2006 Regular Session
To: Public Property; Finance
By: Senator(s) Huggins
AN ACT TO CREATE NEW SECTION 31-7-13.1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE AND PRESCRIBE THE PROCEDURES FOR USING THE DUAL-PHASE DESIGN-BUILD METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTING; TO PROVIDE THAT A TWO-PHASE PROCEDURE FOR AWARDING A CONTRACT MUST BE ADOPTED FOR EACH PROPOSED DUAL-PHASE DESIGN-BUILD PROJECT; TO PRESCRIBE THE PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED FOR EACH PHASE; TO AMEND SECTIONS 31-7-13, 31-11-3 AND 65-1-85, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PRECEDING PROVISIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 31-7-13.1, Mississippi Code of 1972:
31-7-13.1. (1) The method of contracting for construction described in this section shall be known as the "dual-phase design-build method" of construction contracting. This method of construction contracting may be used only when the Legislature has specifically required or authorized the use of this method in the legislation authorizing a project, or when the Department of Finance and Administration, the governing board or commission of an agency or the governing authority makes a determination, entered on its minutes, with specific findings for the project demonstrating how it is in the best interest of the public to enter into a dual-phase design-build construction contract. Use of this method for projects funded by the Legislature or administered by the Department of Finance and Administration shall be at the discretion of the Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management. At a minimum, the determination must include a detailed explanation of why a dual-phase design-build approach for a particular project satisfies the public need better than the traditional design-bid-build approach.
(2) For each proposed dual-phase design-build project, a two-phase procedure for awarding a contract must be adopted. During Phase One, and before solicitation of initial proposals, the agency or governing authority shall develop, with the assistance of an architectural or engineering firm, a scope of work statement that provides prospective offerors with sufficient information regarding the requirements of the agency or governing authority. The scope of work statement must include, but is not limited to, the following information:
(a) Drawings must show overall building dimensions and major lines of dimensions, and site plans that show topography, adjacent buildings and utilities;
(b) Drawings must include information to adequately explain HVAC, electrical and structural requirements;
(c) The scope of work statement also must include building elevations, sections and design details; and
(d) The scope of work statement must include general budget parameters, schedule or delivery requirements, relevant criteria for evaluation of proposals, and any other information necessary to enable the design-builders to submit proposals that meet the needs of the agency or governing authority.
(3) The agency or governing authority shall cause to be published once a week, for at least two (2) consecutive weeks in a regular newspaper published in the county in which the project is to be located, a notice inviting proposals for the dual-phase design-build construction project. Such proposals shall not be opened in less than fifteen (15) working days after the last notice is published. The notice must inform potential offerors of how to obtain the scope of work statement developed for the project, and the notice must contain such other information to describe adequately the general nature and scope of the project so as to promote full, equal and open competition.
(4) The agency or governing authority shall accept initial proposals only from entities able to provide, either in-house or through contractual arrangements, an experienced and qualified design-build team that includes, at a minimum, an architectural or engineering firm registered in Mississippi and a contractor properly licensed in Mississippi for the type of work required. From evaluation of initial proposals under Phase One, the agency or governing authority shall select a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of five (5) design-builders as "short-listed firms" to submit proposals for Phase Two.
(5) During Phase Two, the short-listed firms will be invited to submit detailed designs, specific technical concepts or solutions, pricing, scheduling and other information deemed appropriate by the agency or governing authority as necessary to evaluate and rank acceptability of the Phase Two proposals. After evaluation of these Phase Two proposals, the agency or governing authority shall award a contract to the design-builder determined to offer the best value to the public in accordance with evaluation criteria set forth in the request for proposals, of which price must be one, but not necessarily the only, criterion.
(6) If the agency or governing authority accepts a proposal other than the lowest dollar proposal actually submitted, the agency or governing authority shall enter on its minutes detailed calculations and a narrative summary showing why the accepted proposal was determined to provide the best value, and the agency or governing authority shall state specifically on its minutes the justification for its award.
(7) All private contractors or private entities contracting or performing under this section must comply at all times with all applicable laws, codes and other legal requirements pertaining to the project.
(8) At its discretion, the agency or governing authority may award a stipulated fee equal to a percentage, as prescribed in the request for proposals, of the project's final design and construction budget, as prescribed in the request for proposals, but not less than two-tenths of one percent (2/10 of 1%) of the project's final design and construction budget, to each short-list offeror who provides a responsive, but unsuccessful, proposal. If the agency or governing authority does not award a contract, all responsive final list offerors shall receive the stipulated fee based on the owner's estimate of the project final design and construction budget as included in the request for proposals. The agency or governing authority shall pay the stipulated fee to each offeror within ninety (90) days after the award of the initial contract or the decision not to award a contract. In consideration for paying the stipulated fee, the agency or governing authority may use any ideas or information contained in the proposals in connection with any contract awarded for the project, or in connection with a subsequent procurement, without any obligation to pay any additional compensation to the unsuccessful offerors. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this subsection, an unsuccessful short-list offeror may elect to waive the stipulated fee. If an unsuccessful short-list offeror elects to waive the stipulated fee, the agency or governing authority may not use ideas and information contained in the offeror's proposal, except that this restriction does not prevent the agency or governing authority from using any idea or information if the idea or information is also included in a proposal of an offeror that accepts the stipulated fee.
(9) This section shall not authorize the awarding of construction contracts according to any contracting method that does not require the contractor to satisfactorily perform, at a minimum, both any balance of design and construction of the project for which the contract is awarded.
SECTION 2. Section 31-7-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-13. All agencies and governing authorities shall purchase their commodities and printing; contract for garbage collection or disposal; contract for solid waste collection or disposal; contract for sewage collection or disposal; contract for public construction; and contract for rentals as herein provided.
(a) Bidding procedure for purchases not over $3,500.00. Purchases which do not involve an expenditure of more than Three Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($3,500.00), exclusive of freight or shipping charges, may be made without advertising or otherwise requesting competitive bids. However, nothing contained in this paragraph (a) shall be construed to prohibit any agency or governing authority from establishing procedures which require competitive bids on purchases of Three Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($3,500.00) or less.
