Several inside sources explain the hybrid Request For Proposal, Request For Qualifications process.
While DG did not follow a classic bid process for the hiring of Houseal & Lavigne, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued in the Spring for these services. The RFP requested overall comprehensive plan and public input facilitation qualifications, along with an estimated fee for the comprehensive plan portion only. The RFP indicated that TCD3 services, scope and fees would be negotiated with the recommended firm. A draft contract was prepared based on this process and is up for discussion by Council tomorrow evening.
Professional services are not something that translates directly to a bid process. A straight RFP process for services might generate under priced proposals from under-qualified/less responsive firms. Hard goods, like asphalt paving or concrete sidewalks, or buses, are pretty straightforward. In recognition of the complexity of services as opposed to goods, the state changed the rules for municipalities to allow them to either hire through a Request for Qualifications process, where respondents would submit their resume and portfolio, if you will, outlining why they would be the best choice for a task in large part qualitative, but that ends with concrete receivables in the form of a TCD3 report and a new Comprehensive Plan. the village chose the latter, and seven firms responded. Staff at different levels reviewed the applicants, and it was narrowed down to two.
The qualifications-based RFP process is a tested one that helps a community select highly qualified and responsive consultants for a reasonable price. In considering proposals for professional services, the Village may consider:
- The ability of professional personnel,
- past record and experience,
- performance data on file,
- willingness to meet time and budget requirements,
- workload of the firm
- and such other factors as the village puts in writing.
After the provider is selected, then a contract can be negotiated. The village staff have done all of that. Look for AVM Fieldman to explain a bit about the history and process (even though this is a consent agenda item) due to the size and complexity of the tasking at hand.