Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Professional Technical Consultant Services

Consultant Corner

This Consultant Corner page provides important information to the consultant community regarding Professional/Technical (PT) contracting with MnDOT. Below, you will find notable changes to the PT 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 updates

Travel (Mileage) Reimbursement (June 2022)

Starting July 1, 2022, the standard IRS mileage rate for business use of a personal vehicle is INCREASING to .625 (cents) per mile. This new rate should be used for all contracts and consultant billing from July 1, 2022 forward (currently, through December 31, 2022).

MnDOT Safe Harbor Program (June 2022)

In 2019, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the use of the Safe Harbor Overhead Rate Program for the consultant overhead rate calculation with a cap of 110%. The purpose of this program is to allow time for engineering consulting firms to satisfy the requirements of Part 31 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation for Overhead Calculations.

In 2022, MnDOT established a Safe Harbor Program for use with consultant contracts. Consulting firms that provide engineering and design-related services on fixed hourly rate contracts may be eligible to enroll in MnDOT’s Safe Harbor Program. This program allows a consulting firm to use MnDOT’s established Safe Harbor Overhead Rate of 110.00% of direct labor for the first two years that it is under contract to work with MnDOT.

To participate in the Safe Harbor Program, consultants must certify their intent and commitment to actively work with an accountant or bookkeeper to establish an accounting system, using QuickBooks or similar software. 

Additional information on how to participate: Safe Habor Program Quick Look

UPDATE: COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination and Testing (May 2022)

Effective Tuesday, May 24, 2022 Minnesota Management and Budget has rescinded the COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination and Testing Policy (HR/LR #1446), effectively rescinding MnDOT’s policy as well.

Insurance Certificates (December 2021)

In an effort to cut down the amount of paper received in the office, Consultant Services is encouraging the electronic submittal of insurance certificates. Please email the insurance certificates (identifying the MnDOT Contract Number) to: professionaltechnicalcontractforms.dot@state.mn.us (copy the State’s Authorized Representative). When submitting electronically, hard copies are not necessary.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Information (September 2021)

For additional information visit MnDOT Audit's website at mndot.gov/audit/rates.html

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.

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.

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.

Please refer to the documents below for instructions:

If you have additional questions, after reviewing the documentation, please contact Consultant Services.

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 - mndot.gov/audit.