A new bill authored by Doris Wolk would expand the authority to award projects on a design-build basis to all cities, as well as to projects by any “qualified entity” for local or regional wastewater facilities, solid waste management facilities, or water recycling facilities. The bill, AB 642, has passed both the state assembly and state senate, but still awaits the signature of Governor Schwarzenegger. Assuming he signs the bill, the expanded design-build authority would go in to effect on January 1, 2009.
The bill would revise Public Contract Code section 20175.2 to provide design-build authority to all cities, instead of just cities in Solano and Yolo counties. A new dollar threshold would be created in the amount of $1 million. Cities would still be obligated to establish a labor compliance program and to pre-qualify bidders before utilizing the authority. In addition, cities would still have the choice of awarding a project to the lowest responsible bidder or on a “best value” basis. The expiration date of this statute would be extended from January 1, 2011 to January 1, 2016.
The bill would also create a new Public Contract Code section 20193, which would authorize a pilot program for any “qualified entity” to award a project for a regional or local wastewater treatment facility, solid waste facility or water recycling facility on a design-build basis. The pilot program would only apply to 20 projects, each of which must exceed $2.5 million in value. Qualified entities include cities, counties, cities and counties and special districts. As with the design-build authority for cities, the new statute would require a public entity to establish a labor compliance program and to pre-qualify bidders before utilizing the authority. In addition, public entities would have the choice of awarding projects to the lowest responsible bidder or on a “best value” basis. This statute would expire on January 1, 2020.