(b) Bidding procedure for purchases over $3,500.00 but not over $15,000.00. Purchases which involve an expenditure of more than Three Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($3,500.00) but not more than Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), exclusive of freight and shipping charges may be made from the lowest and best bidder without publishing or posting advertisement for bids, provided at least two (2) competitive written bids have been obtained. Any governing authority purchasing commodities pursuant to this paragraph (b) may authorize its purchasing agent, or his designee, with regard to governing authorities other than counties, or its purchase clerk, or his designee, with regard to counties, to accept the lowest and best competitive written bid. Such authorization shall be made in writing by the governing authority and shall be maintained on file in the primary office of the agency and recorded in the official minutes of the governing authority, as appropriate. The purchasing agent or the purchase clerk, or their designee, as the case may be, and not the governing authority, shall be liable for any penalties and/or damages as may be imposed by law for any act or omission of the purchasing agent or purchase clerk, or their designee, constituting a violation of law in accepting any bid without approval by the governing authority. The term "competitive written bid" shall mean a bid submitted on a bid form furnished by the buying agency or governing authority and signed by authorized personnel representing the vendor, or a bid submitted on a vendor's letterhead or identifiable bid form and signed by authorized personnel representing the vendor. "Competitive" shall mean that the bids are developed based upon comparable identification of the needs and are developed independently and without knowledge of other bids or prospective bids. Bids may be submitted by facsimile, electronic mail or other generally accepted method of information distribution. Bids submitted by electronic transmission shall not require the signature of the vendor's representative unless required by agencies or governing authorities.
(c) Bidding procedure for purchases over $15,000.00.
(i) Publication requirement. Purchases which involve an expenditure of more than Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), exclusive of freight and shipping charges, may be made from the lowest and best bidder after advertising for competitive sealed bids once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a regular newspaper published in the county or municipality in which such agency or governing authority is located. The date as published for the bid opening shall not be less than seven (7) working days after the last published notice; however, if the purchase involves a construction project in which the estimated cost is in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00), such bids shall not be opened in less than fifteen (15) working days after the last notice is published and the notice for the purchase of such construction shall be published once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks. The notice of intention to let contracts or purchase equipment shall state the time and place at which bids shall be received, list the contracts to be made or types of equipment or supplies to be purchased, and, if all plans and/or specifications are not published, refer to the plans and/or specifications on file. If there is no newspaper published in the county or municipality, then such notice shall be given by posting same at the courthouse, or for municipalities at the city hall, and at two (2) other public places in the county or municipality, and also by publication once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks in some newspaper having a general circulation in the county or municipality in the above provided manner. On the same date that the notice is submitted to the newspaper for publication, the agency or governing authority involved shall mail written notice to, or provide electronic notification to the main office of the Mississippi Contract Procurement Center that contains the same information as that in the published notice.
(ii) Bidding process amendment procedure. If all plans and/or specifications are published in the notification, then the plans and/or specifications may not be amended. If all plans and/or specifications are not published in the notification, then amendments to the plans/specifications, bid opening date, bid opening time and place may be made, provided that the agency or governing authority maintains a list of all prospective bidders who are known to have received a copy of the bid documents and all such prospective bidders are sent copies of all amendments. This notification of amendments may be made via mail, facsimile, electronic mail or other generally accepted method of information distribution. No addendum to bid specifications may be issued within two (2) working days of the time established for the receipt of bids unless such addendum also amends the bid opening to a date not less than five (5) working days after the date of the addendum.
(iii) Filing requirement. In all cases involving governing authorities, before the notice shall be published or posted, the plans or specifications for the construction or equipment being sought shall be filed with the clerk of the board of the governing authority. In addition to these requirements, a bid file shall be established which shall indicate those vendors to whom such solicitations and specifications were issued, and such file shall also contain such information as is pertinent to the bid.
(iv) Specification restrictions.
1. Specifications pertinent to such bidding shall be written so as not to exclude comparable equipment of domestic manufacture. However, if valid justification is presented, the Department of Finance and Administration or the board of a governing authority may approve a request for specific equipment necessary to perform a specific job. Further, such justification, when placed on the minutes of the board of a governing authority, may serve as authority for that governing authority to write specifications to require a specific item of equipment needed to perform a specific job. In addition to these requirements, from and after July 1, 1990, vendors of relocatable classrooms and the specifications for the purchase of such relocatable classrooms published by local school boards shall meet all pertinent regulations of the State Board of Education, including prior approval of such bid by the State Department of Education.
2. Specifications for construction projects may include an allowance for commodities, equipment, furniture, construction materials or systems in which prospective bidders are instructed to include in their bids specified amounts for such items so long as the allowance items are acquired by the vendor in a commercially reasonable manner and approved by the agency/governing authority. Such acquisitions shall not be made to circumvent the public purchasing laws.
(v) Agencies and governing authorities may establish secure procedures by which bids may be submitted via electronic means.
(d) Lowest and best bid decision procedure.
(i) Decision procedure. Purchases may be made from the lowest and best bidder. In determining the lowest and best bid, freight and shipping charges shall be included. Life-cycle costing, total cost bids, warranties, guaranteed buy-back provisions and other relevant provisions may be included in the best bid calculation. All best bid procedures for state agencies must be in compliance with regulations established by the Department of Finance and Administration. If any governing authority accepts a bid other than the lowest bid actually submitted, it shall place on its minutes detailed calculations and narrative summary showing that the accepted bid was determined to be the lowest and best bid, including the dollar amount of the accepted bid and the dollar amount of the lowest bid. No agency or governing authority shall accept a bid based on items not included in the specifications.
(ii) Decision procedure for Certified Purchasing Offices. In addition to the decision procedure set forth in paragraph (d)(i), Certified Purchasing Offices may also use the following procedure: Purchases may be made from the bidder offering the best value. In determining the best value bid, freight and shipping charges shall be included. Life-cycle costing, total cost bids, warranties, guaranteed buy-back provisions, documented previous experience, training costs and other relevant provisions may be included in the best value calculation. This provision shall authorize Certified Purchasing Offices to utilize a Request For Proposals (RFP) process when purchasing commodities. All best value procedures for state agencies must be in compliance with regulations established by the Department of Finance and Administration. No agency or governing authority shall accept a bid based on items or criteria not included in the specifications.
(iii) Construction project negotiations authority. If the lowest and best bid is not more than ten percent (10%) above the amount of funds allocated for a public construction or renovation project, then the agency or governing authority shall be permitted to negotiate with the lowest bidder in order to enter into a contract for an amount not to exceed the funds allocated.
