Consultant Contracts Services | Santa Clara Valley Water
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Consultant Contracts Services


The Consultant Contracts Services group facilitates and/or manages consulting contract sourcing efforts in support of all District operating units for consultant services in excess of $25,000. (Consulting services valued at $25,000 or less are procured by the District's purchasing group.)

The information presented here is designed to help interested firms understand how the District conducts business with consultants, including, but not limited to, those providing engineering, environmental, architectural, financial, auditing, management consulting, information services, and other professional and non-professional consulting services.

The district encourages and promotes the use of small and local businesses in the contracting and procurement of consulting services in accordance with the Board of Director’s governance policies and executive limitations that promote values which support equal opportunity, fairness, diversity, and reinvestment of District resources in its service and benefit to the community. As such, the District has established a small and a local business preference and outreach program.

Register With Us

If firms would like to receive emails announcing consulting opportunities with the District or register their business with the District in order to respond to future consulting solicitations, please visit the Contract Administration System web portal to create an account. 

The District conducts its consultant selection and contract award and administration process through the CAS web portal. While an account is not needed to view solicitations posted on the CAS web portal, an account is necessary before firms can electronically submit a response to a solicitation.

  • To set up an account, interested firms must select expertise codes for services which they believe their firm is qualified to provide.

  • Firms registered in CAS will receive system-generated emails notifying them of consulting opportunities based upon the expertise code(s) selected.

  • Consultant accounts are self-managed and consultants are responsible for updating their account to ensure that they continue to receive email notices.

Proposal Process

Proposals submitted in response to a request for proposals (RFP) or a request for qualifications (RFQ) are evaluated, based upon the criteria set forth in the RFP or RFQ.

Price may be included in the evaluation and award criteria for consultant services; except for consultant services that pertain to certain professions: including, but not limited to, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, environmental services, land surveying, or construction project management. These types of services are considered qualification-based services in which price (or costs) will not be used as part of the criteria for evaluation and/or basis for awarding contracts. See the Brooks Act (Public Law 92-582, 40 U.S.C. 541 et seq.)

For a qualification-based RFP or RFQ (RFx), selection shall be on the basis of demonstrated competence and on the professional qualifications necessary for the satisfactory performance of the required services. Price shall only be considered after RFx submittals are evaluated based on their qualifications/competence and firm(s) is selected for negotiations.

Proposals are typically evaluated by a Consultant Review Board (CRB) consisting of at least three (3) individuals. These may include subject matter experts from other publicly funded agencies that are selected by the project manager.

The steps associated with the consultant selection process are outlined in detail in each RFx package. The typical steps are:

  1. Firms submit proposals in accordance with RFx package instructions 
  2. All submitted proposals are evaluated by the Consultant Review Board (CRB) 
  3. Top-ranked firms from the written proposal evaluation are invited for an oral interview with the CRB 
  4. The top ranked firm is selected for negotiations

Related Links:

  1. State of California, Department of Industrial Relations Frequently Asked Questions on Public Works (PWC 100)

Contract Negotiation

The Consultant Review Board (CRB) will select and notify for contract negotiations the highest ranked firm as determined by the combined score received from the evaluation of the written proposal, oral interview, and Best and Final Offer (BAFO). Only the finalist(s) will be invited to participate in negotiations with the intent of awarding a contract at a fair and reasonable price.

In the event that mutually agreeable terms, including cost/price, cannot be reached within the time specified by the district, the district reserves the right to terminate negotiations and conduct contract negotiations with the next highest ranked firm without undertaking a new RFP or RFQ (RFx) process.

The district shall be the sole judge in determining the fairness and reasonableness of the proposed cost/price.

At the beginning of the negotiation process, all documents required for issuance of the notice-to-proceed must be submitted by the finalist.

Upon the conclusion of consulting contract negotiations, the contract shall be prepared by the district’s project manager and reviewed by district stakeholders, including but not limited to Consultant Contract Services, Legal Counsel, Finance, and Risk Management. The final contract is then executed by District’s Board of Directors (Board), or Chief Executive Officer, or designee, as authorized by the Board.

Contract Award

If and when it is necessary to amend a contract, it is always prudent and in the best interests of the district to do so well in advance of the anticipated change occurrence. Doing so protects the District and the contracting parties from potentially harmful risks. 

A contract amendment may be required if any of the following events occur: 

  • Change in any terms of the agreement
  • Change in funding of the agreement
  • Change in scope of services
  • Change in Subconsultant(s) 
  • Change in ownership, business name, or business organization structure prior to completion ozf the contract
  • Change to the contract period, i.e., to the begin date and/or the expiration date (in cases of possible extension or renewal requests)
  • Change to the Schedule of Services or Deliverables, especially, as it relates materially to performance and payment

Related Links: 

  1. State of California, Department of Industrial Relations Frequently Asked Questions on Public Works (PWC 100)

Connect with Us

HOTLINE: 408-630-2992
Email: [email protected]

Request prior bids and other public records: [email protected]