Travis County Commissioners Court
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 (Agenda)
Why don't we do 22.
consider and take appropriate action regarding proposals received in response to request for services (rfs) no.
s110505-cg, from advisory team for feasibility analysis of a public private partnership for a new civil and family courthouse at 308 guadalupe street in Austin, tx: a.
evaluation committee's recommended shortlist of firms; b.
commencement of interviews with the short-listed firms; and c, authorization for purchasing agent to commence negotiations with the highest qualified firm after interviews.
>> good morning, judge, Commissioners, cyd grimes, purchasing agent.
as you said, we're here today to present to the Commissioners court our short list.
the committee consisted of members from the auditor's office, facilities management, planning and budget office, the transportation natural resources and my office.
the six of those offices scored the 10 proposals that we received and we all met yesterday and worked, submitted our final scores, discussed a lot of issues and we came up with the list that you got yesterday afternoon and we gave you the ranking much the top firms, the top four ranked firms that we would like to begin negotiations and discussions with are kp and g, corporate finance, ernst & youngs, jones, lang,
>> [indiscernible] americas, inc.
and kushman wakefield with okay man commercial.
within those teams, our rfs was sort of open ended.
we need to more define and detail our scope of work.
but we asked for a lot of different skills.
some of them firms like kp around g included the real estate piece, a lawyer and some others, each firm has included a lot of things that we asked for.
there's still a lot of clarification and discussions that need to be held between the evaluation committee and these four groups before we feel comfortable entering into negotiations with the top ranked firm and bringing a contract back to you all.
>> did the top four separate themselves from the other six.
>> yes, sir, there was a price -- I mean a scoring break and that was the break I think all of the ones above were -- were like in the 3 range and the four were under three.
so that was the natural break and it was our -- all of our decision that would be the four that we recommended to the court to move forward with.
>> when will this particular short list, I know that you are going to be authorized to start dealing with these folks, but I guess somewhere along the line as far as the timing of all of this to get to where we're trying to go, when will all of this take place as far as a time line is concerned?
>> well, our plan right now is to meet with these firms, both on August 8th and August 10th to have discussions, there will be work going on before we do the face-to-face interviews.
I imagine if we can get through that in August, it will probably be in September before we come back with a contract award is what I would guess.
>> sometime in September.
>> yes, sir.
>> any other questions?
>> I guess that we would expedite that as much as possible.
>> I'm sorry?
>> we will expedite it as much as possible.
>> yes, sir.
>> move approval of the evaluation committee's recommended short list.
commencement of interviews of that owe over the short listed firms.
>> second that.
>> and authorization to the purchasing agents to go ahead and negotiate with the highest qualified firm of the four.
>> is that what c is.
>> yes, sir.
>> that means that you're going to trust the committee to rank all of these, do our best and then start negotiating with the firm that we think should be our contractor.
then we would be bringing a contract award back to you.
I just want to be real clear that that's how we intend to proceed.
>> then the contractor is going to do what?
>> this contractor?
they're they're going to be y'all's advisory team to help us look at if a p 3 is feasible.
the task first to is look at the rfi's, we got 21 of those.
that's another question that I need to ask the court.
but they're going to review the rfi's, they are going to develop concepts and objectives and then if question decide to move forward with p 3, they're going to help us if they're not interested in hiring the owners rep.
the question that I wanted to ask you, we discussed this in our meeting yesterday.
we have not opened any of the rfi's.
we've held them at y'all's direction, but the team felt like perhaps you all could let the internal evaluation team start looking at the rfi's, because it will help us in our discussions with these contractors on the full scope of their work.
if it's all right with the work, we want to break those open and start looking at them.
>> it's fine with me but a big issue just surfaced.
I think we need to know whether the committee believes we should go with the public/private partnership or just a traditional construction project.
>> that is a -- the biggest threshold question that welt have faced in recent history -- that we will have faced in recent history.
the important thing about that, I do think, too, that Travis County residents ought to know when we make that decision and why.
assuming that it's -- if it's not a public/private partnership, they ought to know that's our decision and the reasons for it, too.
so I have no problem with ab and c, but if it's a -- I think that the court ought to receive a report from the evaluation committee regarding whether or not a public/private partnership should be pursued, or whether we ought to do a more traditional construction project.
