In collaboration with the Designer Selection Board (DSB), the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) has developed the Standard Designer Evaluation Form for all Municipalities and all other Public Agencies not within DSB's jurisdiction. Section 48 of Chapter 7C (formerly Section 38E of Chapter 7) of the Massachusetts General Laws, requires that an Evaluation Form shall be completed by every Public Agency, as defined in Section 44a of Chapter 149, upon completion of the work under a design contract under its control, and submitted to DCAMM and the DSB for the designer’s qualification file. The intent of these evaluation forms is to improve accountability among the Designers and the Public Agencies they serve. The information on these evaluations will be made available to the DSB and to the Public Agencies to assist them as they select design firms for public building projects.
A written preliminary evaluation is required to be completed by the Public Agency and submitted to the Designer at the completion of the schematic phase of the project M.G.L. c. 7C, §48). This will serve as a progress report and provide an opportunity for the Agency and the Designer to discuss the firm's performance on the project to date. At the final completion of the project the Public Agency must give the completed evaluation form to the Designer within 30 days to allow time for a written response from the Designer.
Any Public Agency that fails to complete and submit the designer evaluation form together with any written response from the Designer, to the DSB and DCAMM within 70 days of occupancy, shall be ineligible for the receipt of any public funds disbursed by the commonwealth for the purposes of public building or public works projects. (M.G.L. c. 149, §44D(7)
There are two stages in the project at which the Public Agency must complete the evaluation forms as follows:
•At the completion of the Schematic Design phase, the Agency must provide the Designer with a written preliminary evaluation for informational purposes. The Design Phase form may be utilized at this phase. This preliminary evaluation is not required to be submitted to DCAMM and the DSB, but must be provided to the Designer no later than 30 days after completion of the schematic design phase of the project.
•At the completion of the Construction project, the Public Agency must provide the Designer with a completed Design Phase and Construction Phase Evaluation Form for the entire project. These two completed forms must be submitted to the Designer no later than 30 days after occupancy of the project. The Public Agency must then submit these forms to the Designer Selection Board and the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance no later than 70 days after occupancy.
To encourage constructive and productive feedback to designers, the legislature provided for certain protections for public employees completing these evaluations. DCAMM encourages all managers as well as firms doing public design and construction to take full advantage of this communication tool. This is a great opportunity to enhance our ability to provide the best services to the public sector.