(e) Lease-purchase authorization. For the purposes of this section, the term "equipment" shall mean equipment, furniture and, if applicable, associated software and other applicable direct costs associated with the acquisition. Any lease-purchase of equipment which an agency is not required to lease-purchase under the master lease-purchase program pursuant to Section 31-7-10 and any lease-purchase of equipment which a governing authority elects to lease-purchase may be acquired by a lease-purchase agreement under this paragraph (e). Lease-purchase financing may also be obtained from the vendor or from a third-party source after having solicited and obtained at least two (2) written competitive bids, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, for such financing without advertising for such bids. Solicitation for the bids for financing may occur before or after acceptance of bids for the purchase of such equipment or, where no such bids for purchase are required, at any time before the purchase thereof. No such lease-purchase agreement shall be for an annual rate of interest which is greater than the overall maximum interest rate to maturity on general obligation indebtedness permitted under Section 75-17-101, and the term of such lease-purchase agreement shall not exceed the useful life of equipment covered thereby as determined according to the upper limit of the asset depreciation range (ADR) guidelines for the Class Life Asset Depreciation Range System established by the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code and regulations thereunder as in effect on December 31, 1980, or comparable depreciation guidelines with respect to any equipment not covered by ADR guidelines. Any lease-purchase agreement entered into pursuant to this paragraph (e) may contain any of the terms and conditions which a master lease-purchase agreement may contain under the provisions of Section 31-7-10(5), and shall contain an annual allocation dependency clause substantially similar to that set forth in Section 31-7-10(8). Each agency or governing authority entering into a lease-purchase transaction pursuant to this paragraph (e) shall maintain with respect to each such lease-purchase transaction the same information as required to be maintained by the Department of Finance and Administration pursuant to Section 31-7-10(13). However, nothing contained in this section shall be construed to permit agencies to acquire items of equipment with a total acquisition cost in the aggregate of less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) by a single lease-purchase transaction. All equipment, and the purchase thereof by any lessor, acquired by lease-purchase under this paragraph and all lease-purchase payments with respect thereto shall be exempt from all Mississippi sales, use and ad valorem taxes. Interest paid on any lease-purchase agreement under this section shall be exempt from State of Mississippi income taxation.
(f) Alternate bid authorization. When necessary to ensure ready availability of commodities for public works and the timely completion of public projects, no more than two (2) alternate bids may be accepted by a governing authority for commodities. No purchases may be made through use of such alternate bids procedure unless the lowest and best bidder cannot deliver the commodities contained in his bid. In that event, purchases of such commodities may be made from one (1) of the bidders whose bid was accepted as an alternate.
(g) Construction contract change authorization. In the event a determination is made by an agency or governing authority after a construction contract is let that changes or modifications to the original contract are necessary or would better serve the purpose of the agency or the governing authority, such agency or governing authority may, in its discretion, order such changes pertaining to the construction that are necessary under the circumstances without the necessity of further public bids; provided that such change shall be made in a commercially reasonable manner and shall not be made to circumvent the public purchasing statutes. In addition to any other authorized person, the architect or engineer hired by an agency or governing authority with respect to any public construction contract shall have the authority, when granted by an agency or governing authority, to authorize changes or modifications to the original contract without the necessity of prior approval of the agency or governing authority when any such change or modification is less than one percent (1%) of the total contract amount. The agency or governing authority may limit the number, manner or frequency of such emergency changes or modifications.
(h) Petroleum purchase alternative. In addition to other methods of purchasing authorized in this chapter, when any agency or governing authority shall have a need for gas, diesel fuel, oils and/or other petroleum products in excess of the amount set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, such agency or governing authority may purchase the commodity after having solicited and obtained at least two (2) competitive written bids, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section. If two (2) competitive written bids are not obtained, the entity shall comply with the procedures set forth in paragraph (c) of this section. In the event any agency or governing authority shall have advertised for bids for the purchase of gas, diesel fuel, oils and other petroleum products and coal and no acceptable bids can be obtained, such agency or governing authority is authorized and directed to enter into any negotiations necessary to secure the lowest and best contract available for the purchase of such commodities.
(i) Road construction petroleum products price adjustment clause authorization. Any agency or governing authority authorized to enter into contracts for the construction, maintenance, surfacing or repair of highways, roads or streets, may include in its bid proposal and contract documents a price adjustment clause with relation to the cost to the contractor, including taxes, based upon an industry-wide cost index, of petroleum products including asphalt used in the performance or execution of the contract or in the production or manufacture of materials for use in such performance. Such industry-wide index shall be established and published monthly by the Mississippi Department of Transportation with a copy thereof to be mailed, upon request, to the clerks of the governing authority of each municipality and the clerks of each board of supervisors throughout the state. The price adjustment clause shall be based on the cost of such petroleum products only and shall not include any additional profit or overhead as part of the adjustment. The bid proposals or document contract shall contain the basis and methods of adjusting unit prices for the change in the cost of such petroleum products.
(j) State agency emergency purchase procedure. If the governing board or the executive head, or his designee, of any agency of the state shall determine that an emergency exists in regard to the purchase of any commodities or repair contracts, so that the delay incident to giving opportunity for competitive bidding would be detrimental to the interests of the state, then the provisions herein for competitive bidding shall not apply and the head of such agency shall be authorized to make the purchase or repair. Total purchases so made shall only be for the purpose of meeting needs created by the emergency situation. In the event such executive head is responsible to an agency board, at the meeting next following the emergency purchase, documentation of the purchase, including a description of the commodity purchased, the purchase price thereof and the nature of the emergency shall be presented to the board and placed on the minutes of the board of such agency. The head of such agency, or his designee, shall, at the earliest possible date following such emergency purchase, file with the Department of Finance and Administration (i) a statement explaining the conditions and circumstances of the emergency, which shall include a detailed description of the events leading up to the situation and the negative impact to the entity if the purchase is made following the statutory requirements set forth in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of this section, and (ii) a certified copy of the appropriate minutes of the board of such agency, if applicable. On or before September 1 of each year, the State Auditor shall prepare and deliver to the Senate Fees, Salaries and Administration Committee, the House Fees and Salaries of Public Officers Committee and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee a report containing a list of all state agency emergency purchases and supporting documentation for each emergency purchase.
(k) Governing authority emergency purchase procedure. If the governing authority, or the governing authority acting through its designee, shall determine that an emergency exists in regard to the purchase of any commodities or repair contracts, so that the delay incident to giving opportunity for competitive bidding would be detrimental to the interest of the governing authority, then the provisions herein for competitive bidding shall not apply and any officer or agent of such governing authority having general or special authority therefor in making such purchase or repair shall approve the bill presented therefor, and he shall certify in writing thereon from whom such purchase was made, or with whom such a repair contract was made. At the board meeting next following the emergency purchase or repair contract, documentation of the purchase or repair contract, including a description of the commodity purchased, the price thereof and the nature of the emergency shall be presented to the board and shall be placed on the minutes of the board of such governing authority.