>> well, judge, remember part of this exercise is that these -- whoever we hire in this phase, they are going to be looking at the rfi's, they're going to help us make that determination.
and then after that, we would come forward before we went to the next phase, which would be the hire the actual owner's reps.
these folks, we're expecting one of these four to advise us and y'all on whether we do the p 3 and how we move forward.
>> I guess that I'm okay with the evaluation committee moving on this, but I think when we start looking at the information given in response to the rfi, the court really ought to be a little bit more involved at that stage.
>> part of this task is they're supposed to look at all of those rfi's and make a recommendation based on all of that information to the court.
so we'll come back and, we'll have an award of a contract, then that firm will help us review all of those rfi's and then come back and make that determination, recommendation, or the options for y'all.
>> but before the consultant assists with the information given in response to the rfi, I thought that you just recommended that the core team start opening those documents and reviewing them.
>> for us internally to start looking at 'em.
>> the question came up during the discussions yesterday that there may be information in those rfi's that would allow us to have a scope of the -- of what they are presenting and the company, the 21 companies that presented, how big the information that they offered.
we can't be able to even begin to negotiate with -- with the consultant without having a perspective of what they're going to be reviewing.
so it's important for us to be able to see what's in the rfi's, to be able to ask the right questions of the consultant so that we can know not only how the negotiations would go with that consultant, but just to give some perspective on the scope of their work.
>> why don't we bring the rfi back to court?
it really is sort of unrelated to 22.
>> no, sir.
>> because we can focus on getting 22 done, right?
>> well, the part of it -- the firm that we hire from this short list, one of these four firms that we hire, one their tasks is to look at all of those rfi's and do analysis.
but what john was saying is we haven't looked at them, we don't know the breadth or the detail in that.
a lot of folks think we're farther down the road than we are.
we need to look at them to say your assumption that it's going to cost you x amount to do this much, really should be this much.
it really helps us get what we need at the best value.
>> I feel a whole lot better I guess if the court two weeks from now had an issue regarding the rfi responses on the agenda so we know exactly what we're doing regarding them, but this -- we can go ahead and move with 22 a, b and c, right?
>> I understand what you all are saying, it's just that it's generating three or four other questions for me.
I would rather for an rfi specific agenda item be brought back so that I could have my questions there.
two or three of them are probably legal.
the others more good government and public education, public relations.
>> two weeks you want us to come back and sort of give you an update on where we are in our initial review of the rfi's?
>> two weeks our county judge will have an agenda item on the agenda so that item will tell you exactly what he has in mind.
I'm not sure what it is now, but I'll know next week.
>> he's saying we can.
>> this is separate.
>> he said we can look at the r's, didn't you judge, the group can look at the rfi's.
>> one of my question, too, is whether the core team ought to have all of the fun or the Commissioners court would have some fun, too.
>> we would love for you all to come have some fun with us.
>> there is a motion outstanding on 22 a, b, c.
>> I want to say I still remain concerned.
I been all along about the tightness of our process on this.
I want to say I am absolutely 100% in favor of building a civil courthouse, I'm going to support this today because I think that it is a cautious step forward.
I think we've got some good candidates here.
but I do say that I still am remaining vigilant because I am concerned about the tightness and the transparency of our process.
>> well, I think this process, a through c, kind of heads us in the right direction.
I think what I expect to come out of this is to have the representative or whatever we're going to call them, to then look at the rfi's because I thought we said from the very beginning that's was what we were going to do.
we were not going to be looking at those, we were going to hire or contract someone to then do that because they were in a better position to understand what they would be looking for.
but I think it sounds almost like we're going to interview somebody and we don't know what questions to ask during these interviews.
>> would he starting that process, but that's true.
we need to look at those rfi's to see what's in them, if there's enough detail that these folks think there's in them.
we just need to look at them.
then of course the scope of the work that we put in the rfs was for them to review all of the rfi's,.
>> it seems to go against what we said at the very beginning, judge, we were not going to open those rfs's.
