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Construction

Office of Construction / Programs & Services

Conflict of Interests - Frequently Asked Questions

Picture of a Florida Roadway
The following conflict of interest questions and answers are provided as guidance to professional services consultants who do business with the Florida Department of Transportation. The guidance related to consultant services and bidding restrictions is derived from Procedure Numbers 375-030-006 and 625-020-010. Additionally, conflict of interest FAQs related to Public Private Partnerships (P3) are extracted from Policy No. 001-375-020. FAQs relating to Dispute Review Board (DRB) conflicts are also detailed below.  Guidance provided is in the form of direct statement or answers to listed questions.
 

Overview:
Consultants representing the Department must be free of conflicting professional or personal interests. In order to prevent potential conflicts of interest, the Department has established guidelines to be followed by professional services Consultants.  Please familiarize yourself with the requirements of Procedure No. 375-030-006, also known as: "Restriction on Consultants' Eligibility to Compete for Department Contracts". By submitting a Letter of Response, the Consultant certifies that they are in compliance with Procedure No. 375-030-006. This procedure is available at the following link:
Professional Services Publications Menu

 

In addition to the restrictions identified in Procedure No. 375-030-006, please be advised of the following prohibition: A consultant firm or its affiliate who was the Designer or Engineer of Record is precluded from bidding on the same project as the construction contractor, or as a member of the construction contractor's team (subcontractor).
 

The Design-Build Procurement & Administration Procedure (No. 625-020-010) includes the following prohibition on pg. 39: The Design/Build firm may not participate in preparation of the NEPA documentation as this would be a conflict of interest.

The Design/Build Procurement Procedure can be accessed at the following link:
625-020-010 Design-Build Procurement & Administration

 

Information on DRB conflict of interest relationships can be found at the following link:
http://www.fdot.gov/construction/CONSTADM/DRB/DRBMain.shtm

General Consultant Services Conflict FAQs 
QuestionsQuick GuidanceView Details
1.  If a Designer uses a Contractor to perform constructability reviews on a design contract, does this preclude the Contractor from pursuing the construction project?YesDetailed Guidance
2. The Department hires an inspector to perform verification inspections, and the same inspector will also be performing plant certification inspections for another company. If a Plant Certification Agency uses the other company to perform their plant certification inspections, is it a conflict of interest if the same inspector performs the plant verification inspection for the Department?NoDetailed Guidance
3.  Are consultants that perform Value Engineering (VE) on projects excluded from further work on the project?NoDetailed Guidance
4.  Can a Geotechnical Consultant who provides geotech design services be permitted to later provide unrelated CEI services on the same project?Yes, if services are unrelated.Detailed Guidance
5.  Is it a conflict for a firm to perform preliminary pavement coring and then later perform Contractor Quality Control (CQC), Geotechnical, or engineering services?No, the coring data can be viewed as unrelated Detailed Guidance
6.  On a Design/Bid/Build project, can a sub to the Engineer of Record (EOR) for survey work also become a sub to the CEI for survey work?District Secretary DecisionDetailed Guidance
6a.  Can a Consultant firm performing work for or representing a developer, private land owner, or business on a project, seek employment from the Department on the same project? If yes, any restriction in capacity?No.  This would be a conflict, regardless of capacity. 
6b.  Can a Consultant firm performing work for or representing a local agency (i.e City of Jax Beach, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, etc) on a project also seek  employment from the Department on the same project?  If yes, any restriction in capacity? No.  This would be a conflict, regardless of capacity. 
7.  Can a consultant firm, or its affiliate, that is the Engineer of Record (EOR) on a project be considered eligible to compete as a prime consultant for CEI services on that same project.NoDetailed Guidance
7a.  The same consultant firm is prohibited from performing both the design and the CEI on the same project.  Does this also apply to a Local Agency Program?Yes, it is still viewed as a conflict.Detailed Guidance
8.  On a CEI contract, a proposed Project Administrator is related (by marriage) to the contractor on that job.  Is this a conflict of interest?YesDetailed Guidance
9.  Would a design firm pursuing a CEI Hybrid contract have a conflict of interest if the firm performed all (or part) of the design of a project on which the inspectors would be assigned? NoDetailed Guidance
10.  Can a Geotechnical Consultant that provided geotechnical design services for the foundation design on a Design-Bid-Build project be later retained by the Department to perform dynamic load test measurements and analysis of test piles on the same project? YesDetailed Guidance
  
