Two-Step Reform Passed by Congress

Subscribe to our Blog


Posted on

Two-Step Reform Passed by Congress

by Louis J. Jenny  |  December 16, 2014

The 113th Congress has officially adjourned, and at the last minute came an important victory for the design-build industry. The final negotiated National Defense Authorization Act contains a design-build provision which requires written justification by the “head of contracting activity” when more than five finalists are shortlisted in a two-step design-build defense contract of more than $4 million. We think this will discourage the recent trend toward short-listing more than five finalists since currently little or no justification for these larger short-lists is required. The bill is expected to be signed into law by the President.

DBIA worked tirelessly with our coalitions partners (American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, American Council of Engineering Companies, American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Subcontractors Association) for more than a year to educate Senators, Representatives and their staff on the importance of following design-build best practices when using two-step design-build in its proper form.

This is clearly a step in the right direction and the result of DBIA’s hard work with our coalition partners supporting H.R. 2750, the Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act. However, we are disappointed that provisions limiting single-step/turn-key design-build included in H.R. 2750 did not make it through negotiations and neither did some more robust reporting requirements we had sought.

DBIA and our coalition partners are already discussing and planning ways to expand on this win, including extending the provisions to civil contracts and limiting single-step/turnkey design-build. This will have to take place with new legislation in the new year.