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Professional Technical Consultant Services


Consultant Corner

This Consultant Corner page provides important information to the consultant community regarding Professional/Technical (P/T) contracting with MnDOT. Below, you will find notable changes to the P/T contracting process, helpful reference documentation and information, quick links to navigate through the Consultant Services website, and information on the MnDOT and Consultant Community Collaboration project.

Notable Changes

Audit Changes - Effective March 15, 2021

Due to internal process changes within MnDOT's Office of Audit, Consultant Services will act as the liaison between customers and MnDOT Audit. A new email has been established to manage any correspondence related to Professional/Technical pre-award audits, annual overhead rate audits and general Professional/ Technical contract audit related questions: ProfessionalTechnicalAudits.dot@state.mn.us

Communication from MnDOT's Office of Audit

Effective March 15, 2021, to comply with federal audit requirements, the MnDOT Office of Audit will request any additional information needed from consultants for audits through the Office of Project Management and Technical Support – Consultant Service Section. Any questions from the consultant regarding audits performed should be made directly to the Office of Project Management and Technical Support – Consultant Service Section.  The MnDOT Office of Audit will assist the Office of Project Management and Technical Support – Consultant Service Section in addressing any questions/issues that may arise.  

Information pertaining to the Federal Audit Standards (Yellow Book) requirements for auditor independence are outlined below:

Independence Requirements:

  1. The Federal Government Audit Standards (Yellow Book 3.19, 3.21) requires that auditors must be independent and should avoid situations that could lead reasonable and informed third parties to conclude that the auditors and audit organization are not independent and thus are not capable of exercising objective and impartial judgment on all issues associated with conducting the engagement and reporting on the work. Independence comprises the following:
    1. Independence of mind – the state of mind that permits the conduct of an engagement without being affected by influences that compromise professional judgment, thereby allowing an individual to act with integrity and exercise objectivity and professional skepticism.
    2. Independence in appearance – the absence of circumstances that would cause a reasonable and informed third party to reasonably conclude that the integrity, objectivity, or professional skepticism of an audit organization or member of the engagement team had been compromised.

Direct auditor interaction with consultants compromises our independence both in appearance and of mind. All direct consultant interaction must be discontinued to preserve independence and ensure compliance with federal audit standards. All questions/inquiries auditors receive from a consultant must be re-directed to the Office of Project Management and Technical Support – Consultant Services Section.

Travel (Mileage) Reimbursement (January 2021)

Starting January 1, 2021, the standard IRS mileage rate for business use of a personal vehicle is DECREASING to .56 (cents) per mile. This new rate should be used for all contracts and consultant billing from January 1, 2021 forward.

Overhead Cap Change for P/T Contracts (April 2019)

The overhead cap for MnDOT P/T contracts will be changed from 160% to 170% for all P/T contracts that have a Contract Process Start Date of April 15, 2019 or later.

  • Contracts that are already in process prior to April 15, 2019 will be subject to the overhead cap of 160%.
  • Amendments to contracts that were started prior to April 15, 2019 will be subject to the overhead cap of 160%.
  • Contracts started on or after April 15, 2019 will be subject to the new 170% overhead cap.

Please read all documents pertaining to contracts (Solicitations, Contracts, Invoices, etc.) carefully as for some time there will be different overhead cap language and numbers because many contracts are already in process – some will have 160% listed as the cap, others 170%.

Also, note that the Fixed Fee Rate Worksheet and the additive calculations related to Overhead will be adjusted for new contracts with Contract Process Start Dates of April 15, 2019 or later.

If you have questions, please contact Consultant Services Help Line at (651) 366-4611.

Public Engagement and Communications Work Type

MnDOT released a work type in December 2018 for Public Engagement and Communications (Work Type 21.0). Public Engagement and Communications work has increasingly become a regular part of MnDOT projects. Click on the Pre-Qualification tab above for information on the required qualifications and how to become prequalified under this work type. If your firm meets the required qualifications, MnDOT strongly encourages you to submit an application. Note: In order to respond to a Pre-Qualification Announcement, consultants must be pre-qualified at the time the Announcement is posted. Submitting an application alone will not qualify a firm to respond. The Pre-Qualification Program application for the work type(s) must be approved and the firm must appear on the Official List posted with the Announcement.

