Under current law, general contracting and multiple prime contracts are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, with criteria factors set forth in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 9.312. If an apparent low bidder is found to be non-responsive or not responsible, that contractor can request a bid protest meeting with the contracting authority, which is an established process in the Ohio Revised Code.
For professional services, Construction Manager at Risk and Design Build, the Revised Code calls for the use of either a qualifications-based selection process or a two-step, best value selection process that takes into consideration qualifications and then price. However, neither Revised Code nor administrative rule gives guidance on established, best-practice criteria to public owners on the overturning of a selection committee recommendation for contracts made by qualifications-based selection or best value selection, nor does code or rule establish a method for a contractor to appeal a decision if a selected firm is not awarded a contract.
In order to provide additional structure and safeguards to the qualifications-based selection and best value selection processes, Commission staff recommend creating an administrative code rule that establishes valid reasons why public authorities could deny a selection, and establishing an appeals process for the affected contractor.