Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 8 of chapter 250 of the acts of 1957, as most recently amended by section 1 of chapter 75 of the acts of 1976, is hereby further amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following two sentences:- For the purpose of paying the necessary expenses and liabilities incurred under this act, the district may from time to time, within forty years after the passage of this act, borrow such sums as may be necessary, not exceeding, in the aggregate, ten million dollars, and may issue bonds or notes therefor, which shall bear on their face the words, Oxford-Rochdale Sewerage Loan, Act of 1957. Without in any way limiting the generality of the foregoing, the district is hereby authorized to expend for the design and construction, including equipment, of the addition of a tertiary wastewater treatment facility to the Oxford-Rochdale wastewater treatment facility and a sludge processing and disposal facility in conjunction therewith collectively referred to as the "Water Treatment Project".
SECTION 2. The provisions of sections thirty-eight A 1/2 to thirty-eight 0, inclusive, of chapter seven and the provisions of section forty-four A, section forty-four B, and sections forty-four D to forty-four I, inclusive of chapter one hundred and forty-nine of the General Laws shall not apply to contracts procured pursuant to this act.
SECTION 3. The district may, except for the design/build expert referred to in sections two and three hereof, contract with a single entity to perform design and construction services with respect to the Water Treatment Project. The entity may be either a contractor in a joint venture relationship with an engineer, a design-build firm, or any other entity acceptable to the district.
If the district contracts with a single entity to perform both design and construction services, the district shall follow the procedure set forth in sections two, three and four of this act.
SECTION 4. The district shall submit a request for proposals for design/build contracts with respect to the Water Treatment Project only to qualified offerors. To determine the qualified offerors, the district shall issue a request for qualifications. The request for qualifications shall include: the time and date for receipt of the statements of qualifications, the address of the office to which such statements of qualifications are to be delivered, and the maximum time for acceptance of statements of qualifications by the district; the scope of the design/build project, including the performance criteria for the Water Treatment Project; and all criteria relevant to the selection of qualified offerors for the Water Treatment Project. Each statement of qualifications shall describe the experience of each member of the design/build team with projects of the same or a similar nature, and shall provide such financial information, including bonding ability, as may be relevant to the qualifications of such design or build team for such project, and such other information as may be specifically requested in the request for qualifications. Public notice of the request for qualifications shall be published at least once, not less than fourteen days prior to the time specified in such notice for the receipt of statements of qualifications, in the central register published by the state secretary, and in such other newspapers and trade periodicals as are reasonable and customary for the advertisement of construction contracts.
The district shall contract with a qualified individual or firm for the preparation of the request for qualifications and the evaluation of the statements of qualifications pursuant to this section, and the preparation of the request for proposals and the evaluation of the proposals pursuant to section three of this act.
The design/build expert shall prepare its evaluation based solely on the criteria set forth in the request for qualifications, and shall select not more than six design/build teams for participation in the remaining phases hereinafter described. The design/build expert may interview all prospective offerors prior to designating the qualified offerors. The district shall, based upon the recommendations of the design/build expert, certify the qualified offerors and notify the qualified offerors of such certification.
SECTION 5. The district shall procure the Water Treatment Project as authorized by this act utilizing sealed competitive proposals. The district shall solicit proposals through a request for proposals. The design/build expert shall develop the request for proposals, which shall include: the time and date for receipt of proposals, the address of the office to which the proposals are to be delivered, and the maximum time for proposal acceptance by the district; the quality and performance criteria for the Water Treatment Project, including but not limited to daily volume capacity, required effluent characteristics, and site dimension and conditions; all evaluation criteria that will be utilized; and all contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement, provided that the contract may incorporate by reference a plan submitted by the selected offeror for designing and constructing the Water Treatment Project.
The request for proposals may incorporate documents by reference; provided, however, that the request for proposals specifies where qualified offerors may obtain such documents. The request for proposals may provide for the separate submission of price and, if it does so provide, shall indicate when and how qualified offerors shall submit the price. The request for proposals shall also specify that a bid bond in an amount equal to twenty percent of the proposed contract price shall accompany the proposal. The district shall make copies of the request for proposals available to all qualified offerors on an equal basis.
The district shall not open the proposals publicly, but shall open them in the presence of one or more witnesses at the time specified in the request for proposals. Notwithstanding the provisions of section seven of chapter four of the General Laws, until the completion of the evaluation, or until the time of acceptance specified in the request for proposals, whichever occurs earlier, the contents of the proposals shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed to competing offerors. At the opening of the proposals, the district shall prepare a register of proposals which shall include the name of each offeror and the number of modifications, if any, received. The register of proposals shall be open for public inspection. The district may open the price proposals at a later time, and may open the price proposals so as to avoid disclosure to the design/build expert evaluating the proposals on the basis of criteria other than price.
The design/build expert shall prepare its evaluations of the proposals based solely on the criteria set forth in the request for proposals. Such criteria shall include all standards by which acceptability will be determined as to quality, workmanship, results of inspections and tests, and suitability for a particular purpose, and shall also include all other performance measures that will be utilized. The evaluations shall specify in writing: for each evaluation criterion, a rating of each proposal as highly advantageous, advantageous, not advantageous, or unacceptable and the reasons for such rating; and a composite rating for each proposal, and the reasons for such composite rating.
The district shall unconditionally accept a proposal except as provided in this paragraph. An offeror may correct, modify or withdraw a proposal by written notice received in the office designated in the request for proposals prior to the time and date set for the opening of proposals. After such an opening, an offeror may not change the price or any other provisions of the proposal in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the district or fair competition. The district shall waive minor informalities or allow the offeror to correct them. If a mistake in the intended offer is clearly evident on the face of the document, the district shall correct the mistake to reflect the intended correct offer and so notify the offeror in writing, and the offeror may not withdraw the offer. The district may permit an offeror to withdraw an offer if a mistake is clearly evident on the face of the document but the intended correct offer is not similarly evident.
The district shall determine the most advantageous proposal from a qualified offeror, taking into consideration price and the evaluation criteria set forth in the request for proposals, and shall award the contract by written notice to the selected offeror within the time for acceptance specified in the request for proposals. The parties may extend the time for acceptance by mutual agreement.
If the district awards the contract to an offeror which did not submit the lowest price, the district shall explain the reasons for the award in writing, which writing shall be open for public inspection, specifying in reasonable detail the basis for determining that the quality of the Water Treatment Project under the contract will not exceed the district's requirements or that the anticipated performance of the selected offeror justifies the additional cost. Prior to execution of a contract pursuant to this section, the selected offeror shall furnish to the district a performance bond satisfactory to the district.
SECTION 6. After the district designates the qualified offeror selected for the contract, other qualified offerors which were not selected shall be entitled to have conferences with the district or the design/build expert, during which the district or such design/build expert shall describe the relative strengths and weaknesses of each qualified offeror's proposal. The district shall also make public a report of its findings and a summary of the process by which it arrived at its findings. The district shall also prepare and file with the clerk of the house and the clerk of the senate within sixty days after the end of each fiscal year of the district a report of the district's operations under the provisions of this act. In addition, the district shall maintain as part of its public records, for a period of no less than five years, available for inspection at any reasonable time by any person, all documentation submitted and received by it under the provisions of this act.