General Contractor Services Conflict FAQs 
QuestionsQuick GuidanceView Details
1.  If a Contractor participates in a Value Engineering Study Workshop or Cost Risk Analysis Workshop, does this preclude the Contractor from pursuing the construction project?YesDetailed Guidance
  
  
  
Design-Build Related Conflict FAQs  
QuestionsQuick GuidanceView Details
General Guidance (includes example using P3 project)  
1.  Can a consultant that performs PD&E services on a given project participate on the design-build services?YesDetailed Guidance
2.  If a consultant firm performs the initial and/or final design (after NEPA Record of Decision), are they able to participate on the design-build for the project?District Secretary DecisionDetailed Guidance
3. This question is related to mechanical & electrical inspection staffing/availability as it relates to CEI services on a Design-Build type contract involving a movable bridge.  Can the engineering firm providing the services for writing part of the RFP be part of a CEI team?NoDetailed Guidance
4.  Can a firm who performed only preliminary estimating services as a sub on a Design-Build contract pursue CEI work on the same contract as a sub?NoDetailed Guidance
5. If a firm provides FDOT input into the development of a RFP, can they subsequently, after the contract is awarded, be added to the awarded contractors team (e.g. as a sub-consultant)?NoDetailed Guidance
6.  Can a consultant preparing a Design-Build Criteria Package for a particular project also provide CEI services for the same project since they will not be EOR for the project?NoDetailed Guidance
7.  Would a firm reviewing a Design-Build Criteria package on behalf of FDOT be precluded from pursuing the Design-Build project as the designer?NoDetailed Guidance
8.  Can a lead designer on one design-build team also serve as a sub-consultant on another design-build team on the same project?Yes, they must disclose this to the second firm.Detailed Guidance
9.  Would it be a conflict of interest for a firm to participate on a Design-Build team if they had previously performed hydraulic and scour work at the same project location?No.  Due to limited work & no input on RFP.Detailed Guidance
10.  A Design-Build team has the original EOR for the design plans on their team, would this be considered a conflict of interest?Yes, unless District Secretary approves.Detailed Guidance
11.  A firm participated as a sub-consultant with minor involvement during plans preparation for a Design-Build project.  Can this involvement be considered a conflict and keep them from participating on a Design-Build team for the project?Yes, must receive exemption from District Secretary to participateDetailed Guidance
12.  If a firm performs soil borings at a location of a future Design-Build project, will they be ineligible to participate as a geotechnical sub-consultant on a DB team for that project?Depends on level of involvement.  Would need approval.Detailed Guidance
13. Can a consultant be on both the Design-Build team and a CEI team for the same project?NoDetailed Guidance
14.  Can a firm participate on a Design-Build Team if they participated in the development of a standard design that will be utilized on the design-build project?YesDetailed Guidance
15.  Can a GEC employee, who also works as a subconsultant for a consultant that is pursuing DB contracts, be allowed to participate in any ATCs where that consultant is a proposer?No 
  
Dispute Review Board Conflict FAQs  
QuestionsQuick GuidanceView Details
1.  I am a member on an active DRB and the CEI firm for that contract asks me to perform constructability reviews during the design phase. Is it a conflict of interest for me to participate on the design contract with the CEI firm?Divulge potential conflict for review by FDOT/Contractor/Board MembersDetailed Guidance
  
  
Public Private Partnerships (P3) Conflict FAQs  
QuestionsQuick GuidanceView Details
1.  Could the consultant acting as the owner’s rep in writing the P3 RFP also be the consultant performing the Department’s Oversight CEI?No