News & Press: Member Update

ACEC Texas Member Update - May 20, 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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ACEC Texas







Member Update

May 20, 2020






















Update on TxDOT Ransomware Attack

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced last Friday that the agency was hit by a ransomware attack on May 14th. TxDOT stated that they are experiencing technical difficulties and are conducting an investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to find those responsible for the attack. The cyberattack occurred just days after another attack on the websites and case management systems of Texas’ appellate and high courts. TxDOT Executive Director James Bass said his staff is “working to ensure critical operations continue during this interruption.” ACEC Texas has been in communication with the TxDOT Professional Engineering Procurement Services (PEPS) Division Director, Martin Rodin, who stated early yesterday that no addenda or change in schedules were expected due to the ransomware attack.

However, late yesterday we were sent an update (which we forwarded yesterday to ACEC Texas members) stating the PEPS webpage for Advertised Contracts for Architectural, Engineering and Surveying consultants is currently unavailable and that PEPS would be extending the deadline of several of the currently advertised procurements. The amendments and any other changes that PEPS makes will be posted on the State’s Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD). You can access the ESBD on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts webpage a
t txsmartbuy.com.

We received another update from PEPS this morning. Mr. Rodin recommended that it would be best for everyone to communicate with individual PEPS Service Center Managers about any addenda or contract information. Mr. Rodin included the latest PEPS Presentation which has contact information for all nine PEPS Service Center Managers and PEPS Support Centers if you have any questions regarding Administrative Qualifications, Pre-Certifications, Negotiations or Invoicing.


State Leaders Direct Agencies & Universities to Cut Budgets

Today, Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen issued a joint letter directing state agencies and institutions of higher education to each submit a plan identifying savings to reduce their budgets by 5%. In the letter, state leaders also urged for agencies and universities to pursue cost-saving strategies that will not affect the state's response to COVID-19 such as forgoing capital expenditures that can be deferred, any avoidable travel expenditures, any administrative expenses that are not mission critical, and keeping unfilled any open positions that are not essential to Texas' COVID-19 response. To read the letter, please click on the following link: Joint Letter to State Agencies and Institutions of Higher Education.

Governor Abbott Announces Phase II for Reopening Texas

Governor Abbott held a press conference on Monday to announce Phase II for reopening the Texas economy as we continue to work through COVID-19. The Governor announced that the majority of Texas is ready to move into the second phase of the plan to safety reopen businesses, while still adhering to certain restrictions and guidelines. His announcement included allowing restaurants to expand their capacities to 50%, reopening bars, breweries and wineries at 25% occupancy limits, and allowing childcare centers to open as well. The Governor also stated that beginning May 31st, youth and summer camps, and certain professional sports without spectators, would be allowed.

However, the Governor highlighted areas of the state that will have their Phase II start date delayed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospital capacity concerns. These areas include the counties of El Paso, Randall, Potter, Moore, and Deaf Smith.

To view a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, please visit the following link:
Reopening Texas.

ACEC National Complimentary Webinars for Next Week

ACEC National continues to offer members free online classes and roundtable opportunities as we continue to work through COVID-19. Next week’s webinars available to register for are below:

Announcing the ACEC Life Health Trust Loyalty Credit
New Podcast Episode Now Available

The ACEC Life/Health Trust has announced this week its loyalty credit to members. For details on the loyalty credit announcement, please click on the following link: Trust Loyalty Credit Flyer. As part of the roll out, the Trust published a new podcast to discuss the details of the credit for its members. To listen to the episode, please click on the following link: Podcast Episode.



For regular industry news and updates regarding COVID-19,
please visit the ACEC Texas and ACEC National
webpages by clicking on the following:













ACEC Texas: COVID-19 Homepage







ACEC National: COVID-19 Homepage































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