Procurement Procedures and Selection Processes

ACC Global Airport Business Development Toolkit

Procurement Procedures and Selection Processes

In the United States, the Brooks Act (Public Law 92-582) – commonly known as Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) – requires that professional services such as architectural / engineering (A/E) design as well as project/program management for contracts with federal agencies are negotiated on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualification for the type of services required.  It is illegal to require proposals of this nature to be evaluated on a commercially priced basis. Once the professional qualifications have been evaluated, the owner selects the most qualified bidder to enter into negotiations, which then, and only then, includes a fully priced commercial proposal. The QBS process has long been enthusiastically supported by professional A/E societies in the U.S.

However, in many places outside the US, price-based selection is a legal and common method to procure professional design and management services. Not only are design and management professionals expected to compete on price in addition to qualification but, in many cases, low price is the key deciding factor when selecting the winning firm.

The process is typically conducted in two primary stages. The first stage involves the production of a technical proposal; the second stage includes the development of a fully priced commercial proposal for the proposed services. Each proposal is submitted in a separate package for independent evaluation by the owner.

The first stage is a demonstration of the firm’s experience and expertise necessary to qualify for the proposed project as well as the designer’s or manager’s understanding of the project and its approach to executing the services, similar to the QBS process used in the U.S. The technical proposals are publicly opened, evaluated and scored side-by-side, where the most technically qualified bidder receives the highest point score, with a minimum technical score often required to qualify for the next stage. Once the technical evaluation has been completed, the commercial proposals are opened. The proposed prices are equated to a point system whereby the lowest price typically scores the highest points. The technical points are then added to the commercial points. At this time, the owner may choose to award the contract to the bidder with the highest score.  In some cases, a selected list of bidders with the highest overall scores is invited to an interview.  Points received for the interview are then added to the previous score to determine the successful bidder.

It is not uncommon for owners to weigh the pricing component more heavily than the technical proposal and interview, swaying the decision in favor of a lower price.

ICAO – Technical Co-operation Bureau (TCB)

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) maintains a Technical Co-operation Program which provides advice and assistance in the development and implementation of projects across the full spectrum of civil aviation aimed at the safety, security, environmental protection and sustainable development of national and international civil aviation.  Subject to general guidance by the Secretary General, the Technical Co-operation Program is executed by the Technical Co-operation Bureau (TCB).

Since its establishment in 1952, TCB has implemented civil aviation projects with an accumulated value in excess of $2 billion. With an average annual program size of over US $120 million, it is involved in approximately 250 projects each year with individual project budgets ranging from less than $20,000 to over $120 million. To date, TCB has provided assistance to over 115 countries, deploying annually approximately 1200 international and national experts.

Learn more about the ICAO Technical Co-operation Bureau

To assist in the timely acquisition of goods and services, the Procurement Section of the TCB maintains a roster of international registered suppliers of major aeronautical equipment and aviation related services, that acts as an important procurement tool, as well as to shortlist suppliers for competitive bidding. The supplier database is intended as a sourcing tool to assist in internal procurement requirements and to ensure that a list of potential suppliers is readily available for frequently procured goods and services.

ACC Members are encouraged to utilize the following link to find out more about the TCB Procurement Section.

ICAO/TCB Procurement Section Website

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