutual understanding of the essential requirements involved in providing the required professional services;

(b) Determining that the firm will make available the necessary personnel, equipment, and facilities to perform the professional services within the time that will be required in the contract;

(c) Agreeing on compensation that is fair and reasonable, taking into account the estimated value, scope, complexity, and nature of the services.

(C) Upon the failure to negotiate a contract with the firm that is ranked most qualified under division (B) of this section, the director shall notify the firm in writing of the termination of negotiations and shall enter into negotiations with the firm that is ranked next most qualified. If negotiations fail with that firm, the director shall negotiate with each subsequently ranked firm in order of ranking until a contract is negotiated and entered into or until the director selects and ranks additional firms under division (D) of this section. All negotiations shall comply with this section and any rules adopted under this chapter.

(D) If the director fails to negotiate a contract with any of the firms selected under division (B) of this section, the director shall select and rank additional firms based on their qualifications. Negotiations shall continue in the same manner as with the firms selected and ranked under division (B) of this section until a contract is negotiated and entered into.

(E) When a contract is negotiated, the director, if required under section 127.16 of the Revised Code, shall request approval of the controlling board to make expenditures under the contract. However, if the director is selecting firms for a group of contracts included in a single announcement and the approval of the controlling board is required under that section, the director may present the selections as a group to the controlling board for the board's approval prior to negotiation of the contracts. Final negotiations of the group of contracts may be completed after the controlling board's approval. If the director fails to negotiate a contract with a firm that is selected to perform one of the contracts of a group of contracts, the director shall notify the controlling board of the selection of an alternate firm under division (C) or (D) of this section.

If the estimated construction cost of a project is twenty million dollars or more, the director may present preliminary estimates regarding the project to the controlling board for the purpose of requesting authority to select firms and enter into contracts for professional services for that project without further consent of the controlling board. The director shall keep itemized records of the funds that are obligated under each contract and shall report those amounts to the controlling board annually.

Cite as R.C. § 5526.05

Effective Date: 06-29-2001

5526.06 Contracts for professional servicesules.

(A) The director of transportation may adopt, amend, or rescind rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the purpose of implementing sections 5526.02 to 5526.05 of the Revised Code.

(B) Sections 5526.02 to 5526.05 of the Revised Code do not apply to any of the following:

(1) A project with an estimated cost of less than fifty thousand dollars;

(2) A project that is determined by the director to be an emergency requiring immediate action under section 5526.08 of the Revised Code. When contracting for professional services for the purpose of addressing the emergency, the director shall comply with that section.

(3) A project requiring special expertise where there exist fewer than three qualified firms.

Cite as R.C. § 5526.06

Effective Date: 06-29-2001

5526.07 Professional liability insurance policy.

(A) Except for any firm providing professional services that relate to research or training, right-of-way acquisition services, or services to assist the department of transportation in the administration of contract claims, a firm that renders professional services to the department, during the period of the performance of professional services for the department and for any other period of time specified in a contract with the department, shall have and maintain, or be covered by, a professional liability insurance policy or policies with a company or companies that are authorized to do business in this state and that afford professional liability coverage for the professional services rendered. The insurance shall be in an amount considered sufficient by the director of transportation.

(B) The requirement to have or be covered by professional liability insurance under division (A) of this section may be waived by the director for good cause.

Cite as R.C. § 5526.07

Effective Date: 06-29-2001

5526.08 Emergency declaration.

The director of transportation may declare an emergency if circumstances exist that threaten life, safety, or health or if a situation arises that would greatly increase the costs of a project if not addressed. The director shall declare an emergency by preparing a written statement of the circumstances that exist that warrant the declaration. Notwithstanding section 127.16 of the Revised Code, the director may then select a firm with appropriate qualifications and negotiate a contract for the immediate performance of emergency professional services. Not later than thirty days after the professional services have been performed, the director shall submit a written report to the controlling board indicating the amount of the emergency contract, the services performed by the firm, and the circumstances giving rise to the emergency.

Cite as R.C. § 5526.08

Effective Date: 06-29-2001