Thursday, September 30, 2010

Selecting Subcontractors on GC/CM Projects

In Washington State, there is a spectrum of tools available for selecting subcontractors on a General Contractors/Construction Managers (GC/CM) public works project that impacts the potential quality and experience of the subcontractors.  

Chapter 39.10 RCW outlines GC/CM as an alternative public works contracting delivery method that is available for public agencies to use.
  • Low Responsible Bid:  The traditional method for selecting subcontractors on a GC/CM project is for the GC/CM to publicly and competitively bid the various subcontract packages and award each package to the low responsible bidder submitting a responsive bid after negotiation of the Maximum Allowable Construction Cost (MACC) between the GC/CM and public agency.  Use of "specific objective criteria" must be used by the GC/CM and public agency to determine subcontractor responsibility (RCW 39.10.380 (2))
  • Early Subcontract Bidding:  RCW 39.10.370 (2) and (3) outlines two variants of this low bid process that permit early bidding of some subcontract bid packages before the Maximum Allowable Construction Cost (MACC) has been negotiated between the GC/CM and public agency.
  • Pre-Qualification of Subcontractors:  Rather than simply rely on awarding to the low subcontract bidder, another tool from RCW 39.10.400 permits the GC/CM and public agency to essentially pre-qualify what subcontractors may submit bids.  This process requires a public hearing to obtain input on the desirability of establishing "subcontractor eligibility" criteria before issuing a Request for Qualifications and evaluating responses.  Pre-qualified subcontractors may then submit bids and the subcontract package is awarded to the bidder with the lowest responsive bid.
  • Selection of Mechanical and Electrical Subcontractors Through RFP Process:  RCW 39.10.385 became effective on June 10, 2010.  It permits the selection of the Mechanical and Electrical subcontractors through a process very similar to the process used by the public agency in selecting the GC/CM (qualifications and bidding on some prices, with the Maximum Allowable Subcontract Cost negotiated between the subcontractor and GC/CM).  I have written a summary outline of this new process which is available on my website.
If you have any questions about any of these processes or would like GC/CM training for your agency or company, please contact me.

1 comment:

Mike Nordin said...

Thanks for this timely information. We were just recently discussing the ability to qualify subs for delicate work on a planned GCCM contract.