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DBIA Milestone: The FAR

On January 2, 1997, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) was amended to reflect design-build procurement procedures. The amendment, which took effect immediately, brought the FAR in compliance with the Clinger–Cohen Act of 1996. That act allowed agencies to use design-build, if appropriate, and established a two-phase source selection procedure.

The 1997 amendments contained in FAR 36.3 guide government acquisition of design-build services. The first phase of the selection aims at identifying the most highly qualified competitors. Initial evaluation factors include, “specialized experience and technical competence; capability to perform; past performance of the offeror’s team (including the architect-engineer and construction members)” and any other factors deemed “appropriate.” Cost or price related factors are specifically excluded by the FAR in phase one as a means of limiting the cost of proposing.

These 1997 changes to the FAR codified a two-phased best value selection of design-build services by the federal government, which continues its trickle down to the state level.

The purchase of integrated design and construction services through best value rather than low bid has been called the single most important industry development of the last two decades.

 

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