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Outside of an acquisition following Brooks Act procedures (40 U.S.C. 1101-1104), is there a permissible method for contracting for service contractors to perform on-site engineering reviews, construction phase inspections, preparation &/or review of As-Built drawings, or similar services?

I view these items as “services of an architectural or engineering nature, or incidental services, that members of the architectural and engineering professions (and individuals in their employ) may logically or justifiably perform, including studies, investigations, surveying and mapping, tests, evaluations, consultations, comprehensive planning, program management, conceptual designs, plans and specifications, value engineering, construction phase services, soils engineering, drawing reviews, preparation of operating and maintenance manuals, and other related services." FAR 2.101; 40 U.S.C 1102(2)(C ). Accordingly, it is my position that they must be procured by qualifications based selection under the Brooks Act, FAR 36.602-1 and applicable agency FAR supplements.

That said, I’ve noted some single award Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity Contracts (IDIQs) for services (that it has been suggested I use) where “engineering technicians” and “design & construction project managers” are acquired for in-house/on-site support via IDIQ Task Orders. On making inquiries with the PCOs for these contracts, they have acknowledged to me that their IDIQs were either competed under FAR 15, or were direct awards under the 8(a) program. Under both scenarios, I am also of the understanding that specific selection criteria from FAR 36.6 were not utilized, even in the case of the FAR 15 procurement’s tradeoff analysis.

Additionally, if engineering related services are acquired to provide on-site government support (but not through the statutory authorization of the Brooks Act), does the government convert an otherwise authorized service acquisition into a contract for personal services under FAR 37.104?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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A contract for construction phase inspectors, just to pick one of your examples, need not be done under the Brooks Act. It could be, if FAR 36.601-4( a )( 3 ) applies -- you quoted from FAR 2.101, but look at 36.601-4( a )( 3 ) instead -- the important part for you is the last phrase " . . . that logically or justifiably require performance by registered architects or engineers or their employees." That's the key to your question.

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MBrown,

Personal services contracts - The agency must have an authorization from Congress for a PSC. Then the position is competed as such and a selection made from the candidates that provided proposals. I see FAR 37 does talk about a PSC contract with a company but we have always contracted with individuals. I have never heard of converting someone from third party contractor to PSC directly although I am sure it has been done, maybe by J&A for sole source.

Just because the engineer is working in your office does not make them a PSC.

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MBrown - I suspect you have read the FAR regarding the matter but I do want to advise just a little bit of caution regarding Ji20874's response. The FAR cite provided is okay but there is another cite, by my read of your original question and the stated needs included in it, that must be considered too. That is....

36.601-3 © When the contract statement of work includes both architect-engineer services and other services, the contracting officer shall follow the procedures in this subpart if the statement of work, substantially or to a dominant extent, specifies performance or approval by a registered or licensed architect or engineer. If the statement of work does not specify such performance or approval, the contracting officer shall follow the procedures in Parts 13, 14, or 15.

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Guest Vern Edwards

MBrown:

The main question in your post is whether there is a way to buy A-E services without using A-E procedures. The answer is no. You do not seem to be in doubt about whether the services you described are A-E services, so I won't go into that matter.

The answer to your question about personal services also is no. I found that question to be weird. I can't imagine what train of thought prompted you to ask it.

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