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Design & Construction


Frequently Asked Questions about Contractor Pre-Qualification

The contractor pre-qualification program is designed to improve the quality of building construction for State of Kansas buildings. All contractors wishing to bid as prime contractor have to become pre-qualified. This process is the same for contractors who have been working for the state of Kansas for years and for those contractors new to state work.

Who needs to apply?

Any company that will bid as a prime contractor should submit their Statement of Qualifications (SOQ). This includes, but is not limited to, general contractors, mechanical and electrical contractors, roofing contractors, abatement contractors, and paving contractors. In other words, if you are usually a subcontractor, but occasionally want to bid as the prime, you will need to be pre-qualified. [Back to Top]

I have been working for the State of Kansas for years, am I automatically pre-qualified?

No. All contractors, regardless of the quantity of work they have performed for the State of Kansas will have to apply. The program was initiated on April 15, 2004. Any project bid and awarded after that date requires contractors to be pre-qualified.  [Back to Top]

I am pre-qualified to work for the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT); does that make me pre-qualified for building construction?

Due to the nature of work completed for KDOT (i.e. roads, bridges, embankments etc), we have a different process. However, if you are pre-qualified to do work for KDOT, please include your approval letter from KDOT. [Back to Top]

Is this an annual application?

No. You reapply every three years. You will be sent a letter of notification via e-mail for renewal about three months in advance of the date your application will expire. You will be required to resubmit the entire package of information. If the renewal date passes and we have not received updated information, your firm will be removed from the list of pre-qualified contractors. You may resubmit any time after that date. [Back to Top]

What do I need to submit?

The applciation form is located http://da.ks.gov/fp/contractor/default.htm and must be filled out electronically. Please fill out completely and e-mail to barb.schilling@da.ks.gov. No other attachments should be sent.

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What is the most frequent mistake in completing the Statement of Qualification?

Not including the information about current and past projects and information about personnel (see page two of he application form. [Back to Top]

How long will it take to get pre-qualified after a contractor sends a Statement of Qualification Application?

A contractor should allow 1 to 2 weeks for the processing of their submissions. Once the application is logged-in it is reviewed and evaluations on file for your company are analyzed. If information is missing in your application, or if we determine we need additional information you will be notified in writing via e-mail to supply the missing information. After all information is recieved, your status is determined and you will be notified in writing via e-mail of your status. [Back to Top]

How do I get a list of pre-qualified contractors?

An official list of can be found at http://www.da.ks.gov/fp/contractor/prequalified.asp. [Back to Top]

With this new procedure, how will the bidding process work?

The bidding process will remain as a low bidder award, based on bids from the contractors that are pre-qualified. If a non pre-qualified contractor submits a bid that bid will not be opened. If a non pre-qualified contractor submits a bid and it is inadvertently opened, that bid will be subsequently thrown out and will not appear on the official bid tab. If there is some confusion to the bidders status, we will error on the side of caution and not open the bid. If we later determine that a bidder was pre-qualified at the time of bidding, his bid will be opened and recorded.

Unopened bids will be returned to the contractor.  [Back to Top]

What is the process if I submit an application and it is not processed and approved prior to a bid date? Can I submit a bid?

No.  The application form has a space where the applicant may list the project, including the bid date, they are interested in bidding. If the application is submitted at least (2) two weeks prior to the bid date and if the applicant identifies his desire to bid on a particular proejct, OFPM will make every attempt to approve the applicant prior to the bid date of the project listed.   [Back to Top]

What determines if a contractor gets qualified?

After a contractor submits a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ), additional references if requested, and any additional information requested, these items are reaviewed along with evaluations completed for state projects (if any) on file at OFPM for the past three years to determine a contractor’s qualification status. [Back to Top]

Who completes contractor evaluations?

Any or all of the following persons evaluates contractors at the end of each construction project: architect/engineer, agency representative, OFPM project manager and OFPM inspectors. Only those persons having direct knowledge of the work shall complete these evaluations. A copy of the contractor evaluation form used by the Office of Facilities and Procurement Management can be found at the following website link: http://www.da.ks.gov/fp/files/contractor_eval.doc   [Back to Top]

How are evaluations processed?

Evaluation scores for each question are logged into a database. Each question is ranked with a Priority ranking. This ranking is assiciated with a multiplier reflecting the importance of that question, that results in a new scoe for each question. These new scores are added together and averaged based upon the number of questions rated for that evaluation. This determines your "average" for each evaluation. We then average all evaluation scores for the preceeding three years to get your over all score. [Back to Top]

What happens if a contractor doesn’t meet the minimum requirements?

Once a contractor’s average score falls below the 2.82 level they are subject to the following procedure. [Back to Top]

The following is the sequence of events that lead to a contractor’s debarment for three 3) years.

  1. 2.82 is the minimum competence level for a contractor to qualify. If all 17 questions are answered with a 2.0 (C), the average score is equal to 2.82.
  2. If the contractor's overall average falls below the 2.82 points, the contractor will be put on probation.
  3. During probation, the contractor may bid state projects but will only be awarded one project. The contractor must complete that project and must receive evaluations for that project.
  4. If the contractor’s average evaluation score for that project is above 2.82 he will be taken off probation and is pre-qualified to bid State of Kansas work without restrictions.
  5. If a contractor’s average score for that project is below 2.82-points the contractor will be disqualified from bidding on state work for a period of 6 months. After the 6-month period is completed the contractor is again on probation for a second time and will follow the requirements noted above.
  6. If a contractor's average score for the second probation project is below the average, he is then disqualified to bid for a period of 3 years.
  7. At the end of that three-year debarment the contractor must resubmit his Statement of Qualifications and provide references as requested. He will begin the next period on probation. [Back to Top]

Is there any process to plead my case in order not to be disqualified?

Within 30 days after the receipt of an evaluation or letter of determination the contractor may request a meeting to discuss his evaluation(s) and/or overall pre-qualification status. This notice must be sent in writing to the address below, and must include the specific items to be discussed (i.e. specific evaluations identified or the overall status of the contractor’s ability to bid).

Deputy Director
Design, Construction & Compliance
Office of Facilities & Procurement Management
800 SW Jackson, Suite 700
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1220

The Deputy Director of Design, Construction & Compliance ereviews information available and within 30 days of his receipt of the request, holds a meeting with contractor, if he deems it necessary. Additional procedures for the hearing will be conveyed once a hearing date is determined. [Back to Top]

Why is the State of Kansas pre-qualifying contractors?

The state is pre-qualifying Contractors to improve the quality of construction in the State of Kansas. The process is also used to provide feedback to the contractor defining areas of weakness allowing the contractor to perform better on subsequent projects. [Back to Top]

How was the procedure for pre-qualification set up?

In 2001 a taskforce was set up to address what was determined to be deficiencies in construction for State of Kansas building construction projects. The taskforce consisted of representatives from the AGC, AIA, Kansas Consulting Engineers, Kansas Builders Association, the State Building Advisory Commission, a general contractor, a subcontractor, various state agencies and the Office of Facilities & Property Management.

The taskforce contacted Legislative Research to determine if there was an existing statute that would allow us to pre-qualify bidders.  They determined that K.S.A, 75-3741 had the language to "define" responsible Bidder"

The taskforce considered purchasing a packaged evaluation program. After reviewing programs on the market it was determined that they were too complicated and too expensive to justify their purchase and use. At that time the current process was established.[Back to Top]