By Bill Davis, Contributing Writer, Email: [email protected]

Shari Bacon, the main investigator for the Constructed Industry Force Account Council (CIFAC) has had a busy summer, with strong efforts in the cities of Inglewood, Long Beach, San Juan Capistrano and other venues.

In Inglewood Bacon investigated a report of an impending rejection of all bids in connection to a delay in the award of a contract to the lowest responsible bidder for the $16.5 million Century Boulevard Mobility Improvements Project 3.

After a thorough review of all related documents including written correspondence between the contractor and the City, Bacon reached out and spoke to city staff. Several of the reporting party’s telephone inquiries had gone unanswered and they believed the city was trying to manipulate a re-bid in order to award to the same contractor currently working on Projects 1, 2 and 4.

Since staff was not going to budge, Bacon sent a certified letter to the City Council (and copied key members of staff) to call attention to the matter. She suggested the City Council carefully examine the intent of staff in their call for a rejection of all bids. She also stated she would address the City Council in person if a resolution was not met before the meeting
scheduled for June 28th.

On the day of the meeting, Bacon received calls from the City Attorney and the Public Works Director. Due to the sudden realization of an impasse with the Public Works Director, Bacon informed him she would see him at the meeting where he tried to further explain why the bid should be rejected. Although the item was pulled from the agenda and the Public Works Director was called upon to respond, it appears the City Council approved the rejection of bids and a re-bid of the project.

City of Long Beach

Bacon was contacted to review the bid process for the $800,000 intersection modification at Walnut Avenue and Alamitos Avenue with a bid opening date of February 24, 2016. It appears the low bidder may not have met the good faith effort requirement as requested by the entity. The contract has not yet been awarded and a hearing is set to take place in approximately two weeks. Bacon will review all related documents, including any DBE requirements tied to the funding, before the hearing date to determine if CIFAC can assist.

City of San Juan Capistrano

The city’s consent agenda noted a request to reject a single bid and find the $250,000 Blas Aguilar Adobe site improvement project can be more economically constructed by force account.

Upon review of the supporting documents, Bacon had a question regarding how they arrived at this recommendation since they now wish to negotiate a contract with the second bidder. She also
noted for an entity signatory to the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act (CUCCAA), this may not adhere to California Public Contract Code §22038. She will need time to further investigate and achieve contact with the City.

Ojai Valley Sanitary District

Bacon investigated a report of an unfair bidding process for the $171,000 Ojai Sewer spot repairs. After review of supporting documents and discussions with the reporting party, Bacon contacted the General Manager of the District to explain it appears they did not follow the proper bidding procedures.

The General Manager noted the process will undergo review and he would know in a few days how the District will proceed. Bacon contacted the General Manager for an update and learned the
award, contract and notice to proceed have all been put on hold. He said they would like to thoroughly look at the project issues and they may need to go to the Board for clarification. Bacon will continue to monitor to ensure this project and all future bidding practices are in compliance.

The District recommended to rescind the contract that was awarded and to incorporate the scope of work into a future request for proposals. Although the Agenda Report states alternative reasons for this action, Bacon is confident CIFAC deserves the credit for this influence to be in compliance it is not considered an investigation and therefore it is not listed in this report.

The ECA Project

Wes May, Executive Director, Engineering Contractors Association (ECA), invited Bacon to join him at a meeting with a contractor who had concerns over the delivery method of a project with the contract award scheduled in July, 2016. Bacon has conducted extensive research and is now awaiting word from other partners who are working together to coordinate a resolution to this matter. We’ll keep you posted on the outcome.