New rules promulgated under Ohio’s Public Construction Reform (the “Reform”) have been released by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. The new rules include: (1) Rules for Prequalification of Prospective Bidders on Subcontracts; (2) Rules for Best Value Selection of Construction Manager and Design-Build firms; and (3) Rules for the Form of Subcontracts. The Rules for Prequalification and Best Value become effective 2/02/12, and the Rules for the Form of Subcontracts became effective 12/26/11. The Joint Committee also released a new form of subcontract for public jobs in Ohio.
Among other requirements, the new Prequalification Rules: (1) place significant emphasis on a bidding subcontractors’ goals and history related to diversity and economic inclusion; and (2) permit a public authority to require a construction manager or design-build firm to employ additional criteria, in order to suit the unique needs of a project, including "knowledge of the local area and working relationships with local suppliers." As such, local subcontractors with strong supplier relationships, firm diversity goals and proven track records for economic inclusion should have an advantage when bidding public works in Ohio.
The new Prequalification Rules and other important information concerning the Reform may be found at http://ocr.ohio.gov/