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06.24.2024 Legal News

New Laws Governing Public Procurement Delivery Methods in Virginia to Take Effect July 1, 2024

Recently passed legislation that amends the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) and changes the laws governing procurement delivery methods will take effect on July 1, 2024. Acts of Assembly Chapter 490 and Chapter 469 establish new transparency measures for procurement and new parameters for the use of Construction Management At Risk and Design-Bid-Build.

Specifically, these new measures:

  • Specify that a design-bid-build project that uses competitive sealed bidding is the default method of procurement for the construction of public projects.
  • Allow a state public body to post notice of procurement opportunities through the Department of General Services’ (DGS) central electronic procurement website, known as eVA.
  • Stipulate that public owners may not consider prior construction management or design-build experience as a prerequisite or factor for prequalification or award of a contract.
    • However, they may consider the experience of a contractor on comparable projects of similar complexity or size.
  • Establish a process for the DGS to evaluate procurement methods and offer an approval or denial of the appropriate method to state agencies.
  • Establish a process for DGS to evaluate delivery methods for institutions of higher education when general funds are used, which also includes an appeals process.
    • This process provides two methods of appeal:
      • If a project is $65 million or more, the institution can appeal the DGS decision to its board of visitors or governing board.
      • If a project is less than $65 million, the institution can appeal to a group that includes a representative from the DGS and a representative from both the House Committee on Appropriations and Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations.
  • Require a local governing body to adopt a resolution or motion on a per-project basis prior to issuing an RFQ if said local body is required to obtain approval from its governing body to enter into a contract for construction via construction management or design-build.

In addition to these aforementioned provisions, the newly enacted Acts of Assembly also require that the DGS, in conjunction with the House Committee on Appropriations and Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, collect and analyze project information and data and report their findings to the General Assembly by November 2029. This provision is intended to both create transparency for the industry as well as establish an expectation that this statute will be left alone for at least five more years.

To view the full text of these new measures, please visit the following links: Chapter 490 and Chapter 469.