Section 8: Construction

A. Introduction

Section §262.011 (e) of the Texas Local Government Code states that "The County Purchasing Agent shall supervise all purchases made on competitive bid..." Section §271.024 of the Texas Local Government Code states that " award a contract for the construction, repair, or renovation of a structure, road, highway, or other improvement or addition to real property on the basis of competitive bids, and if the contract requires the expenditure of more than $50,000... bidding on the contract must be accomplished in the manner provided by this subchapter."

Construction procurements use the IFB format and process, described in Section 6 of this Manual. There is however, more emphasis on the following items:

  • Bonding Requirements
  • Safety Records
  • Prevailing Wage Labor Rates

B. Process

The Process followed for construction IFBs is similar to other IFBs with some notable exceptions that are discussed below.

1. Preparation of Documents

The Department will prepare the specification that will be reviewed and Purchasing will provide comments for incorporation into the final documents. Because construction is more complicated, the Department prepares an entire description of the proposed project that includes items such as specifications, drawings, surveys, etc. in a document called a Project Manual.

Once the Commissioners Court has approved the Authority to Advertise, the Department contacts the Purchasing Department to obtain an IFB number. The IFB number is added to the project manual by the user Department.

The Department will work with Purchasing to coordinate the issue date, pre-bid conference date and opening date.

2. Review of Documents and Payment of Deposit

The Purchasing Department releases the advertisement to the newspaper and posts it to the Texas e-Purchasing Group (TEG); however, the Infrastructure Services Department releases the bid to prospective bidders and informational agencies.

Normally, copies of the IFB are posted to TEG and are available at the Purchasing Department. However, because there are plans and drawings associated with construction and the project manual is an extensive document, these items are maintained for viewing at the Infrastructure Services Department Construction Manager’s offices and at the SMWBE Program Office. Contact information identifying the location for review is published in the advertisement.

Bidders are also required to post a $150 refundable deposit to obtain a set of bid documents. The deposit is refunded if the plans are returned within 10 days of bid opening.

3. Advertisement

According to Local Government Code §271.025, the County must advertise for bids and the advertisement must include a notice that:

  • describes the work;
  • states the location at which the bidding documents, plans, specifications, or other data may be examined by all bidders; and
  • states the time and place for submitting bids and the time and place that bids will be opened.

The advertisement must be published as required by law. If no specific legal requirement for publication exists, the advertisement must be published at least twice in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county or counties in which the work is to be performed. The second publication must be on or before the 10th day before the first date bids may be submitted.

4. Award

The Purchasing Agent will present the recommendation to the Commissioners Court. Once the award is approved, the Department (rather than Purchasing) coordinates preparation of award documents.

C. Procurement of Architect / Engineering / Land Surveying Services (Request for Qualifications)

The Professional Services Procurement Act requires that architect, engineering and land surveying services be procured using a two-step process. According to the Act, the entity (County) shall:

  • first select the most highly qualified provider of those services on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications; and
  • then attempt to negotiate with that provider a contract at a fair and reasonable price.

If a satisfactory contract cannot be negotiated with the most highly qualified provider of architectural, engineering, or land surveying services, the entity shall:

  • formally end negotiations with that provider;
  • select the next most highly qualified provider; and
  • attempt to negotiate a contract with that provider at a fair and reasonable price.

The entity shall continue the process to select and negotiate with providers until a contract is entered into.

The Infrastructure Services Department develops the Request For Qualifications (RFQ). The RFQ contains a cover sheet that summarizes the project for which the RFQ is sought and provides the location where the RFQ response is to be sent and its due date. The RFQ document generally contains the following sections:

  • General Information outlining the purpose of the RFQ, identifying the issuing office, describing the problem and defining the County’s expectations for the selected service provider.
  • Submittal of Statement of Requirements that identifies the conditions for submittal of a statement of qualifications (SOQ) including the number of copies required, date required and format, provisions related to preparation of the SOQ, date and time of pre-proposal conference, how addenda will be issued, format requirements and process to be followed in accepting the SOQ.
  • Qualifications providing a detailed description of the types of tasks that the selected vendor is expected to perform and the requisite qualifications to perform the tasks.
  • Timeline for procurement with anticipated procurement milestone and project start dates.
  • Information Required from Service Provider outlining the specific format and content to be used in submitting the SOQ. This section also includes a requirement for a certification from the respondent stating that they have read and understood the RFQ and that the information provided is accurate.
  • Selection Criteria that defines the criteria that will be used to evaluate the SOQ. Cost and the use of SMWBE participation cannot be used as selection criteria.
Respondents submit their SOQs to the Infrastructure Services Department where they are evaluated. The two-step process required by statute is followed. Infrastructure Services will prepare the agenda request for Commissioners Court approval to award the contract. Once the contract is awarded, the Infrastructure Services Department contacts the Purchasing Department to obtain a contract number to generate purchase orders and facilitate payment throughout the contract.

Important: It should be noted that while the County encourages the participation of SMWBE, it cannot be included in the selection criteria.

D. Alternative Delivery Methods for Construction Projects

In accordance with Texas Local Government Code §271.117(a); Contracts for Facilities: Construction Manager-Agent. A governmental entity may use the construction manager-agent method for the construction, rehabilitation, alteration, or repair of a facility. §271.117(b); a governmental entity using the construction manager-agent method may, under the contract between the governmental entity and the construction manager-agent, require the construction manager-agent to provide administrative personnel, equipment necessary to perform duties under this section, and on-site management and other services specified in the contract. A construction manager-agent represents the governmental entity in a fiduciary capacity.

In accordance with Texas Local Government Code §271.118; Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) methods may be used. The governmental entity shall select or designate an engineer or architect who shall prepare the construction documents for the project and who has full responsibility for complying with Chapter 1001 or 1051, Occupations Code, as applicable. §271.118(e); the governmental entity shall select the construction manager-at-risk in either a one-step or two-step process. For full detailed information, see:

In accordance with Texas Local Government Code §271.119; Design-Build Contracts for Facilities, a governmental entity may use the design-build method for the construction, rehabilitation, alteration, or repair of a facility. §271.119(c), the governmental entity shall prepare a request for qualifications that includes general information on the project site, project scope, budget, special systems, selection criteria, and other information that may assist potential design-build firms in submitting proposals for the project. §271.119(d), the governmental entity shall evaluate statements of qualifications and select a design-build firm in two phases: (1) the governmental entity shall prepare a RFQ and evaluate each offeror’s experience, technical competence, and capability to perform, the past performance of the submitted by the team or firm in response to the RFQ, except that cost-related or price-related evaluation factors are not permitted. (2) the governmental entity shall evaluate the information submitted by the offerors on the basis of the selection criteria stated in the RFQ and the results of an interview. For additional information, see:

E. Wage Rate Determination

Wage determination for construction projects shall be verified in accordance with the Davis Bacon Act at the following link:

The construction wage rates are determined by job project and title.