Section 18. Before issuing an RFQ pursuant to section 17, the awarding authority shall contract for the duration of the 2 phase selection process with a design professional to provide technical advice and professional expertise to the awarding authority; but, in retaining the services of a design professional the awarding authority may utilize the services of a design professional already in the employ of the awarding authority, or if the awarding authority does not already have in its employ the design professional, the awarding authority shall procure the services of a design professional pursuant to sections 38A1/2 to 38O, inclusive, of chapter 7.
After the awarding authority has retained a design professional, the awarding authority shall develop with the assistance of the design professional a scope of work statement that defines the public works project and provides prospective design build entities with sufficient information regarding the awarding authority's objectives and requirements. The scope of work statement shall include criteria and preliminary design, general budget parameters, and general schedule requirements to enable prospective design build entities to submit proposals in response to the RFP issued pursuant to section 19.
Once the awarding authority has developed a scope of work statement that adequately defines the awarding authority's objectives and requirements for the public works project, the awarding authority may develop and issue a draft RFP at the same time and in the same manner as issuing an RFQ pursuant to section 17. Design build entities receiving a draft RFP may submit written comments on the draft RFP to the awarding authority at the same time as submitting a response to the RFQ issued pursuant to section 4. The awarding authority may, at its sole discretion, incorporate written comments received from design build entities within the final RFP and may provide to design build entities prequalified to submit a proposal the final RFP pursuant to section 6.
The design professional retained to provide technical assistance and consulting services to the awarding authority shall not be eligible to participate in any way as a member of the design build entities competing for the award of the design build contract.