This month, we had the pleasure of traveling to Chicago to watch our long-term partner, Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD), accept a well-deserved award at the ACEC 2019 National Qualifications-Based Selection Award Ceremony. The Qualifications-Based Selection Awards recognize public and private entities that make exemplary use of the Qualifications-Based Selection process at the federal, state and local levels, and awarded WFLHD the 2019 Federal Government Sector Award for 2019.

Pictured left to right: ACEC Chairman Mitchel W. Simpler, ACEC President and CEO Linda Bauer Darr, WFLHD Chief of Engineering Ed Hammontree, and DJ&A President & CEO Christopher Anderson

Qualification-Based Section (QBS) is a procurement process that protects the public and federal agencies by requiring engineering services be procured primarily on the professional qualifications and expertise of a firm, rather costs alone. Similar to how services are procured in other highly-skilled professions, such as in the medical or legal fields, engineering services procured based on technical capabilities helps ensure that end users receive products that are safer and of a higher quality than those awarded to the lowest bidder. This process has also been proven to help save taxpayer dollars.  A 2009 study by the University of Colorado and Georgia Tech revealed that when using the QBS process, projects are built with lower construction costs and fewer schedule changes.

Western Federal Lands Highway Division has successfully utilized the QBS process to award federally-funded transportation projects to qualified consultants for over twenty years. Under the A/E IDIQ contract DJ&A currently holds, this process is used to fairly distribute transportation design work to engineering consultants and ensures public taxpayer dollars are spent wisely on roads and bridges that are well-designed and maintainable.

We believe WFLHD is a shining example of how all public agencies should be procuring professional services and congratulate them on this recognition!