April 21, 2021

Epstein is firmly against a pending legislation that would deprioritize professional qualifications in local government procurement processes.

The legislation under consideration is HB 680, which amends the State of Illinois’ Local Government Professional Services Selection Act to circumvent current state and federal law requiring Qualifications-Based Selection processes for engineering and architectural services. According to the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL), “If it [HB 680] were to become law, HB 680 could result in less qualified engineering and architectural services companies designing and engineering the roads and bridges we drive on, the railways and airports commuters and goods travel through, and the schools and senior care facilities that our loved ones spend their time in.”

ACEC-IL added that HB 680 would stifle completion and entrepreneurship within the engineering industry and create more barriers to entry for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned companies, limiting the opportunities to work on significant infrastructure projects around the state.

“HB 680 would drive a race to the bottom in the selection process, potentially risking the safety and dependability of our public infrastructure. Illinoisans deserve to have their roads and bridges, energy production plants, water treatment facilities, and other vital public infrastructure built by the most qualified professionals,” said Kevin Artl, ACEC-IL president and CEO. “There is a reason that Qualifications-Based Selection processes are the industry standard and required by law in 46 states. Illinois’ 47,800 engineering and architectural industry professionals stand firmly against HB 680 and the scrapping of Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS).”

Epstein, along with the ACEC-IL, Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, Illinois Structural Engineers Association, Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association, and American Institute of Architects, endorse QBS selection procedure, which is a negotiated procurement process for selection based on qualifications and competence in relation to the work to be performed.

“The Qualifications Based Selection process ensures that the most qualified firms are selected for designing our state’s infrastructure," said Tom Smiles, Epstein's Director of Engineering. "QBS is a proven method, used in over 90 percent of our country’s state governments. Protecting the current QBS process is essential to our company and our state’s residents.”

As a full-service engineering firm, whose engineers are routinely called upon to solve the toughest engineering challenges, we are asking our clients and supporters to help us protect QBS by completing two quick steps that will make a big difference:

1. Visit www.IllinoisEngineeringMatters.com and fill out the form to send an email directly to your State Representative and State Senator.

2. Forward this email to fellow co-workers, colleagues and industry partners and ask them to fill out the form at www.IllinoisEngineeringMatters.com.

You can take it one step further by clicking on the social media share buttons after completing the form to help spread the word.

We thank you for your continued support of our firm as it relates to this endeavor.