Chris Serak, Prequalification Director, Ethics Officer, Indiana Department of Transportation (317) 234-2215
Thursday, November 8, 2018
The prequalification division is undergoing changes, all geared toward making the process of becoming prequalified simpler, more accessible, and eventually, more affordable. I apologize in advance for the length of this message, but it is important that you read it in full, as it includes information about several important changes to the contractor prequal process.
Revised Statement Form
First, we have obtained approval for a revised Statement of Contractor’s Experience and Financial Condition. The new form is attached, including revised instructions on page 5 and 6. Our objective was to make the application process simpler by reforming aspects of the document that most commonly create problems for contractors.
We eliminated the affidavits from the Organization sections, including for both the certified minutes and business entity type. Now applicants are only required to list the Company’s officers/members/partners and individuals authorized to sign on page 22, and where applicable, to identify the Company’s representative businesses and representative businesses authorized to sign for the Company on page 23. The revised pages are in the form of certified minutes, but do not require individual affidavits. With regard to business entity type, applicants are only required to list their business entity type on page 1. There is no separate business entity type affidavit.
Beyond the certificate of review and certificate of audit contained pages 8 and 9, which have not been changed, only one signature of the Company is required on the revised Statement (page 24). This signature both certifies the minutes contained on pages 22 and 23, and attests to the truthfulness of the information contained in the remaining Statement. The notary requirement has also been eliminated. The Statement must only be signed an individual who is duly authorized to sign for the Company, and in turn, designated as familiar with the Company’s books and records. This person should listed on page 22 as someone authorized to sign for the Company.
The new Statement can be used immediately. As introduced below, submittal of the Statement must be done electronically beginning January 1, 2019. The Statement is a fillable PDF and can be completed on your computer and uploaded to the ITAP application as outlined in the attached User Training Document.
New ITAP Application
In order to eliminate paper, and to enable a more efficient review process, we have launched the Contractor Prequalification Application (CPQ) in ITAP. Please enroll your firm with ITAP immediately, if you have not already done so. You must first enroll the firm, and then register each individual who will use the application. Instructions for enrollment and registration are contained on the attached User Training Document, and also linked to on page 5 of the revised Statement.
Once you have enrolled your business and individual users, you must request access to the Contractor Prequalification Application in ITAP. Instructions for requesting access to CPQ are provided in the attached User Training Document and outlined in the instructions on page 5 of the attached Statement.
After access to CPQ is approved, you can use the Multiple File Upload Tool (MUFT) to upload electronic copies of your firm’s new or renewal Statement, request for modification, and request for reconsideration. Instructions for using the MUFT are provided in the attached User Training Document and outlined in the instructions on page 5 of the attached Statement.
Beginning January 1, 2019, please use the MUFT in CPQ to submit all new and renewal statements, requests for modification, and requests for reconsideration. The prequalification division will work with you to make the submittal process as efficient as possible. Please contact myself or Jose with questions about using the CPQ. We very much appreciate your buy-in as we roll out an electronic submittal process.
Development of Full Online Application Module for Contractors
The MUFT in CPQ will serve as the interim mechanism for electronic submittal of documents as we develop a fully integrated online module for contractor prequalification. We will be providing more information regarding the electronic module, including online and in-person training, when we are closer to launch. Our goal is to have a beta version ready for testing by the start of 2020, and the full application module online by the end of the year. But if development goes as well as it has to date, we could launch by the spring of 2020.
Either way, the prequalification division will be working closely with ICI to ensure the module is the best it can be, accounting for the needs, concerns, and general input of the contractor community. You can always call or email a member of the prequal team to discuss this process and provide individual input.
Revised Prequalification Process for Over-height Vehicle Escorts
Here forward firms wishing only to serve as escorts for over-height vehicles traveling through Indiana, can obtain prequalification for the new Work Type 0213, Over-height Vehicle Escort. To obtain this work type a firm must only complete the general business information on page 1 of the Statement, and submit evidence that the firm has the required certifications. Firms that have Work Type E(a) may continue to serve as over-height vehicle escorts without obtaining the new Work Type 0213. See the attached Escort Prequalification Memo for complete information.
Roadside Maintenance Contracting
INDOT is now contracting for most roadside maintenance work. Currently, INDOT is planning to let around fifty (50) contracts for such work, worth approx. $20M. The average value per contract is between $200-500K. Please see the attached Roadside Maintenance Contracting Memo for more details, including the work types under which this work will be let, which include the new Work Type 0189, Litter and Debris Removal.
New Approach to Regulating Prequalification Status & Introduction to the Contractor Prequal Team
Lastly, as many of you have probably heard or experienced, the prequalification division is undertaking a more proactive approach to regulating contractor prequalification at the time of renewal and during the term of a certificate. The singular goal is to facilitate the best partnership possible between INDOT and the industry- NOT to eliminate partnerships. Punitive measures will continue to be a very last resort, but will be exercised where appropriate. Our first step will always be to open a dialogue, and to bring contractors together with INDOT construction personnel to discuss perceived performance issues. These meetings are a forum for discussion, never a firing squad. I can give you my personal assurance I will never allow a meeting to turn into the latter. That said, you can also rest assured I will not tolerate blame shifting and/or combative attitudes. I spent the last six (6) years as a trial attorney in private and public practice. In that role, my job was to facilitate reasonable compromise, and where that wasn’t possible, advocate vigorously for my client in the courtroom. I bring that same mentality to my role as Prequalification Director, with my first instinct always to seek common ground and to mediate a reasonable conclusion, with the best interest of both sides in the driver seat. 99 times out of 100, that best interest is a continued, but strengthened, partnership.
While I may sometimes be the voice for the team, it is the individual members that bring the expertise necessary to accomplish our mission. Our Prequalifications Engineer, Jose Murillo, is a licensed professional engineer, with extensive private practice experience as a designer. Jose has been in the field his whole career and vets all new and renewal applications, as well as all potential prequalification matters. Jose uses his expertise to ensure firms are awarded an appropriate prequalification status, and to identify problems on project sites as they arise. Greg Christoff is our Prequalification Auditor. He has vast experience as a comptroller for private construction firms. He uses that knowledge and experience in the industry to audit the financial information of firms to ensure the appropriate work capacity is awarded and maintained. Greg will be performing regular desk audits of firms during the term of a certificate to identify financial and affiliation issues, including the need to raise or lower a firm’s aggregate or work type rating. You may receive requests for information from Greg throughout the duration of your certificate. Aggie Wagoner is our Prequalification Specialist. She has extensive experience with INDOT and knows how things work bureaucratically. Aggie also manages the logistical aspects of the Prequalification Committee and helps build and track contractor matters. Aggie’s attention to detail and organization are critical to the division. We are currently looking for a new Prequalification Analyst, as our previous analyst, Fred Bartlett, recently retired.
Please feel free to reach out to Jose, Aggie, Greg, or myself to discuss the above, or anything related to prequal.
NEW Contractors Statement of Experience and Financial Condition (Fillable PDF).pdf
User Training Document for ITAP and CPQ.pdf
Escort Prequalification memo 10-31-2018.pdf
Roadside Contracting Memo.pdf