On behalf of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers and the design community, I'm writing to support the News Tribune's editorial regarding the recent City Council actions in dealing with the selection of an architectural firm for a fire station project.
My understanding is that the city has a qualifications-based selection procurement process (QBS) that they used to select the original firm for council approval. In the future I urge the members of the City Council to trust the process. This QBS process works well, resulting in the highest qualified firm and best project approach.
The design community supports QBS because it allows design firms to compete on qualifications and experience. The highest scoring firm then sits down with the client to work out a detailed scope of work that meets the client's needs and then negotiates a fair and reasonable fee.
All Missouri political subdivisions - cities, counties, schools, must use the QBS process. The result is the best qualified public facility design for a fair fee. I do want to clarify this is not a bidding process like you see in a construction project as was mentioned several times in the News Tribune editorial.
More information about the QBS process can be found on our website, mspe.org.