Architect-Engineer Services

Selection Methods for Federal-Aid Highway and Transit Projects Gao ID: RCED-86-167BR June 17, 1986

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the use of the qualifications-based method of selecting architect-engineer contractors for federal-aid highway and transit projects.

GAO found that: (1) support for the qualifications-based method is founded on the assumption that price competition extends the selection process and adversely affects design quality; (2) the conclusions of four studies GAO reviewed were not supported by related evidence, and the studies did not address apparent data comparability problems or gather sufficient information; (3) one study did not address the possibility that some transportation projects may be significantly larger and more complex, requiring more program development time and design and approval time; and (4) there was no evidence that undue delays in architect-engineering procurement processes resulted in increases to capital costs.

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