102.01 Prequalification of Bidders
This article explains revisions in the Contractor Performance Evaluation (CPE) procedure, along with mailing instruction changes. The purpose of the CPE is to document and improve contractor performance, to ultimately improve quality in construction projects. The CPE procedures are to provide evaluation consistency and promote project management/contractor communication. A CPE is used as a basis for modifying the prequalification rating of the contractor. Any action to modify the contractor’s prequalification ratings will be taken in accordance with duly promulgated prequalification rules.
A project let through the MDOT letting process will require the project management staff to evaluate the prime and subcontractor(s) performance at the completion of each project, or at the end of each year for multiple year projects. A final estimate cannot be produced until all CPEs are approved in FieldManager; therefore, timely evaluation of the contractor is important. A CPE may also be completed at the end of a warranty period or at any interim project date management staff deems appropriate. Instructions and rating criteria for completing the CPE are available in FieldManager.
Forward the completed CPE to the respective contractor or subcontractor(s) by regular or electronic mail if there are no ratings of seven or below. If there are any ratings of seven or below, forward the completed evaluations to the respective contractor and subcontractor(s) by e-mail.
Within 21 days of the date of receipt of a performance evaluation, the contractor may make a written request to meet with project management staff to review an evaluation. As a result of this meeting, the evaluation may be left unchanged or revised as deemed appropriate by the engineer. The engineer will then give the contractor written notice with the final performance evaluation. If the meeting is not requested within the 21-day period, the original evaluation becomes final and will not be subject to later contest or appeal.
The engineer may require the contractor to submit a performance improvement plan to address needs identified in an interim CPE, and appear for a meeting to discuss the improvement plan. Upon the engineer’s approval of the plan, the contractor will be required to immediately implement the plan.
If the contractor does not agree with an engineer’s final performance evaluation or the engineer’s requested changes to a contractor’s improvement plan, the appeal process is as follows:
Within 14 days after the date a performance evaluation becomes final and is sent to the contractor, they may file a written appeal of any rating of seven or below to the engineer. The written appeal shall contain documentation supporting the contractor’s position that the rating is not warranted. If no appeal is filed within the 14-day period, the evaluation becomes final and will not be subject to later contest or appeal.
If the contractor files an appeal, the engineer shall contact the Construction and Technology Division’s Construction Contracts Unit to schedule an appeal meeting. An appeal filed by a contractor will be considered by a Contractor Performance Evaluation Appeal (CPEA) Panel. The panel shall be composed of three licensed professional engineers from the department (following the format of a Central Office Review Panel) who were not directly involved in the management of the project. This panel will review appeals on all evaluations and/or performance improvement plan for this project. The contractor and the engineer must submit supporting documentation relevant to the appeal and will attend a formal appeal hearing. The panel may visit a project site and gather information to assist them in making an informed decision, if necessary. Upon concluding its review, the panel will confirm or modify the evaluation and/or improvement plan. The panel will send the contractor and engineer written notice of its decision within 30 days, along with a copy of the modified evaluation, if applicable. The decision of the panel constitutes the final department decision and is not subject to further contest or appeal.
Interim CPEs cannot be appealed to the CPEA Panel.
If a contractor fails to honor a request by project management staff to submit a performance improvement plan, meet to discuss such a plan, or implement an approved performance improvement plan, the failure may be used as a basis for modifying the prequalification ratings of the contractor. Any action to modify the contractor’s prequalification ratings will be taken in accordance with the duly promulgated prequalification rules.
The Contractor Evaluation Factors and Rating Criteria are published on the MDOT website.
The final approving signature on a contractor performance evaluation is the respective TSC Manager. It must be noted that this signature is not to be delegated to staff that report to the TSC Manager. The signature must be the respective TSC Manager or another TSC Manager in the region or an equivalent position or higher in the region office. This signature requirement ensures an independent review of the contractor evaluation by a person not directly managing or providing oversight of the project.
Interim contractor evaluations are strongly encouraged to provide feedback on performance issues or to immediately note performance deficiencies. Construction staff should not wait until the end of a project to provide extremely low ratings. MDOT’s goal is to provide contractor evaluations upon discovery of performance challenges, open communications and work cooperatively to improve performance. Final contractor performance evaluations with very low numbers may be appropriate if interim evaluations have been disregarded by the contractor. If a contractor performance evaluation appeal proceeds to central office the appeal hearing binder must be prepared as a central office claim review hearing binder is prepared. The region is to create the central office binder with both the engineer and contractor’s positions included and tabbed for reference. All documentation to address the position of each party must be included in the binder. The construction manual will be updated with this information.