Last week Move Colorado Chair Kara Swanson testified before the Senate Finance Committee, outlining the organization’s concerns with, and opposition to, SB22-074 (Concerning monitoring of the use of procurement methods other than traditional design bid build procurement for transportation projects). Following testimony and questions from the Committee members the bill was Postponed Indefinitely (PI’d), ending its progress this session. Below is a copy of Kara’s testimony:
Good afternoon, Chairman Bridges and members of the Committee. My name is Kara Swanson, and I serve as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Move Colorado. For more than 25 years Move Colorado has worked alongside community, business, and political leaders to improve Colorado’s transportation funding outlook.
I am here today to share our concerns with SB22-74, Transportation Project Procurement Monitoring. Move Colorado believes that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) should have every “tool” possible in their “toolbox,” as they investigate the best approach to build projects across our state. In some cases that means a traditional low bid contracting approach. At other times, due to the complexity, size, or risks of a project, an alternative approach, such as CMGC or design-build may be appropriate.
By way of background, when CDOT implemented alternative forms of project delivery, it created a policy manual through a collaboration with all stakeholders – including the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the contracting community – to create a project delivery selection matrix that is both transparent and provides the best value to the taxpayer by using a risk-based assessment of 11 different project risks.
Part of this comprehensive process involves oversight and review by FHWA on federally funded highway transportation projects on a per project basis, which is addressed in Section 5.4.2 of CDOT’s Design-Build Manual. In addition, CDOT and FHWA have already jointly developed a Stewardship and Oversight Agreement. The CDOT Design-Build Manual already address the intent of this proposed legislation.
Further, Move Colorado is very clear on the fact that SB22-74 does not remove the ability to utilize approaches outside low-cost bidding; however, it does create additional levels of bureaucracy, adds subjectivity from an outside monitor, and includes a political element by adding two elected members of the General Assembly into the procurement process, which makes the process more time consuming and generates additional costs.
While perhaps well intentioned, Move Colorado believes SB22-74 is unnecessary, bureaucratic, and overly burdensome for all stakeholders, including the Colorado taxpayer. To truly draw a comparison in contracting methods, ALL forms of contracting must be analyzed prior to drawing any conclusions and is what the existing CDOT project delivery selection matrix already does. Based on these points we respectfully ask that you vote NO on SB22-74.
Thank you for your time and consideration.