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Draft Report

Procuring, Managing, and Evaluating the Performance of Contracted TMC Services

Traffic Management Center

Geographic Area

Number and Type of Agencies

Operating Mechanism

Unique Attributes


Houston, TX


TXDOT, Houston Metro, Harris Co., , City of Houston,

Public sector – Consortium of all 4 agencies

Transit agency is a partner and key contributor

MNDOT, Minneapolis, MN


2 Agencies


Public sector – DOT

Freeway management, State Police, and Arterial management co-located

Procurement Strategies

Once the decision to outsource TMC services has been made, there are various strategies available by which to procure the contractor.  These include request for qualifications (RFQ), request for information (RFI), invitation to negotiate (ITN), invitation to bid (ITB), and request for proposals (RFP).  These strategies are not necessarily exclusive; that is, they may sometimes be used in combination to initially begin and then narrow the focus of the contractor selection process.  Some of the considerations that need to be addressed when selecting the procurement method include time of contract, included services, relationships to other contracts that support TMC, flexibility of contract to add new services once in place, and costs over time.

Qualifications-based selection (QBS), established by Congress in 1972 as part of the Brooks Act, is a process that federal agencies can use for the selection of architectural and engineering services for public projects.  This competitive contract procurement process allows the procuring entity (“Owner”) to evaluate and select the most qualified firm and then negotiate project work, schedule, budget, and fee.  QBS has been adopted by most states and by many state, county, and municipal government agencies.  QBS is appropriate for TMC outsourcing procurements because of the technical expertise, innovation, and technologies required to solve TMC challenges.

One advertisement type in the QBS process is a RFQ, usually followed by some type of final technical submittal or oral presentation.  Interviews tend to take less time and are less costly for both parties than if an RFQ has not been issued.  They allow for interaction with key staff, but they do rely heavily on the communication skills of the contractor.  Conversely, a technical proposal allows the contractor to focus in detail on his technical approach.  Final contractor selection is based on the perceived ability of the submitting firms to best achieve the most desired outcome.  RFQ can be used for the selection of professional services when the services are not well defined and depend on the contractor’s ability to identify and address problems and issues.  Key things to know for the advertisement are:

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