(l) Hospital purchase, lease-purchase and lease authorization.
(i) The commissioners or board of trustees of any public hospital may contract with such lowest and best bidder for the purchase or lease-purchase of any commodity under a contract of purchase or lease-purchase agreement whose obligatory payment terms do not exceed five (5) years.
(ii) In addition to the authority granted in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph (l), the commissioners or board of trustees is authorized to enter into contracts for the lease of equipment or services, or both, which it considers necessary for the proper care of patients if, in its opinion, it is not financially feasible to purchase the necessary equipment or services. Any such contract for the lease of equipment or services executed by the commissioners or board shall not exceed a maximum of five (5) years' duration and shall include a cancellation clause based on unavailability of funds. If such cancellation clause is exercised, there shall be no further liability on the part of the lessee. Any such contract for the lease of equipment or services executed on behalf of the commissioners or board that complies with the provisions of this subparagraph (ii) shall be excepted from the bid requirements set forth in this section.
(m) Exceptions from bidding requirements. Excepted from bid requirements are:
(i) Purchasing agreements approved by department. Purchasing agreements, contracts and maximum price regulations executed or approved by the Department of Finance and Administration.
(ii) Outside equipment repairs. Repairs to equipment, when such repairs are made by repair facilities in the private sector; however, engines, transmissions, rear axles and/or other such components shall not be included in this exemption when replaced as a complete unit instead of being repaired and the need for such total component replacement is known before disassembly of the component; however, invoices identifying the equipment, specific repairs made, parts identified by number and name, supplies used in such repairs, and the number of hours of labor and costs therefor shall be required for the payment for such repairs.
(iii) In-house equipment repairs. Purchases of parts for repairs to equipment, when such repairs are made by personnel of the agency or governing authority; however, entire assemblies, such as engines or transmissions, shall not be included in this exemption when the entire assembly is being replaced instead of being repaired.
(iv) Raw gravel or dirt. Raw unprocessed deposits of gravel or fill dirt which are to be removed and transported by the purchaser.
(v) Governmental equipment auctions. Motor vehicles or other equipment purchased from a federal agency or authority, another governing authority or state agency of the State of Mississippi, or any governing authority or state agency of another state at a public auction held for the purpose of disposing of such vehicles or other equipment. Any purchase by a governing authority under the exemption authorized by this subparagraph (v) shall require advance authorization spread upon the minutes of the governing authority to include the listing of the item or items authorized to be purchased and the maximum bid authorized to be paid for each item or items.
(vi) Intergovernmental sales and transfers. Purchases, sales, transfers or trades by governing authorities or state agencies when such purchases, sales, transfers or trades are made by a private treaty agreement or through means of negotiation, from any federal agency or authority, another governing authority or state agency of the State of Mississippi, or any state agency or governing authority of another state. Nothing in this section shall permit such purchases through public auction except as provided for in subparagraph (v) of this section. It is the intent of this section to allow governmental entities to dispose of and/or purchase commodities from other governmental entities at a price that is agreed to by both parties. This shall allow for purchases and/or sales at prices which may be determined to be below the market value if the selling entity determines that the sale at below market value is in the best interest of the taxpayers of the state. Governing authorities shall place the terms of the agreement and any justification on the minutes, and state agencies shall obtain approval from the Department of Finance and Administration, prior to releasing or taking possession of the commodities.
(vii) Perishable supplies or food. Perishable supplies or food purchased for use in connection with hospitals, the school lunch programs, homemaking programs and for the feeding of county or municipal prisoners.
(viii) Single source items. Noncompetitive items available from one (1) source only. In connection with the purchase of noncompetitive items only available from one (1) source, a certification of the conditions and circumstances requiring the purchase shall be filed by the agency with the Department of Finance and Administration and by the governing authority with the board of the governing authority. Upon receipt of that certification the Department of Finance and Administration or the board of the governing authority, as the case may be, may, in writing, authorize the purchase, which authority shall be noted on the minutes of the body at the next regular meeting thereafter. In those situations, a governing authority is not required to obtain the approval of the Department of Finance and Administration.
(ix) Waste disposal facility construction contracts. Construction of incinerators and other facilities for disposal of solid wastes in which products either generated therein, such as steam, or recovered therefrom, such as materials for recycling, are to be sold or otherwise disposed of; however, in constructing such facilities, a governing authority or agency shall publicly issue requests for proposals, advertised for in the same manner as provided herein for seeking bids for public construction projects, concerning the design, construction, ownership, operation and/or maintenance of such facilities, wherein such requests for proposals when issued shall contain terms and conditions relating to price, financial responsibility, technology, environmental compatibility, legal responsibilities and such other matters as are determined by the governing authority or agency to be appropriate for inclusion; and after responses to the request for proposals have been duly received, the governing authority or agency may select the most qualified proposal or proposals on the basis of price, technology and other relevant factors and from such proposals, but not limited to the terms thereof, negotiate and enter contracts with one or more of the persons or firms submitting proposals.
(x) Hospital group purchase contracts. Supplies, commodities and equipment purchased by hospitals through group purchase programs pursuant to Section 31-7-38.
(xi) Information technology products. Purchases of information technology products made by governing authorities under the provisions of purchase schedules, or contracts executed or approved by the Mississippi Department of Information Technology Services and designated for use by governing authorities.
(xii) Energy efficiency services and equipment. Energy efficiency services and equipment acquired by school districts, community and junior colleges, institutions of higher learning and state agencies or other applicable governmental entities on a shared-savings, lease or lease-purchase basis pursuant to Section 31-7-14.
(xiii) Municipal electrical utility system fuel. Purchases of coal and/or natural gas by municipally-owned electric power generating systems that have the capacity to use both coal and natural gas for the generation of electric power.
(xiv) Library books and other reference materials. Purchases by libraries or for libraries of books and periodicals; processed film, video cassette tapes, filmstrips and slides; recorded audio tapes, cassettes and diskettes; and any such items as would be used for teaching, research or other information distribution; however, equipment such as projectors, recorders, audio or video equipment, and monitor televisions are not exempt under this subparagraph.
(xv) Unmarked vehicles. Purchases of unmarked vehicles when such purchases are made in accordance with purchasing regulations adopted by the Department of Finance and Administration pursuant to Section 31-7-9(2).
(xvi) Election ballots. Purchases of ballots printed pursuant to Section 23-15-351.
