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Procurement, Management, and Administration of Engineering and Design Related Services - Questions and Answers

Last Updated August 1, 2016


This web page provides guidance that supplements Federal laws and regulations relating to the procurement, management, and administration of engineering and design related services using Federal-aid highway program (FAHP) funding. As Federal laws and regulations governing these service contracts are complex, the purpose of the guidance is to clarify the statutory and regulatory requirements of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) associated with the use of engineering and design related consultant services.


Unless indicated otherwise, the questions and answers pertain to engineering and design related service contracts (as defined in 23 U.S.C. 112(b)(2)(A) and 23 CFR 172.3) using FAHP funding and directly related to an ultimate construction project. Unless otherwise specified, the definition of the terms provided within the definition section of the referenced Federal laws and regulations (23 U.S.C. 101, 40 U.S.C. 1102, 23 CFR 172.3, and 48 CFR 31.001) are applicable to these questions and answers.

While several regulatory requirements and policies contained within these questions and answers are applicable to design-build, public private partnerships, and other innovative project-delivery methods, this guidance is not intended to address these methods. For additional information regarding design-build contracting, please visit the FHWA Design Build web site at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/cqit/desbuild.cfm. Information on other innovative contracting methods may be obtained at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/cqit/sep14.cfm.


  • AASHTO - American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
  • CASB - Cost Accounting Standards Board
  • CE - Categorical Exclusion
  • CFR - Code of Federal Regulations
  • CPA - Certified Public Accountant
  • DBE - Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
  • DOT - Department of Transportation (or equivalent State highway agency)
  • FAHP - Federal-aid highway program
  • FAR - Federal Acquisition Regulation
  • FHWA - Federal Highway Administration
  • FONSI - Finding of No Significant Impact
  • GAGAS - Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards
  • NEPA - National Environmental Policy Act
  • ROD - Record of Decision
  • U.S.C. - United States Code

Questions and Answers

The guidance is provided in the form of questions and answers that have been categorized as noted below. The statutory and regulatory bases, as well as references to other resource material, are provided where appropriate within each specific question and answer. The references to related questions and answers, statutory and regulatory provisions, and supporting information contained in each response are intended to enhance understanding and provide further clarification of Federal requirements and FHWA policies associated with the use of engineering and design related consultant services.

Select a category to access the available questions and answers.

  1. Competitive Negotiation/Qualifications Based Selection Procurement Procedure
  2. Other Procurement Procedures
  3. Indirect Cost Rates and Audits
  4. Compensation (Payment) Methods
  5. Contract Negotiation
  6. Contract Administration
  7. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Considerations
  8. Conflicts of Interest
  9. Other Considerations
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Updated: 01/31/2017
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