>> until the consultant is brought on board.
>> that would be my expectation.
>> we did say that.
>> that would be my expectation after abc.
>> it may still matter, may not.
that's why I think we ought to bring a specific agenda item back.
>> I want to be clear.
it helps us do our jobs.
to do the best possible job and get the best value for the taxpayers, we need to be able to look at that date to so we can ask intelligentible questions and get to a meeting of the minds between us and the consultants on exactly what they are going to do for the Commissioners court and what advice they're going to give you.
>> but that's -- that part of the suggestion is not on the agenda today, is that correct, judge?
>> well, in my view the rfi's are not.
it may be that the idea we had two or three weeks ago should not be the idea that we have today.
I just want to give ourselves the opportunity to focus on the rfi's, we got from 21 teams, how we best use the consultant and give the core team an opportunity to look at the specific issue, too, bring it back.
I said two weeks because I know we have a full agenda next week.
otherwise we would do it sooner.
>> we have a lot of work to do before we start interviewing on the 8th and 10th.
>> okay, mr. Collins, then ms. Spitaro.
>> judge, if I may, I was listening upstairs, there was a brief period I was coming down the elevator so I'm not sure what was said there.
but I want to make sure that the court understands that this consultant will not choose what kind of financing or what kind of building you build on that site.
the job of this consultant will be to give you advice about your options for what kind of financing and what kind of building you can put on that site.
so that you the court can then choose do you want a traditional design build, do you want some rather unusual public private partnership, do you want a more ordinary public private partnership.
there are a myriad of options and this consultant is being hired in order to give you advice.
now, they will do two things generally in preparing that advice for you.
the first thing is they will look at and evaluate the responses to the rfi.
the second thing they will do is they will bring their own expertise and their own investigation to bear.
they will combine that two sets of information and present you with a set of options and recommendations.
the reason that your internal team wanted to be able to take a look at the responses to the rfi was not to evaluate them at all.
it is not our intent as a team to evaluate them.
we want to work with the consultant evaluating them.
however, when we reviewed the proposals that potential consultants gave us, we discovered that some of them made some assumptions about what was going to be in those responses to the rfi.
and others of them made very different assumptions.
some of them assumed the information is going to be very general, some of them assumed the information was going to be very specific, very detailed.
when we sit down and interview them and try to determine which one of them is making the best proposal and how we want to negotiate with them we're at final contract.
it would be helpful to the team if we knew what the nature of those responses actually was.
so they are expecting very detailed responses, if they are, we can tell them either your assumption is correct, they are detailed or no they're very general and they can then adjust their proposals to fit what those responses are.
right now, the proposers to be our consultant and the team are both kind of working in the dark as to what the nature of those responses to the rfi are because we haven't opened them.
so our request is not to open them and begin evaluating them, but to open them and see what is the level of detail if them so when we interview the consultant that's going to evaluate them, we can discuss more -- in more detail and more carefully with them what they should expect from those rfi's, maybe adjust their prices, maybe adjust their proposals accordingly.
>> [multiple voices] but the ultimate decision is what kind of building to build, what kind of financing arrangement, what kind of partnership arrangement belongs to the Commissioners court and only to the Commissioners court.
not to the team and not to the consultant.
>> [one moment please for change in captioners]
>> will there be enough time for the court to examine what the consultant will bring before the court so the court can make a decision on what we need to do.
>> [overlapping speakers] September may be a good time.
I don't know.
but I want to make sure we have -- we have a good time.
>> September is when I exam to bring a contract back for you from one of these firms. Then they'll have I think -- I saw something like a three-month work period.
so we're talking about the end of the year -- for the consultant to give awe report on what they think it is.
that's the best timeline I can give you.
>> the best time.
I'm saying will there be enough time?
I'm trying to get to the bottom line --
>> we're going to make enough time for all of you to feel comfortable.
>> you are?
it is too important for us to rush.
>> I want to make sure it happen.
>> I hear some real legitimate concern from the court and of course it's going to be have been agentized again on some things and I want to make sure the timeline is adhered to.