(xvii) Multichannel interactive video systems. From and after July 1, 1990, contracts by Mississippi Authority for Educational Television with any private educational institution or private nonprofit organization whose purposes are educational in regard to the construction, purchase, lease or lease-purchase of facilities and equipment and the employment of personnel for providing multichannel interactive video systems (ITSF) in the school districts of this state.
(xviii) Purchases of prison industry products. From and after January 1, 1991, purchases made by state agencies or governing authorities involving any item that is manufactured, processed, grown or produced from the state's prison industries.
(xix) Undercover operations equipment. Purchases of surveillance equipment or any other high-tech equipment to be used by law enforcement agents in undercover operations, provided that any such purchase shall be in compliance with regulations established by the Department of Finance and Administration.
(xx) Junior college books for rent. Purchases by community or junior colleges of textbooks which are obtained for the purpose of renting such books to students as part of a book service system.
(xxi) Certain school district purchases. Purchases of commodities made by school districts from vendors with which any levying authority of the school district, as defined in Section 37-57-1, has contracted through competitive bidding procedures for purchases of the same commodities.
(xxii) Garbage, solid waste and sewage contracts. Contracts for garbage collection or disposal, contracts for solid waste collection or disposal and contracts for sewage collection or disposal.
(xxiii) Municipal water tank maintenance contracts. Professional maintenance program contracts for the repair or maintenance of municipal water tanks, which provide professional services needed to maintain municipal water storage tanks for a fixed annual fee for a duration of two (2) or more years.
(xxiv) Purchases of Mississippi Industries for the Blind products. Purchases made by state agencies or governing authorities involving any item that is manufactured, processed or produced by the Mississippi Industries for the Blind.
(xxv) Purchases of state-adopted textbooks. Purchases of state-adopted textbooks by public school districts.
(xxvi) Certain purchases under the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Act. Contracts entered into pursuant to the provisions of Section 57-75-9(2) and (3).
(xxvii) Used heavy or specialized machinery or equipment for installation of soil and water conservation practices purchased at auction. Used heavy or specialized machinery or equipment used for the installation and implementation of soil and water conservation practices or measures purchased subject to the restrictions provided in Sections 69-27-331 through 69-27-341. Any purchase by the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission under the exemption authorized by this subparagraph shall require advance authorization spread upon the minutes of the commission to include the listing of the item or items authorized to be purchased and the maximum bid authorized to be paid for each item or items.
(xxviii) Hospital lease of equipment or services. Leases by hospitals of equipment or services if the leases are in compliance with paragraph (l)(ii).
(xxix) Purchases made pursuant to qualified cooperative purchasing agreements. Purchases made by certified purchasing offices of state agencies or governing authorities under cooperative purchasing agreements previously approved by the Office of Purchasing and Travel and established by or for any municipality, county, parish or state government or the federal government, provided that the notification to potential contractors includes a clause that sets forth the availability of the cooperative purchasing agreement to other governmental entities. Such purchases shall only be made if the use of the cooperative purchasing agreements is determined to be in the best interest of the governmental entity.
(xxx) School yearbooks. Purchases of school yearbooks by state agencies or governing authorities; provided, however, that state agencies and governing authorities shall use for these purchases the RFP process as set forth in the Mississippi Procurement Manual adopted by the Office of Purchasing and Travel.
(xxxi) Design-build method or the design-build bridging method of contracting. Contracts entered into under the provisions of Section 31-11-3(9) or Section 31-7-13.1.
(n) Term contract authorization. All contracts for the purchase of:
(i) All contracts for the purchase of commodities, equipment and public construction (including, but not limited to, repair and maintenance), may be let for periods of not more than sixty (60) months in advance, subject to applicable statutory provisions prohibiting the letting of contracts during specified periods near the end of terms of office. Term contracts for a period exceeding twenty-four (24) months shall also be subject to ratification or cancellation by governing authority boards taking office subsequent to the governing authority board entering the contract.
(ii) Bid proposals and contracts may include price adjustment clauses with relation to the cost to the contractor based upon a nationally published industry-wide or nationally published and recognized cost index. The cost index used in a price adjustment clause shall be determined by the Department of Finance and Administration for the state agencies and by the governing board for governing authorities. The bid proposal and contract documents utilizing a price adjustment clause shall contain the basis and method of adjusting unit prices for the change in the cost of such commodities, equipment and public construction.
(o) Purchase law violation prohibition and vendor penalty. No contract or purchase as herein authorized shall be made for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this section requiring competitive bids, nor shall it be lawful for any person or concern to submit individual invoices for amounts within those authorized for a contract or purchase where the actual value of the contract or commodity purchased exceeds the authorized amount and the invoices therefor are split so as to appear to be authorized as purchases for which competitive bids are not required. Submission of such invoices shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment for thirty (30) days in the county jail, or both such fine and imprisonment. In addition, the claim or claims submitted shall be forfeited.
(p) Electrical utility petroleum-based equipment purchase procedure. When in response to a proper advertisement therefor, no bid firm as to price is submitted to an electric utility for power transformers, distribution transformers, power breakers, reclosers or other articles containing a petroleum product, the electric utility may accept the lowest and best bid therefor although the price is not firm.
(q) Fuel management system bidding procedure. Any governing authority or agency of the state shall, before contracting for the services and products of a fuel management or fuel access system, enter into negotiations with not fewer than two (2) sellers of fuel management or fuel access systems for competitive written bids to provide the services and products for the systems. In the event that the governing authority or agency cannot locate two (2) sellers of such systems or cannot obtain bids from two (2) sellers of such systems, it shall show proof that it made a diligent, good-faith effort to locate and negotiate with two (2) sellers of such systems. Such proof shall include, but not be limited to, publications of a request for proposals and letters soliciting negotiations and bids. For purposes of this paragraph (q), a fuel management or fuel access system is an automated system of acquiring fuel for vehicles as well as management reports detailing fuel use by vehicles and drivers, and the term "competitive written bid" shall have the meaning as defined in paragraph (b) of this section. Governing authorities and agencies shall be exempt from this process when contracting for the services and products of a fuel management or fuel access systems under the terms of a state contract established by the Office of Purchasing and Travel.
