New York State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying- Board Meeting Summary 6-26-17

A New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) representative attended the New York State Board for Engineering, Land Surveying, and Geology board meeting on June 26, 2017. The following is a summary of the meeting. (videoconference New York – Albany – Rochester)

A quorum was present.

Minutes from March 10, 2017 approved without amendment.

Committee Reports

Legislation:Qualifications Based Selection

A 5750/S 5600 (Benedetto/DeFrancisco) passed both houses of the legislature.  The bill purports to authorize public authorities and public benefit corporations to negotiate with professional firms providing architectural or engineering services in order from the most qualified to the least qualified with regard to the provision of services to the authority or corporation.  An earlier version of the bill would have required the use of QBS by both public authorities and public benefit corporations in a manner identical to present law which requires the use of QBS by state agencies.  (NYSSPE supported the earlier version of the bill.)

A 7768/S 5903 (Fahy/Valesky) passed both houses of the legislature.  The bill adds geological services to the current list of design professional services set forth in State Finance Law section 136a which are required to be procured utilizing the QBS procurement methodology.  Section 136a governs procurements by NYS agencies.

Land Surveying Legislation

A 7969B/ S 6103C (Hyndman/LaValle) has been introduced in both houses.  The legislation will require at minimum an Associates Degree to secure a professional land surveying license.  The bill also eases the path for a professional engineer to secure a land surveying license.

Design Professional Corporation – Liberalization of Ownership

A 3460A/S 3771A (Lupardo/Valesky) has been introduced at the behest of ACEC.  The bill permits a substantially greater share of a design professional corporation to be owned by an ESOP provided at least 75% ESOP’s Board of Trustees and Management Committee members are licensed design professionals.  (Current law restricts the ESOP to a maximum 24.99% ownership interest.)   Some professional engineering voices have expressed reservations regarding a liberalization of the ownership rules and have argued that the legislation would permit design services to be “franchised” to non-licensees.

Design Build

It was reiterated that the April Budget legislation kept in place the existing authority for five state agencies (i.e. NYS Thruway Authority, NYS Department of Transportation   Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Bridge Authority) to employ design build in a manner consistent with current law for two additional years, although the threshold for new projects was increased from $1.2 million to $10 million dollars.  The legislation also authorized design build for eight specifically named projects (i.e. Frontier Town, Life Sciences Laboratory, Gore Transformative Projects, Belleayre Transformative Projects, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, NYS Fair, and State Police Forensic Laboratory.)

Other legislative proposals to permit design build in NYC failed to pass [see e.g., A 8134/S 6427 (Bennedetto/Lanza) and A 8239A/S 5548B (Bennedetto/Golden)].

Indoor Air Quality Testing

A 926/S 6427 (Lupardo/Avella) under specified circumstances requires owners to undertake air quality inspections with respect to state owned or leased office facilities.  The legislation requires owners to provide said inspections but fails to ensure that such inspections are undertaken by professional engineers when otherwise required by law.  The bill did not pass in either house.

Land Surveying Committee

It was reported that the committee met on May 19, 2017 and addressed matters relevant to the upcoming October LS exam. They also submitted recommendations to the Department for  new LS FAQS for the website.  It was further noted that LS licensure applications are being  converted to an on line methodology.

Profession Engineering Committee

Examinations in engineering disciplines are in the process of converting to on-line process.  The first computer based testing (chemical engineering) is on schedule to be rolled out in January 2018. The conversion process for all exams is anticipated to occur over a six year period.

Geology Committee

To date, 252 licenses have been issued in New York pursuant to the geology licensure law with the vast majority of licensees having satisfied the grandfather provision of the statute.  A number of applicants have satisfied the requirements for licensure effective 11/20/17 including ASBOG educational, examination and experience requirements.

It was reported that the committee has a favorable view of the recent ASBOG testing in the 31 states currently employing the exam and eagerly looks forward to New York’s first examination in October 2017.

(Next Board meeting tentatively scheduled for Monday, September 11, 2017)

Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.







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