>> the consultant is going to visit with the court prior to them making recommendations.
in addition to visiting the internal team, visiting with stakeholders, there's a whole array of things they'll do.
and they will based on all that information make recommendations to the Commissioners' court, they'll explain the recommendations, they will talk to you about those recommendations, they will answer your questions about the recommendations and the court will take as much time as it needs to once you get those recommendations to decide which of those options, if any, you want to take, but you won't get those recommendations until December or January.
>> 90 days from September.
leading from September with the contract to be looked at.
>> at least.
>> at least 90 days.
I just have to have some numbers in my head.
>> judge, because of the confusion, the rff that we sent out had some minimum requirements, just as wre view of what we asked consultants to do.
and it was approved by the court.
phase one was the review and analysis of the rfi responses.
so that was the one task there are 21 of them and they'll come in and they'll be reviewed.
and I think jim had said that a did idea of saying we haven't opened them, so we don't know how detailed they are.
you do not have to have responded to an rfi to later be interested in a p 3 if you want to.
they are not binding.
we don't know what they're going to look like.
they may be very general, may be very specific.
we don't know what they'll look like.
but they are what they are.
they're in sealed envelopes.
we sent out an rfi with what we wanted and no one has seen those.
so that's part of phase one.
the second thing that we required is to develop a concept and objectives for the project.
and in the rfs that was very clearly defined.
we wanted a value analysis that supported the recommendation and that recommendation would be either a traditional or a p 3 type approach or somewhere in the middle.
they're not just at opposite ends.
these are prepared when people have been working at p 3's.
the other thing, minimum requirements are timeline and next steps necessary to execute the concept.
so we would expect the vendor to come in and do that.
that's the minimum.
they are not expected to be detailed in architectural intent.
these are our words.
Travis County's words.
but should include scope and magnitude of the project, gross square footage.
we've got that, broaddus gave us that.
we can give that to them.
the economic and market conditions in Austin.
that would have to do with leasing, real estate, what's available, those type of things.
they would have to do that to really do a value for money or analyze the rfi.
a process and strategy for communication to you and others that are interested.
and then we said generally provide the best value for money for the Travis County taxpayers.
so that is what we sent out.
those were the minimum requirements.
like cid said, we got 10 responses.
they went through all of those, ranked them and are talking -- would like to talk to four.
the reason that we -- the question came up should we open the rfi's is that some respondents assumed that there was a -- it seemed that they assumed that there was a commitment or a screening on our part.
so that's different if you assume that.
in orders, if you assume that with that rfi's, those are the only people eligible if we do go p 3 and we're screening on that, that's different than we ask 10 questions, we want them to respond, we're sprd in what they say.
they will help the consultant do the value for money analysis, but it isn't a decision on who would do anything.
we're really at a very general phase.
the only reason that a member of the committee said well, it does seem to be kind of confusing.
would it help the process or hurt if the committee opened up those rfi's and just said, you know, these are pretty general or no, these are really specific.
but it is not fatal to the process, would you agree with that?
we don't have to look at them.
if you're uncomfortable with the committee looking at them --
>> I guess more comfortable bringing this item back.
we're not posted for it anyway.
not on the rfi.
>> the problem is by two weeks we will be in the process of having interviews with these consultants and we had hoped to be able to look at the rfi's.
it's not fatal, but it will be useful in two weeks.
>> it will be okay, judge.
what we have now we can do now.
what we have in the rfs is court approve and what these people responded to, we're okay with that.
we're fine with that.
>> maybe we'll put it on next week.
we have a motion to approve 22 ab and c and a second.
any more discussion on that negotiation?
-- on that motion?
all in favor?
that passes by unanimous vote.
and if the agenda is not just incredibly long we'll just stick it on next week and try to have it -- it may would help to see a one pager on it also.
>> one page what?
what do you want me to put on one page?
>> I want to see it described in writing what you just attempted to describe orally a few minutes ago.
>> we can do that.
longer than one page, but we can probably do that.
>> [ laughter ]
>> the goal is to clarify.
simplify and clarify and convince.
>> [ laughter ] let's go to an easy one, y'all.
we don't have any easy ones, do we?
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