REVISED: Memorandum In Opposition to New York City Design Build Authorization Bill

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Please note the following memorandum replaces the memorandum previously published here.


            S8111 (Lanza) A10709 (Benedetto) New York City Design Build Authorization            

On behalf of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), in furtherance of public health, safety and welfare, we are writing in OPPOSITION to the above referenced bill. NYSSPE is a professional trade association representing the interests of its members and more generally the interests of all professional engineers (totaling more than 25,000 licensees in New York State) practicing in all disciplines (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geological, environmental, etc.) and practicing in all practice settings (private sector consulting, industry, government, and education.)

A 7590, in relevant part, would vest a number of New York City agencies with the authority to utilize a unique design build project delivery methodology for infrastructure public work projects. Design-build generally is a project delivery system wherein the design and construction of the project proceeds concurrently. This design-build process affords a faster construction timetable than the timetable required by the traditional design-bid-build delivery methodology. The latter entails the production of a set of plans and specifications, which are then offered for bid. (The traditional design-bid-build method construction is predicated upon detailed plans, specifications and performance criteria which clearly define the scope and components of the project before actual construction is commenced.) [Read more…]

Memorandum In Opposition to New York City Design Build Authorization Bill

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Please note that this memorandum has been replaced by this updated one.


S5887 (Lanza) A7590 (Benedetto) New York City Design Build Authorization                                       

S 5887, in relevant part, would vest a number of New York City agencies with the authority to utilize design build without State legislative oversight.  Specifically the bill authorizes the use of design build for virtually all projects including roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings and other public improvements.

Pursuit to current law construction in both the public and private sectors must utilize a design-bid-build construction methodology.  In New York, design build has only been authorized by virtue of project specific enabling legislation, or by virtue of 2011 legislation establishing a pilot project employing a limited number of entities on a trial basis respecting highway and bridge projects.  The 2011 pilot was extended last year and a report on the use of design build is awaiting delivery to the Legislature.  [Read more…]

NYSSPE February 2015 Position Statement on Design Build Budget Proposal

The following was written by Mark C. Kriss, Esq., The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) Legislative and Legal Counsel.

Private Sector

Design Build (an alternative project delivery methodology used in lieu of Design-Bid-Build) is permitted to be employed on private sector projects in New York State, provided that the scope of design services and the amount to be paid for such services is clearly set forth in a contract executed by the project owner, the contractor and the design professional. While many, particularly in the general contractor community, maintain that the use of a three-way contract is not required and that a general contractor can contract with a design professional on project owned by a third party, the NYS Education Department unequivocally maintains that this type of an arrangement runs afoul of the State Education Law and Rules governing the design professions. A design professional should consider the potential for professional disciplinary action (e.g. fee splitting and aiding and abetting the illegal practice of engineering) before participating in a Design Build project.

Public Sector

With regard to the public sector projects in 2011 legislation was enacted on a pilot basis to permit specially named state agencies to utilize Design Build. (See position statement below for specific governmental entities authorized to use design build.) NYSSPE along with others in the design professional community, as well as the State Education Department, voiced concern regarding the failure of the 2011 legislation to expressly include quality assurance safeguards in the legislation. The original statute expired in early December 2014 (with an exemption for ongoing projects) and new legislation has been proposed by Governor Cuomo as part of his executive budget. The Society has issued, and broadly disseminated, a position statement which renews our concerns regarding the 2015 Governor’s Budget Proposal which proposes some amendments to the pilot program. A copy of the NYSSPE’s position statement is set forth below. (For additional information please consult the NYSSPE website FAQ addressing Design Build.

New York State Society of Professional Engineers

(NYSSPE) – Position Statement 2015-16 Executive Budget Proposal – [Read more…]

New York State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying – Board Meeting SUMMARY – New York City – June 27, 2014

The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) representatives attended the New York State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying board meeting on June 27, 2014. The following is a summary of the meeting.

Licensure of Professional Geologists
S 3810D/A 4753D (Marcellino/Englebright) (passed both houses)

The Board engaged in a detailed discussion of the bill which set forth a licensing scheme which is similar to other design professions.  The Department worked with the bill sponsors and other interested parties including NYSSPE in formulation of a final draft.  (The Board expressed continued opposition to amendments proffered by land surveyors to permit land surveyors to practice geology since land surveyors (LS) lack requisite education, experience and examination to provide geological services.)

Mold Remediation
A 5117C/S3667D (Weisenberg / Savino) (passes both houses)

The bill will provide for credentialing of parties engaged in mold assessment and remediation.  The legislation exempts professional engineers from separate credentialing requirements and prohibits the practice of professional engineering by mold assessment and remediation contractors.

Continuing Education – Land Surveyors

[Read more…]