Complete Story


ACEC National seeks input on NYU Survey

Specifically the Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC)

 Dear ACEC Ohio Members:

As you may be aware, the ACEC national organization has engaged New York University (NYU) to undertake a study that seeks to compare the in-house costs of doing design and related activities at the Corps of Engineers and NAVFAC – including a fully-loaded overhead -- with the costs of contracting out those services to engineering firms. NYU has made good progress in gathering data from most of the Corps districts around the country, and ACEC is asking for our help to promote participation among firms that currently or have previously done work for the Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC).

NYU has developed an online survey to assist this important research project. The survey is relatively short, and seeks data from each firm on direct and indirect costs and typical profit margins, as well as the various Corps and NAVFAC districts/regions where the firm does work. All data will be strictly confidential – only the NYU research team will have access to the information submitted by firms and no participating firms will be identified while the study is underway or in the final report. All data submitted will be aggregated with information provided by other participating firms.

I would urge you to take the time to participate. As an industry that strongly promotes and defends the use of Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) in the procurement of A/E services, we know that simple cost metrics do not properly convey the true value of engineering service providers to our clients and to the public. Unfortunately, very often in-sourcing decisions made by federal agencies, as well as related efforts by public employee unions to mandate in-sourcing, are often justified on the flawed basis that the agency saves money by keeping the work in-house. We believe this study will provide us with a useful tool to counter those claims, and allow us to bring the discussion back to the real value measures for contracting out, such as the innovation, efficient/timely project delivery, and project success that results when highly qualified engineering firms are put to work.

Thank you for your participation and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jessica Salmoiraghi at and Steve Hall at


Printer-Friendly Version

Advancing the Business of Engineering