Department of General Services Liaison Committee

Dan Bailey, AIA of Penza Bailey Architects is the AIA Maryland representative to the Department of General Services (DGS) Liaison Committee. Dan regularly attends meetings representing the interests of architects in Maryland and, works with DGS on issues which affect the practice of architecture in Maryland. Here is the latest from the September DGS Liaison Committee meeting:

The DGS Liaison Committee met on September 12, 2019 to discuss various design service, procurement and legislative issues and matters that affect the Architectural and Engineering communities and the State of Maryland Department of General Services (DGS).  The following is a brief synopsis of those discussions:

  • In accordance with an MOU, the procurement, contracting, project management, and project review for all A/E projects under the responsibility of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services will shift to DGS as of October 1, 2019.  Current contracts shall remain intact, but the department personnel may change as a result of this shift.
  • DGS recently posted their revised “DGS Procedure Manual for Professional Services”, dated July 2019.  All projects must comply with this latest version of the manual.  In general, the procedures and requirements have been simplified and streamlined.
  • As we approach the 2020 General Assembly Session, AIA Maryland and ACEC will closely track introduced legislation and will respond accordingly in the best interest of our professions and membership.  Both AIA Maryland and ACEC anticipate legislation that will address:  1) the desired inclusion of duty to defend requirement in certain State contracts; 2) revision to onerous, uninsurable indemnification clauses in certain State contracts;  and 3) the revision to contracts including unlimited extents of discovery with regard to Certificates of Merit.
  • Other legislative efforts will focus on: 1) the development of clear implementation guidelines for the previously approved legislation addressing out-of-state firm procurement reciprocity; 2) the degradation of current procurement law under COMAR with respect to Qualification Based Selection.
  • Quality of Design Services:  DGS expressed concern that there needs to be more effective and efficient Construction Administration processes by all A/E firms, as well as, DGS project management.  Some of these concerns are as follows:  1) disconnects on system and material substitutions; 2) ability to hold Contractor to more robust CPM Scheduling requirements; 3) clearer and more broadly applied commissioning requirements; 4) provision of preventative maintenance procedures by DGS; 5) early submission, substantive requirements, and better follow through of coordinated shop drawings; 6) effective and substantive Division 1 and 2 specifications.  On all of these issues, both AIA Maryland and ACEC will work closely with DGS to obtain suggestions and recommendations from their membership, and will collaborate with DGS to create more effective processes.
  • Upcoming Projects RFP’s:  New Maryland Court of Appeals; Courtroom Addition for Hagerstown District Court; New Barracks in Hagerstown; Park and Museum extension for the Maryland Department of Planning; Security Enhancements to Roxbury Correctional Institution; State Park project enhancements, upgrades, and new facilities as a result of a doubling of capital project funding for the Department of Natural Resources (visitor centers, cabins, comfort stations, trails and site improvements, etc.)
  • RFP’s will be requiring greater key personnel qualifications for team consultants, especially with regard to consultant Project Managers and Project Engineers who will be directly involved in project work.

Feel free to reach out to AIA Maryland or Dan with your questions or comments on the above noted discussions.