Best Value Contracting
The City of Madison's commitment to being a Best Value Contracting Municipality is established in Madison General Ordinance 33.07(7).
A brief summary of the BVC ordinance is that both general contractors (GCs) and subcontractors are required to comply individually with prequalification and active apprenticeship requirements. The extent of compliance is determined by the dollar value of the contract (the GC's bid and the sub's contract with the GC).
The contract dollar benchmark is based on the Construction Cost Index (CCI) and is computed yearly. In 2023, the single-trade minimum is $74,000 and the multi-trade minimum is $360,500. The single- and multi-trade dollar values are listed in the contract Special Provisions, Section 102.12:
"This Contract shall be considered a Best Value Contract if the Contractor's bid is equal to or greater than the amount set in the contract specifications for a single trade contract; or equal to or greater than the amount set in the contract specifications for a multi-trade contract."
Neither the GC nor the sub are required to be in compliance with the active apprentice requirement at the time of the bid award, but must meet requirements to the extent required by MGO 33.07(7) before beginning work on the project site. Additionally, subcontractors with contracts that meet or exceed the single-trade dollar amount must prequalify with the City of Madison before beginning work on the project.
Exemptions to the apprenticeship requirement for both GCs and subs will be addressed in a separate section below.
General Contractors and Best Value Contracting Requirements
General Contractors submit information about apprenticeship utilization with their monetary bid as part of the proposal (Section F).
The information supplied in Section F may change from the time of the bid. The information assists staff in determining the extent the contractor must comply with active apprenticeship requirements or if exemptions apply.
If the GC submits the Workforce Profile Form, Engineering staff will determine if an apprentice is required per MGO 33.07(7). Criteria is based on dollar of contract, number of trades the GC is using on the contract and if the trades are considered apprentice-able. For information about construction apprenticeships available in Wisconsin, please visit the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website.
If an apprentice is required, the GC shall submit either a letter from a recognized training body (example) or an Apprentice Contract issued by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (example).
These documents will be retained on file by the City. If the GC is awarded subsequent public works contracts that require documentation of an active apprentice, Engineering staff will contact the GC to request written documentation (such as an email) that the apprentice is still active with the company.
Subcontractors and Best Value Contracting Requirements
Subcontractors are not required to be prequalified with the City of Madison or have active apprentices at the time of contract award.
Based on the subcontractor's contract with the GC, the sub will be required to pre-qualify with the City of Madison if the dollar value of the contract is equal or greater than the yearly single-trade minimum (e.g., in 2023 if the contract is $74,000 or more) and comply with apprenticeship requirements to the extent defined by MGO 33.07(7).
Only subcontractors performing work on the project site, where prevailing wage requirements are in effect, are required to submit a workforce profile, regardless of contract dollar value. A copy of the workforce profile form may be obtained from the GC or downloaded from the City's Public Works website.
Additionally, only subs with a contract dollar value equal or greater than the yearly single trade minimum are required to submit the Subcontractor Best Value Contracting Compliance form. This form should be directed to the subcontractor from the GC.
If the subcontractor submits a workforce profile, Engineering staff will determine if an apprentice is required per MGO 33.07(7). The same criteria that is used with General Contractors is applied: The dollar value of the contract, number of trades the sub is using on the contract and if the trades are considered apprentice-able.
If an apprentice is required, the subcontractor shall submit either a letter from a recognized training body or an Apprentice Contract issued by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
These documents will be retained on file. If the subcontractor works on other City of Madison public works contracts that require documentation of an active apprentice, Engineering staff will contact the subcontractor to request written documentation (such as an email) that the apprentice is still active with the company.
Exemptions to the Active Apprentice Requirement of MGO 33.07(7)
- Contractor has total skilled workforce of four or less individuals in all apprentice-able trades.
- Contractor performing work not considered to be an apprentice-able trade.
- No available trade training program; The contractor has been rejected by the one available trade training program, or there is no trade training program within 90 miles.
- Contractor is not using an apprentice due to having a journeyworker on layoff status, provided the journeyworker was employed for the Contractor in the past six months.
- Contractor has been in business less than one year.
- First time Contractor requests a onetime exemption but intends to comply on all future contracts and is taking steps typical of a "good faith" effort.
- An exemption is granted in accordance with a time period of a "documented depression" as defined by the State of Wisconsin.
- Contractor doesn't have enough journeyman trade workers to qualify for a trade training program in that respective trade.