As detailed in 23 CFR 635.105, in those instances where a local public agency elects to use consultants for construction engineering services, the local public agency shall provide a full-time employee of the agency to be in responsible charge of the project. The person designated as being in "responsible charge" is expected to be a full-time public employee who is accountable for a project. This person should be expected to be able to perform the following duties and functions:
- Administers inherently governmental project activities, including those dealing with cost, time, adherence to contract requirements, construction quality and scope of Federal-aid projects;
- Maintains familiarity of day to day project operations, including project safety issues;
- Makes or participates in decisions about changed conditions or scope changes that require change orders or supplemental agreements;
- Visits and reviews the project on a frequency that is commensurate with the magnitude and complexity of the project;
- Reviews financial processes, transactions and documentation to ensure that safeguards are in place to minimize fraud, waste, and abuse; and
- Directs project staff, agency or consultant, to carry out project administration and contract oversight, including proper documentation.
- Is aware of the qualifications, assignments and on-the-job performance of the agency and consultant staff at all stages of the project.
Consultant Selection/Indirect Cost Rate Approval
Consultant services funded in whole, or in part, with Federal-aid highway program funds shall be procured and administered in accordance with the requirements of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200).LPAs are required to use the indirect cost rate established by the cognizant agency audit for the cost principles contained in 48 CFR part 31 for the consultant. A lower indirect cost rate may be used if submitted by the consultant firm, however the consultant’s offer of a lower indirect cost rate shall not be a condition of the contract award. Each Consultant will receive a rate approval certificate annually; please be sure to request the Consultant’s applicable rate approval certificate.
Note Regarding the Use of Architectural and Engineering (A/E) Consultants on LPA Projects:
All A/E Consultants that are prequalified by the Department to perform services in any of the work types described in 23 U.S.C. 112(b)(2)(B) are required to establish indirect cost rates compliant with the requirements of Part 31 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR Part 31). This process is described fully here: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Finance/Auditing/Pages/Consultants.aspx.
The work types covered by 23 U.S.C. 112(b)(2)(B) include: program management, construction management, feasibility studies, preliminary engineering, design, engineering, surveying, mapping, and architectural-related services.
A/E Consultants are required to submit updated indirect cost information annually to the Department, and the Department reviews and approves rates and issues an approval certificate with the final, approved rate(s). Accordingly, when negotiating contract work involving Federal funding with an A/E Consultant, LPAs should request the most recent approval certificate from the Consultant for use in determining allowable contract costs.