Procurement Services

Procurement is the process by which businesses and government agencies solicit and acquire facilities, services and materiel. CommonWealth offers a comprehensive set of services to guide public managers and project sponsors through the procurement process deliberately and successfully. Typically, this process requires defining business objectives and/or service requirements for a project or program; developing minimum technical specifications and/or performance standards; defining the procuring entity’s preferred risk profile and business terms; and establishing the criteria and methods for qualifying proposers and for evaluating the overall responsiveness and cost of vendor proposals or bids. For complex projects, the procurement may be part of a larger development process that involves the project sponsor directly in siting a facility, managing public participation processes, developing a financing strategy, and negotiating inter-municipal and other multi-party agreements for the supply of waste, the disposal of residuals and the marketing of recyclables, energy or other resources.

CommonWealth’s principals have assisted municipalities and other governmental agencies with the full-service procurement of wastewater treatment facilities, materials recovery facilities (MRFs), compost facilities, transfer stations, waste-to-energy facilities, and waste collection and disposal services. Our knowledge of the vendor and financial communities, and our experience in a wide variety of procurement settings, enable us to anticipate key issues and to provide a logical and consistent approach throughout each stage of the process. The result is timely acquisition of critical services and facilities on the best available terms. Specific procurement services offered by the firm include:

Program and Facility Planning

We work with clients as necessary to establish the environmental, customer service and/or business objectives for the facility or service being procured, and develop as applicable any design, performance and/or service delivery requirements that the contemplated procurement must address.

Risk Profile and Action Plans

We help clients translate plans into action by helping them select an appropriate project financing and procurement approach and establish a realistic procurement schedule. In this connection, we also help our clients identify the technical, economic and financial risks associated with the project, and establish the commercial terms they should seek or require in the vendor contract. The resulting action plan defines the contemplated transaction at the level of detail necessary to enable preparation of high-quality procurement documents, facilitates internal review and coordination, and helps to assure sufficient vendor interest for bidding to be competitive.

Procurement Documents

We prepare requests for qualifications (RFQs), requests for proposals (RFPs), and proposal evaluation protocols to establish the basis for bid preparation and evaluation. We prepare documents that encourage vendor response, are compatible with the client’s procurement strategy, and are sufficiently detailed to support a timely and defensible evaluation, selection and negotiation process.

Selection Support

We conduct detailed, fully documented evaluations of vendor business, technical, and pricing proposals; manage client/vendor interactions; and assist with the formulation and presentation of selection recommendations to decision-makers, advisors and interest groups.

Negotiation Support

We prepare and negotiate service agreements, working closely with the sponsor, attorneys, financial advisors, and other members of the project team as appropriate. We prepare supplementary economic and technical analyses as necessary throughout the negotiation process to reach closure on key contractual issues quickly, and on the best available terms.

Sponsor Representation

We provide continuing support to project sponsors to ensure that private contractors satisfy their service obligations. During the construction phase of a project, we develop acceptance test protocols, observe testing, and provide an independent review of acceptance test results. During project or program operations, we evaluate vendor performance, review invoices, assess proposed capital improvements or service modifications, and help resolve sponsor-vendor contract disputes.

For examples of relevant client engagements, see
Municipal Review Committee
Town of Provincetown, Massachusetts
Town of Houlton, Maine