APDC President’s Letter, November 2018


The Alaska Municipal League (AML) is a statewide organization that represents the unified voices of Alaska’s local governments. The AML aims to influence state and federal decision-making, build consensus and partnerships to address Alaska’s Challenges, and provide training and joint services to strengthen Alaska’s local governments.

All federal and Alaska State agencies are required to use Qualification Based Selection (QBS), and not cost to secure professional design services. However, many of Alaska’s local governments that are represented by AML do not follow QBS; rather they include cost in the selection criteria. At the AML Annual Local Government Conference, held in Anchorage November 12-16, 2018, APDC was invited to hold a panel discussion on the benefits of using QBS. Andrea Story, CPSM, Vice President, R&M Consultants, Inc. moderated the discussion. The panel consisted of Stephen Nuss, PE, Engineering Director, Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility; Al Beck, PE, Design Group Chief, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities; Chris Miller, PE, President, Design Alaska; and myself, Mike Rabe, PE, Principal, CRW Engineering Group, LLC.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the local government representatives were generally supportive of the QBS process. In general, they were not following the process because they did not know how to implement a QBS based selection process. Limited resources and schedule further restrained their ability to develop a QBS process. As a result, APDC recently added a “How to Procure Design Services” tab to our website to provide guidance. Additionally, several of us volunteered to assist communities with the QBS process, including tailoring the Request for Proposal document to the type of project, recommending scoring criteria, and assisting with reviewing and scoring proposals. If you are willing to assist in this process please contact the following APDC representatives:

Andrea Story Email: Astory@rmconsult.com

Mike Rabe Email: mrabe@crweng.com

I would like to thank those who participated in the panel discussion, especially Andrea Story who coordinated the effort and Nils Andreassen, Executive Director, AML who supported APDC’s efforts at the conference.

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