Architects and engineers seeking federal government contracts may be using a new standard qualifications form by the end of the year, pending evaluation of public comment.
The streamlined Standard Form (SF) 330 will replace existing forms SF 254 and SF 255 forms, which have been used for more than 25 years.
Several factors influenced the development of the new form, according to Thomas Williams of the General Services Administration's Public Building Service Office of Business Performance. Williams also is the chairman of the interagency working group that developed the form. The existing forms, which remained unchanged since their 1975 introduction, do not reflect current agency practices and information needs, require information that is redundant and of marginal value, do not reflect changes brought about by technological advances and were not suited for electronic usage. The new form will be accessible through the Internet. "There was industry and government consensus that two forms were not needed," Williams says.
The current SF 254 contains a general profile of submitting firms, and SF 255 contains project-specific information. SF 330 has two parts: Part I asks for project-specific information, Part II is a more generic version of SF 254.
The new form expands upon more pertinent information, says Williams. "It's more detailed, more project specific. It allows A/Es to list up to 10 projects that best exemplify their qualifications for a specific project. They can show the government how the project is relevant to the project for which they are applying."
The past experience of the team also is taken into consideration in the new form. The matrix in Part I asks the submitter to name key personnel. An organizational chart is mandatory to show responsibility for the project.
"There are many more kinds of facilities than there were 25 years ago, and also more disciplines," says Williams, who points out that the engineering category alone has more than 20 disciplines.
The form has been designed to discourage the submission of extraneous information. "Part I says, 'Provide any additional information requested by the agency,'" adds Williams. "It's a way of getting what we want and what we need." While the current forms have a horizontal format, SF 330 is designed in a vertical 81/2-by-11-in. format.
"The new form will allow us to do a better job of review," says Williams. "It will make for better use of time and make the A/E's job easier because the form is very clearly structured."