BEFORE THE Department of TRANSPORTATION
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On June 8, 2018 the Department of Transportation published MAR Notice No. 18-171 pertaining to the proposed amendment and repeal of the above-stated rules at page 1086 of the 2018 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 11.
2. The department has amended and repealed the above-stated rules as proposed.
3. The department has thoroughly considered the comments received. A summary of the comments received, and the department's responses are as follows:
COMMENT #1: One comment was received stating the proposed rule amendments place undue costs and hardships on small businesses that typically only quote MDT projects as a prime contractor once or twice a year. The comment stated MDT's current service provider Bid Express™ charges a one-time set-up cost for a digital ID, and monthly costs to bid electronically. The comment stated the costs apply even if there are no projects specific to the contractor's work that would be bid as prime. The comment stated certain Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) subscribers may receive the services "for free," which is unfair to other small businesses seeking to quote MDT projects as prime. Finally, the comment asked whether MDT participates in the "free" subscriptions for DBE contractors, and whether MDT would consider participating in additional "free" subscriptions for contractors not currently designated as DBE.
RESPONSE #1: MDT notes the majority of its bids are already received electronically through Bid Express™, and the proposed expansion of this service to all contractors will save additional resources and time for both MDT and the bidding contractors. MDT acknowledges there are costs associated with the bid service, which would be $880 or less annually. However, small businesses may seek reimbursement of the bid service costs through the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or Small Business Enterprise (SBE) programs. Finally, the proposed amendment to ARM 18.4.111(4) contains an exception to the electronic bid requirement, allowing MDT to continue to accept paper bids for certain projects which MDT determines are appropriate. Any exception to electronic bidding will be designated in the notice of bid or contract special provisions.
/s/ Carol Grell Morris /s/ Michael T. Tooley
Carol Grell Morris Michael T. Tooley
Rule Reviewer Director
Department of Transportation
Certified to the Secretary of State July 31, 2018.