Monday, August 18, 2014

Key Factors in Deciding on a Unit Price Book for Job Order Contracting

Job Order Contracting (JOC) has been gaining increasing popularity among public agencies as an efficient project delivery tool for public works construction projects.  In JOC, the contractor agrees to a fixed period, indefinite quantity delivery order contract which provides for the use of negotiated, definite work orders for public works, based on an established unit price book.

Types of unit price books:  There are a number of options available for what unit price book to use and there are companies who help guide public agencies in the establishment and management of Job Order Contracting.
  • Agency developed:  Some public agencies develop their own unit price book, often using prices based on historical usage data.
  • Off-the-shelf industry:  Other public agencies use an already established unit price good such as the estimating guide published by the company RSMeans.
  • Customized: Still other public agencies turn to specialist companies such as RSMeans and The Gordian Group to develop a specific unit price book tailored to the agency's needs and location. On July 21, 2014, The Gordian Group announced that it acquired RSMeans from Reed Construction Data.
Lisa Cooley
Evaluating unit price books:  Lisa Cooley, the Program Director for JOC and Custom Cost Engineering at Reed Construction Data, has written a very thoughtful, thorough, and accessible article entitled "The Best Unit Price Book for Your Job Order Contract" in which she explains some of the factors that should drive a decision on which unit price book to use for a Job Order Contracting program.  Ms. Cooley has also written some other helpful articles on the same website.

JOC in Washington state:  Not all public agencies are authorized to use JOC in Washington state. RCW 39.10.420 lists the agencies or agency types that may use JOC.  Other JOC related laws are found in RCW 39.10.430, RCW 39.10.440, RCW 39.10.450, and RCW 39.10.460.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2014 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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