(r) Solid waste contract proposal procedure. Before entering into any contract for garbage collection or disposal, contract for solid waste collection or disposal or contract for sewage collection or disposal, which involves an expenditure of more than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00), a governing authority or agency shall issue publicly a request for proposals concerning the specifications for such services which shall be advertised for in the same manner as provided in this section for seeking bids for purchases which involve an expenditure of more than the amount provided in paragraph (c) of this section. Any request for proposals when issued shall contain terms and conditions relating to price, financial responsibility, technology, legal responsibilities and other relevant factors as are determined by the governing authority or agency to be appropriate for inclusion; all factors determined relevant by the governing authority or agency or required by this paragraph (r) shall be duly included in the advertisement to elicit proposals. After responses to the request for proposals have been duly received, the governing authority or agency shall select the most qualified proposal or proposals on the basis of price, technology and other relevant factors and from such proposals, but not limited to the terms thereof, negotiate and enter contracts with one or more of the persons or firms submitting proposals. If the governing authority or agency deems none of the proposals to be qualified or otherwise acceptable, the request for proposals process may be reinitiated. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this paragraph, where a county with at least thirty-five thousand (35,000) nor more than forty thousand (40,000) population, according to the 1990 federal decennial census, owns or operates a solid waste landfill, the governing authorities of any other county or municipality may contract with the governing authorities of the county owning or operating the landfill, pursuant to a resolution duly adopted and spread upon the minutes of each governing authority involved, for garbage or solid waste collection or disposal services through contract negotiations.
(s) Minority set-aside authorization. Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, any agency or governing authority, by order placed on its minutes, may, in its discretion, set aside not more than twenty percent (20%) of its anticipated annual expenditures for the purchase of commodities from minority businesses; however, all such set-aside purchases shall comply with all purchasing regulations promulgated by the Department of Finance and Administration and shall be subject to bid requirements under this section. Set-aside purchases for which competitive bids are required shall be made from the lowest and best minority business bidder. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term "minority business" means a business which is owned by a majority of persons who are United States citizens or permanent resident aliens (as defined by the Immigration and Naturalization Service) of the United States, and who are Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American, according to the following definitions:
(i) "Asian" means persons having origins in any of the original people of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.
(ii) "Black" means persons having origins in any black racial group of Africa.
(iii) "Hispanic" means persons of Spanish or Portuguese culture with origins in Mexico, South or Central America, or the Caribbean Islands, regardless of race.
(iv) "Native American" means persons having origins in any of the original people of North America, including American Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts.
(t) Construction punch list restriction. The architect, engineer or other representative designated by the agency or governing authority that is contracting for public construction or renovation may prepare and submit to the contractor only one (1) preliminary punch list of items that do not meet the contract requirements at the time of substantial completion and one (1) final list immediately before final completion and final payment.
(u) Purchase authorization clarification. Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing any purchase not authorized by law.
SECTION 3. Section 31-11-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-11-3. (1) The Department of Finance and Administration, for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this chapter, in addition to all other rights and powers granted by law, shall have full power and authority to employ and compensate architects or other employees necessary for the purpose of making inspections, preparing plans and specifications, supervising the erection of any buildings, and making any repairs or additions as may be determined by the Department of Finance and Administration to be necessary, pursuant to the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board. The department shall have entire control and supervision of, and determine what, if any, buildings, additions, repairs or improvements are to be made under the provisions of this chapter, subject to the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board.
(2) The department shall have full power to erect buildings, make repairs, additions or improvements, and buy materials, supplies and equipment for any of the institutions or departments of the state subject to the approval of the Public Procurement Review Board. In addition to other powers conferred, the department shall have full power and authority as directed by the Legislature, or when funds have been appropriated for its use for these purposes, to:
(a) Build a state office building;
(b) Build suitable plants or buildings for the use and housing of any state schools or institutions, including the building of plants or buildings for new state schools or institutions, as provided for by the Legislature;
(c) Provide state aid for the construction of school buildings;
(d) Promote and develop the training of returned veterans of the United States in all sorts of educational and vocational learning to be supplied by the proper educational institution of the State of Mississippi, and in so doing allocate monies appropriated to it for these purposes to the Governor for use by him in setting up, maintaining and operating an office and employing a state director of on-the-job training for veterans and the personnel necessary in carrying out Public Law No. 346 of the United States;
(e) Build and equip a hospital and administration building at the Mississippi State Penitentiary;
(f) Build and equip additional buildings and wards at the Boswell Retardation Center;
(g) Construct a sewage disposal and treatment plant at the state insane hospital, and in so doing acquire additional land as may be necessary, and to exercise the right of eminent domain in the acquisition of this land;
(h) Build and equip the Mississippi central market and purchase or acquire by eminent domain, if necessary, any lands needed for this purpose;
(i) Build and equip suitable facilities for a training and employing center for the blind;
(j) Build and equip a gymnasium at Columbia Training School;
(k) Approve or disapprove the expenditure of any money appropriated by the Legislature when authorized by the bill making the appropriation;
(l) Expend monies appropriated to it in paying the state's part of the cost of any street paving;
(m) Sell and convey state lands when authorized by the Legislature, cause said lands to be properly surveyed and platted, execute all deeds or other legal instruments, and do any and all other things required to effectively carry out the purpose and intent of the Legislature. Any transaction which involves state lands under the provisions of this paragraph shall be done in a manner consistent with the provisions of Section 29-1-1;
(n) Collect and receive from educational institutions of the State of Mississippi monies required to be paid by these institutions to the state in carrying out any veterans' educational programs;
(o) Purchase lands for building sites, or as additions to building sites, for the erection of buildings and other facilities which the department is authorized to erect, and demolish and dispose of old buildings, when necessary for the proper construction of new buildings. Any transaction which involves state lands under the provisions of this paragraph shall be done in a manner consistent with the provisions of Section 29-1-1;
(p) Obtain business property insurance with a deductible of not less than One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) on state-owned buildings under the management and control of the department; and
(q) In consultation with and approval by the Chairmen of the Public Property Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives, enter into contracts for the purpose of providing parking spaces for state employees who work in the Woolfolk Building, the Carroll Gartin Justice Building or the Walter Sillers Office Building. The provisions of this paragraph (q) shall stand repealed on July 1, 2006.
(3) The department shall survey state-owned and state-utilized buildings to establish an estimate of the costs of architectural alterations, pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 USCS, Section 12111 et seq. The department shall establish priorities for making the identified architectural alterations and shall make known to the Legislative Budget Office and to the Legislature the required cost to effectuate such alterations. To meet the requirements of this section, the department shall use standards of accessibility that are at least as stringent as any applicable federal requirements and may consider:
(a) Federal minimum guidelines and requirements issued by the United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board and standards issued by other federal agencies;
(b) The criteria contained in the American Standard Specifications for Making Buildings Accessible and Usable by the Physically Handicapped and any amendments thereto as approved by the American Standards Association, Incorporated (ANSI Standards);
(c) Design manuals;
(d) Applicable federal guidelines;
(e) Current literature in the field;
(f) Applicable safety standards; and
(g) Any applicable environmental impact statements.
