SCOTTSDALE, AZ — “Best value contracting” is increasingly taking a front seat as a method of bidder selection in national public works and state construction projects, according to two speakers at the recent Union-Affiliated Contractors meeting here.

Pat Perno, administrative assistant to the general president of the United Association, explained that using the best value approach, projects are awarded under a method that permits selection of firms based on a combination of price and key performance factors, including experience, qualifications, and past performance. While the lowest bidder may still win projects, it will only do so where its bid is demonstrated to be “the most advantageous.”

Gerard M. Waites, Esq., counsel and contracting consultant for O’Donoghue & O’Donoghue, Washington, DC, explained that although best value contracting has been permitted under federal law for some time, recent regulatory revisions and federal policy initiatives have encouraged its expanded use.

Perno noted that with this type of selection process, tax dollars pay for quality projects vs. the risk factors associated with low bids.

Publication date: 04/16/2001