Removing the requirement to use the federal procurement process for architectural and engineering services will expedite the planning and design phase, allowing water infrastructure projects to move to construction faster.
What is the Brooks Act?
The Brooks Act requires a seven-step, prescriptive process for selecting professionals to perform architectural and engineering services that are federally funded. Under the federal process, the cost of services is prohibited from being considered as a factor in the selection process.
Since 2014, federal law has required projects funded by the federal capitalization grant for the Clean Water SRF to use the federal procurement process for architectural and engineering services.
What's the problem?
SRFs must comply with state and local procurement rules to ensure qualified consultants are selected for water infrastructure projects. Mandating the federal process, in addition to the state and local processes, is duplicative.
The federal requirement is especially challenging for communities that use engineering consultants to provide professional services for an array of municipal infrastructure projects or as a cost-saving staff augmentation strategy for smaller communities.
What's the solution?
Reduce the time and cost of compliance by allowing states to use their own procurement process to select qualified architects and engineers.