(4) The department shall observe the provisions of Section 31-5-23, in letting contracts and shall use Mississippi products, including paint, varnish and lacquer which contain as vehicles tung oil and either ester gum or modified resin (with rosin as the principal base of constituents), and turpentine shall be used as a solvent or thinner, where these products are available at a cost not to exceed the cost of products grown, produced, prepared, made or manufactured outside of the State of Mississippi.
(5) The department shall have authority to accept grants, loans or donations from the United States government or from any other sources for the purpose of matching funds in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
(6) The department shall build a wheelchair ramp at the War Memorial Building which complies with all applicable federal laws, regulations and specifications regarding wheelchair ramps.
(7) The department shall review and preapprove all architectural or engineering service contracts entered into by any state agency, institution, commission, board or authority regardless of the source of funding used to defray the costs of the construction or renovation project for which services are to be obtained. The provisions of this subsection (7) shall not apply to any architectural or engineering contract paid for by self-generated funds of any of the state institutions of higher learning, nor shall they apply to community college projects that are funded from local funds or other nonstate sources which are outside the Department of Finance and Administration's appropriations or as directed by the Legislature. The provisions of this subsection (7) shall not apply to any construction or design projects of the State Military Department that are funded from federal funds or other nonstate sources.
(8) The department shall have the authority to obtain annually from the state institutions of higher learning information on all building, construction and renovation projects including duties, responsibilities and costs of any architect or engineer hired by any such institutions.
(9) (a) As an alternative to other methods of awarding contracts as prescribed by law, the department may use the design-build method or the design-build bridging method of contracting for new capital construction projects to be used as a pilot program for the following projects:
(i) Projects for the Mississippi Development Authority pursuant to agreements between both governmental entities;
(ii) Any project with an estimated cost of not more than Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00), not to exceed two (2) projects per fiscal year; and
(iii) Any project which has an estimated cost of more than Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00), not to exceed one (1) project per fiscal year.
(b) As used in this subsection:
(i) "Design-build method of contracting" means a contract that combines the design and construction phases of a project into a single contract and the contractor is required to satisfactorily perform, at a minimum, both the design and construction of the project.
(ii) "Design-build bridging method of contracting" means a contract that requires design through the design development phase by a professional designer, after which a request for qualifications for design completion and construction is required for the completion of the project from a single contractor that combines the balance of design and construction phases of a project into a single contract. The contractor is required to satisfactorily perform, at a minimum, both the balance of design and construction of the project.
(c) The department shall establish detailed criteria for the selection of the successful design-build/design-build bridging contractor in each request for design-build/design-build bridging proposals. The request for qualifications evaluation of the selection committee is a public record and shall be maintained for a minimum of three (3) years after project completion.
(d) The department shall maintain detailed records on projects separate and apart from its regular record keeping. The department shall file a report to the Legislature evaluating the design-build/design-build bridging method of contracting by comparing it to the low-bid method of contracting. At a minimum, the report must include:
(i) The management goals and objectives for the design-build/design-build bridging system of management;
(ii) A complete description of the components of the design-build/design-build bridging management system, including a description of the system the department put into place on all projects managed under the system to insure that it has the complete information on building segment costs and to insure proper analysis of any proposal the department receives from a contractor;
(iii) The accountability systems the department established to monitor any design-build/design-build bridging project's compliance with specific goals and objectives for the project;
(iv) The outcome of any project or any interim report on an ongoing project let under a design-build/design-build bridging management system showing compliance with the goals, objectives, policies and procedures the department set for the project; and
(v) The method used by the department to select projects to be let under the design-build/design-build bridging system of management and all other systems, policies and procedures that the department considered as necessary components to a design-build/design-build bridging management system.
(e) All contracts let under the provisions of this subsection shall be subject to oversight and review by the State Auditor.
(f) As an alternative to the authority granted to the department in this subsection, the department may elect to use the method of contracting for construction projects set out in Section 31-7-13.1.
SECTION 4. Section 65-1-85, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
65-1-85. (1) All contracts by or on behalf of the commission for the purchase of materials, equipment and supplies shall be made in compliance with Section 31-7-1 et seq. All contracts by or on behalf of the commission for construction, reconstruction or other public work authorized to be done under the provisions of this chapter, except maintenance, shall be made by the executive director, subject to the approval of the commission, only upon competitive bids after due advertisement as follows, to wit:
(a) Advertisement for bids shall be in accordance with such rules and regulations, in addition to those herein provided, as may be adopted therefor by the commission, and the commission is authorized and empowered to make and promulgate such rules and regulations as it may deem proper, to provide and adopt standard specifications for road and bridge construction, and to amend such rules and regulations from time to time.
(b) The advertisement shall be inserted twice, being once a week for two (2) successive weeks in a newspaper published at the seat of government in Jackson, Mississippi, having a general circulation throughout the state, and no letting shall be less than fourteen (14) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the publication of the first notice of such letting, and notices of such letting may be placed in a metropolitan paper or national trade publication.
(c) Before advertising for such work, the executive director shall cause to be prepared and filed in thedepartment detailed plans and specifications covering the work proposed to be done and copies of the plans and specifications shall be subject to inspection by any citizen during all office hours and made available to all prospective bidders upon such reasonable terms and conditions as may be required by the commission. A fee shall be charged equal to the cost of producing a copy of any such plans and specifications.
(d) All such contracts shall be let to a responsible bidder with the lowest and best bid, and a record of all bids received for construction and reconstruction shall be preserved.
(e) Each bid for such a construction and reconstruction contract must be accompanied by a cashier's check, a certified check or bidders bond executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the State of Mississippi, in the principal amount of not less than five percent (5%) of the bid, guaranteeing that the bidder will give bond and enter into a contract for the faithful performance of the contract according to plans and specifications on file.
(f) Bonds shall be required of the successful bidder in an amount equal to the contract price. The contract price shall mean the entire cost of the particular contract let. In the event change orders are made after the execution of a contract which results in increasing the total contract price, additional bond in the amount of the increased cost may be required. The surety or sureties on such bonds shall be a surety company or surety companies authorized to do business in the State of Mississippi, all bonds to be payable to the State of Mississippi and to be conditioned for the prompt, faithful and efficient performance of the contract according to plans and specifications, and for the prompt payment of all persons furnishing labor, material, equipment and supplies therefor. Such bonds shall be subject to the additional obligation that the principal and surety or sureties executing the same shall be liable to the state in a civil action instituted by the state at the instance of the commission or any officer of the state authorized in such cases, for double any amount in money or property the state may lose or be overcharged or otherwise defrauded of by reason of any wrongful or criminal act, if any, of the contractor, his agent or employees.
