Choice Partners purchasing cooperative offers quality, legal procurement and contract solutions to meet government purchasing requirements.

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Procurement changes in effect: Aug. 2007


   
Choice Facility Partners
Harris County Department of Education
713-696-2122
www.choicepartners.org

Aug. 31, 2007
For more information about this release, contact: Louise Henry, Prism Advantage
713-305-1447          louise@prismadvantage.net
 
Procurement changes in effect
New cooperative formed to provide facilities solutions

Purchasing departments face two changes on the procurement scene with 1) the introduction of Choice Facility Partners, a new statewide cooperative for building and facility contracts, and 2) the move of the Texas Building and Procurement Commission to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Choice Facility Partners, a division of the Harris County Department of Education, brings legally and competitively bid building and facility contracts to governmental entities; school districts, cities, counties, colleges and universities, and other non-profit entities may access these contracts by signing an interlocal agreement.

TEXAS PROCUREMENT AND SUPPORT SERVICES
Beginning Sept. 1, the state procurement function moves from the TBPC and will become the division of Texas Procurement and Support Services within the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. TBPC's online procurement and support services information will move to the Comptroller's Web site, www.window.state.tx.us; as soon as the move is complete, the TBPC website will automatically forward users to this address.

TBPC will continue to manage state-owned and leased buildings and will have a new name, The Texas Facilities Commission, according to communications office staff. The Comptroller’s Office will take over the state's procurement, vehicle fleet management, quick copy and mailroom functions, according to the announcement on the comptroller’s website. The change was mandated by the 80th Texas Legislature.
RJ DeSilva, spokesman for the Texas Comptroller’s Office, said they expect the move to be rather seamless while adding efficiency. “With the procurement side coming over, the Comptroller believes the state can be aggressive about managing procurement,” said DeSilva. “Strategic sourcing is something we want to look at in terms of getting the best value from vendors.”

CHOICE FACILITY PARTNERS
Resource areas available through Choice Facility Partners, the new cooperative for facilities services, include Job Order Contracting, turn-key concrete modular buildings, assistance for capital improvement programs representing the building/facility owner and building forensics services. The contracts are competitively pre-bid, so organizations can access quality services immediately, saving time and money on the bidding process.

“The districts we serve were interested in quality, quick methods for facility services,” said John Sawyer, HCDE superintendent. “We realized that it would be a valuable service that would save money in facility budgets statewide.”
The benefit of working with Choice Facility Partners includes the quality, quick method of receiving facilities services and the savings in staff time and funds. Because contracts are already legally and competitively bid, purchasing, maintenance and public works departments save staff time and money by not repeating the bidding process. Cutting weeks out of the start-up process provides benefit to the governmental organization by allowing the appropriate use of the facility earlier.

Job Order Contracts
The nature of Job Order Contracts is one that encourages personal buy-in to the governmental entity’s goals. It is a relational, performance-based contract where the facility services partner continually interacts and collaborates to provide construction services. Consequently, there is benefit to the governmental entity as multiple renovation and remodeling projects are completed.
JOC has been a legal, well-recognized delivery method since 1995. JOC is different from Design/Bid/Build, but is effectively and efficiently used to manage renovation, remodeling, rehabilitation, repair and other construction projects.

Turn-key concrete modular buildings
This contract meets the need for safe and secure classroom space, which is manufactured rapidly
and delivered unconventionally as a pre-assembled system, which is 80% complete and ready to use within days of delivery. Customized to fit into the development, building exteriors are stenciled for a faux brick, stone or concrete block look. Uniquely safe and secure, these schools and/or additions provide an environmentally sustainable, high-quality, quiet learning environment.

Owner’s Representative and Project Controls Services
The owner’s representative services provide capital improvement program assistance to facilitate programming, planning, cost estimating, scheduling, inspections, design, construction, audit, quality assurance, commissioning and / or occupancy of buildings.

Building Forensics Services
Building forensics includes professional services for failure analysis, design packages, materials testing, geotechnical- foundations, materials testing, and environmental  assessments, including mold, asbestos, underground storage tanks, and roofing and waterproofing services.

Whether in a bond program or routine maintenance, cities may choose from multiple contracts that best meet their needs. CFP audits contract use and performance to ensure quality and customer service.

For more information about Choice Facility Partners, contact Dean Zajicek, director, HCDE, 713-696-2122, or
dzajicek@hcde-texas.org or go to www.choicepartners.org.