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Legislative Updates

Update as of 3/16/15

The California Design-Build Consolidation Bill (SB 785) was signed into law.  The law went into effect in January, 2015.



Transit DB Law

County DB Law

Local Agency DB Projects (SB 785)

Best value definition

“value determined by objective criteria related to price, features, functions, and life-cycle costs”

Same as transit law

Similar definition, but clarifies that best value determination may involve lowest cost proposal, best proposal for a stipulated sum, or tradeoff between price and other factors.

Design-build entity definition

Term is defined as the contracting entity but is also used to mean the design-build team

Same as transit law

Distinction made between “entity” and “team”


Requirements relating to process for selection of subcontractors not identified in the proposal; states that  subcontractors are entitled to protection under that law

Similar to transit law, but subcontractors are to be selected “in accordance with the design-build process set forth by the county in the design-build package

Includes requirement for design-builder to follow a specified process for selection of construction subcontractors (based on the definition in Subcontractor Listing Law), allowing selection either on a low bid or best value basis.

Prerequisites for use of design-build

Requires specific findings;

Projects must be at least $25 million in cost for rail projects; $2.5 million for non-rail projects; no cost threshold for certain safety-and security-related technology.

Does not apply to highway, street or road projects.

Sunsets Jan. 1, 2015 (extended to Jan. 1, 2017 by SB 785)

Requires approval of Board of Supervisors.

Minimum project size is $2,500,000.

Limited to buildings and county sanitation wastewater treatment facilities.

Sunsets July 1, 2016

No findings required. 

Minimum project size is $1 million, except there is no cost threshold for transit operators for certain safety- and security-related technology.

Statute does not apply to projects on the state highway system.  Transit operator authority may not be used for highway, street or road projects.


No retention allowed for design services, construction management services, or where applicable, for completed operations and maintenance services

Does not include transit DB law retention restriction

Retention provisions are consistent with other legislation regarding retention.  No limitation regarding retention on specified types of services.

Organizational conflict of interest

Firms and individuals assisting in the procurement may not be on a design-build team

Same as transit law

Each agency is required to develop conflict of interest guidelines for its design-build projects




Contract may not include long-term operations.  However, it may include operations during a training or transition period.

Short-listing allowed

Statute uses term “prequalification”

Statute uses term “prequalification”

Short-listing specifically allowed

Request for qualifications requirements

Requirement to use form of questionnaire developed by DIR

List of minimum requirements for statements of qualifications (SOQs)

SOQ required to be verified by oath

County to develop standard template request for SOQs

List of minimum requirements.

SOQ required to be verified by oath

Each agency must develop a standard template request for SOQs

Certain of the minimum requirements moved to become part of the proposal instead of SOQ process, added requirement for a commitment to use skilled and trained workforce

SOQ required to be certified under penalty of perjury.

Skilled workforce

Specified minimum requirements for proposal

Similar to transit law

Lengthy provision defining skilled workforce requirements

Surety bonds

Bonds to be on forms developed by Dept of General Services

Bonds to be on forms developed by County

Bonds to be in amount required by the agency, issued by a California admitted surety. The amount of the payment bond shall not be less than the amount of the performance bond.  Agency to develop standard bond forms.

Selection criteria

At least 50% weight required to be given to “price, technical expertise, life cycle costs over 15 years or more, skilled labor force availability, and acceptable safety record”

Each of the following factors must be given at least 10% weight:

Price; technical design, and construction expertise; life-cycle costs; skilled labor force availability; and acceptable safety record

RFP must identify all significant factors and their relative importance or weights

The following minimum factors are required:  price (unless stipulated sum is specified); design and construction expertise; life-cycle costs

Weightings to be set by the agency


Statement that price is subject to the conditions in Section 20209.7(f) [which says nothing about price]

If selection is based on low bid, price must be lump sum

If selection is based on low bid, price must be lump sum

Announcement of award

Award to be announced publicly, with information about price and overall rating of selected firm, as well as price and ranking of other offerors and a summary of the agency’s rationale for award

Award to be announced publicly, identifying the selected firm, along with a written decision stating the basis of award, and identifying the second and third ranked firms

Award to be announced publicly, identifying the design-build entity to which the award is made, along with a statement regarding the basis of the award


Report to be delivered to Legislative Analyst’s Office within 120 days of completion.

Report to be delivered to Legislative Analyst’s Office before Sept 1, 2013.

No report required



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