(2) With respect to equipment used in the construction, reconstruction or other public work authorized to be done under the provisions of this chapter: the word "equipment," in addition to all equipment incorporated into or fully consumed in connection with such project, shall include the reasonable value of the use of all equipment of every kind and character and all accessories and attachments thereto which are reasonably necessary to be used and which are used in carrying out the performance of the contract, and the reasonable value of the use thereof, during the period of time the same are used in carrying out the performance of the contract, shall be the amount as agreed upon by the persons furnishing the equipment and those using the same to be paid therefor, which amount, however, shall not be in excess of the maximum current rates and charges allowable for leasing or renting as specified in Section 65-7-95; the word "labor" shall include all work performed in repairing equipment used in carrying out the performance of the contract, which repair labor is reasonably necessary to the efficient operation of said equipment; and the words "materials" and "supplies" shall include all repair parts installed in or on equipment used in carrying out the performance of the contract, which repair parts are reasonably necessary to the efficient operation of said equipment.
(3) The executive director, subject to the approval of the commission, shall have the right to reject any and all bids, whether such right is reserved in the notice or not.
(4) The commission may require the pre-qualification of any and all bidders and the failure to comply with pre-qualification requirements may be the basis for the rejection of any bid by the commission. The commission may require the pre-qualification of any and all subcontractors before they are approved to participate in any contract awarded under this section.
(5) The commission may adopt rules and regulations for the termination of any previously awarded contract which is not timely proceeding toward completion. The failure of a contractor to comply with such rules and regulations shall be a lawful basis for the commission to terminate the contract with such contractor. In the event of a termination under such rules and regulations, the contractor shall not be entitled to any payment, benefit or damages beyond the cost of the work actually completed.
(6) Any contract for construction or paving of any highway may be entered into for any cost which does not exceed the amount of funds that may be made available therefor through bond issues or from other sources of revenue, and the letting of contracts for such construction or paving shall not necessarily be delayed until the funds are actually on hand, provided authorization for the issuance of necessary bonds has been granted by law to supplement other anticipated revenue, or when the department certifies to the Department of Finance and Administration and the Legislative Budget Office that projected receipts of funds by the department will be sufficient to pay such contracts as they become due and the Department of Finance and Administration determines that the projections are reasonable and receipts will be sufficient to pay the contracts as they become due. The Department of Finance and Administration shall spread such determination on its minutes prior to the letting of any contracts based on projected receipts. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the issuance of bonds, which have been authorized, at any time in the discretion of the State Bond Commission, nor to prevent investment of surplus funds in United States government bonds or State of Mississippi bonds as presently authorized by Section 12, Chapter 312, Laws of 1956.
(7) All other contracts for work to be done under the provisions of this chapter and for the purchase of materials, equipment and supplies to be used as provided for in this chapter shall be made in compliance with Section 31-7-1 et seq.
(8) The commission shall not empower or authorize the executive director, or any one or more of its members, or any engineer or other person to let or make contracts for the construction or repair of public roads, or building bridges, or for the purchase of material, equipment or supplies contrary to the provisions of this chapter as set forth in this section, except in cases of flood or other cases of emergency where the public interest requires that the work be done or the materials, equipment or supplies be purchased without the delay incident to advertising for competitive bids. Such emergency contracts may be made without advertisement under such rules and regulations as the commission may prescribe.
(9) The executive director, subject to the approval of the commission, is authorized to negotiate and make agreements with communities and/or civic organizations for landscaping, beautification and maintenance of highway rights-of-way; however, nothing in this subsection shall be construed as authorization for the executive director or commission to participate in such a project to an extent greater than the average cost for maintenance of shoulders, backslopes and median areas with respect thereto.
(10) The executive director may negotiate and enter into contracts with private parties for the mowing of grass and trimming of vegetation on the rights-of-way of state highways whenever such practice is possible and cost effective.
(11) (a) As an alternative to the method of awarding contracts as otherwise provided in this section, the commission may use the design-build method of contracting for the following:
(i) Projects for the Mississippi Development Authority pursuant to agreements between both governmental entities;
(ii) Any project with an estimated cost of not more than Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00), not to exceed two (2) projects per fiscal year; and
(iii) Any project which has an estimated cost of more than Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00), not to exceed one (1) project per fiscal year.
(b) As used in this subsection, the term "design-build" method of contracting means a contract that combines the design and construction phases of a project into a single contract and the contractor is required to satisfactorily perform, at a minimum, both the design and construction of the project.
(c) The commission shall establish detailed criteria for the selection of the successful design-build contractor in each request for design-build proposals. The evaluation of the selection committee is a public record and shall be maintained for a minimum of ten (10) years after project completion.
(d) The commission shall maintain detailed records on projects separate and apart from its regular record keeping. The commission shall file a report to the Legislature evaluating the design-build method of contracting by comparing it to the low-bid method of contracting. At a minimum, the report must include:
(i) The management goals and objectives for the design-build system of management;
(ii) A complete description of the components of the design-build management system, including a description of the system the department put into place on all projects managed under the system to insure that it has the complete information on highway segment costs and to insure proper analysis of any proposal the commission receives from a highway contractor;
(iii) The accountability systems the Transportation Department established to monitor any design-build project's compliance with specific goals and objectives for the project;
(iv) The outcome of any project or any interim report on an ongoing project let under a design-build management system showing compliance with the goals, objectives, policies and procedures the department set for the project; and
(v) The method used by the department to select projects to be let under the design-build system of management and all other systems, policies and procedures that the department considered as necessary components to a design-build management system.
(e) All contracts let under the provisions of this subsection shall be subject to oversight and review by the State Auditor. The State Auditor shall file a report with the Legislature on or before January 1 of each year detailing his findings with regard to any contract let or project performed in violation of the provisions of this subsection. The actual and necessary expenses incurred by the State Auditor in complying with this paragraph (e) shall be paid for and reimbursed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation out of funds made available for the contract or contracts let and project or projects performed.
(f) As an alternative to the authority granted to the commission in this subsection, the commission may elect to use the method of contracting for construction projects set out in Section 31-7-13.1.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.