New Performance Evaluation Work Flow

Performance Evaluation Application Update (08/22/2019)
There is a new web address for the Performance Evaluation Application for Professional/Technical contracts:

  • You can also access the Performance Evaluation Application through MnDOT's website: www.dot.state.mn.us (MnDOT A to Z under Performance Evaluation Application).
  • Any Performance Evaluation Application emails that include the old web address will automatically redirect you to the updated web address. 
  • New Performance Evaluation Application emails will include the updated web address.

 If you have any questions or run into issues please contact Melissa Brand in Consultant Services.

MnDOT's new Performance Evaluation Work Flow Process is now in use. Please refer to the documents below for instructions:

If you have additional questions, after reviewing the documentation, please call the Consultant Services Help Line at 651-366-4611

Subcontractor Reporting (April 2019)

Diverse Spend Reporting Memo/FAQ

The Department of Administration has a new subcontractor reporting requirement for contracts that are greater than or equal to $500,000.  The language below will be included in our solicitation documents and any contract greater than or equal to $500,000.

The State of Minnesota is committed to diversity and inclusion in public procurement.  If the total value of your contract may exceed $500,000, including all extension options, you must track and report, on a quarterly basis, the amount you spend with diverse small businesses.  When this applies, you will be provided free access to a portal for this purpose, and the requirement will continue as long as the contract is in effect.

MnDOT will be notifying the Dept. of Administration when there are contracts that meet this criteria.  The Department of Administration will pull the contact information from each contract and enter it into their portal.  The Contractor’s contact will receive the following correspondence from the Department of Administration:

  • The portal will send a welcome message to the Contractor’s contact person with log-in credentials and links to online instructions
  • The message invites the Contractor’s contact to attend an optional live webinar session
  • The Contractor starts entering its company information into the portal and checks for its suppliers and subcontractors in the pre-existing list of vendors
  • Once a supplier or subcontractor is identified, the Contractor can start tracking spend

DBE/TGB/VET Total Payment Affidavit

Reminder: When a small business goal is set on a project, consultants must complete and submit the appropriate Total Payment Affidavit to the Office of Civil Rights. The form should be submitted once all work contracted to be performed with the small business(es) has been satisfactorily completed. The Total Payment Affidavit is included as part of each Special Provisions Packet. Completed Affidavit can be emailed to: ocrformsubmissions.dot@state.mn.us or mailed to: Office of Civil Rights, 395 John Ireland Blvd., MS 170, St. Paul, MN 55155.

Work Force Certificates of Compliance

For contracts greater than $100,000, firms are required to have a current Work Force Certificate on file with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. In addition, for contracts greater than $500,000 firms are required to have a current Equal Pay Certificate.

What is a workforce certificate?

A workforce certificate is a certificate issued to a business by the Commissioner of Human Rights. The Commissioner issues the workforce certificate to a business upon reviewing its affirmative action plan.

What businesses need to obtain a workforce certificate of compliance?

Any business that employs 40 or more employees in a state and that seeks to enter into a contract for goods or services with the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the Metropolitan Council, the Minneapolis Metropolitan Airports Commission, or the Metropolitan Mosquito Control Commission (bid award entities) that is over $100,000 or is likely to exceed $100,000.

Visit the Minnesota Department of Human Rights website for more information.

If you have specific questions about your firms certification call or email the Minnesota Department of Human Rights at 651-539-1100 (Ask for Compliance) or compliance.mdhr@state.mn.us.

AASHTOWare Access Provisions

P/T contracts that include AASHTOWare activities must adhere to the following agreements:

Reference Documents/Information

Following are a few key reference documents that are beneficial for the consultant community. Contact information can be found under the Contacts tab.

  • Instructions on how to fill out the Progress Report Form: Progress Report Form Instructions (Word 20KB)
  • Pre-Award Audit and Budget Spreadsheet Information and Guidance: The Pre-Award Audit Information Package can be found under the Contract Documents tab above. For additional information, please visit the Office of Audit's website for the most up to date information - www.dot.state.mn.us/audit/index.html.