Monthly Archives: May 2018

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League of California Cities

League of California Cities Transportation Funding Toolkit

SB 1 Toolkit (Updated: 03/21/18)

The goal of the city and county toolkit is to help you inform and educate your community about projects and associated benefits that are being made possible by SB 1 – the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The information is most informative/effective when you provide specific details about local projects happening in your city/county.

Additional SB1 Toolkit information here

SB 1: The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017

For cities, SB 1 will double the amount of revenues they each receive from the state for their local street maintenance and rehabilitation needs. Annually, $500 to $650 million will go to cities statewide, allocated on a per capita basis. A vast majority of the new revenues for cities will come out of the newly created Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account (RMRA) where cities will have to prioritize fixing their existing infrastructure first before having some additional flexibility for those funds for other transportation needs.

Below, is a listing of the estimated revenue generated from of SB 1 and when they go into effect:

  • $1.8 billion – 12 cent increase to gasoline excise tax (Nov. 1, 2017)
  • $730 million – 20 cent increase to diesel excise tax (Nov. 1, 2017)
  • $300 million – 4% addition to diesel sales tax (Nov. 1, 2017)
  • $704 million – One-time loan repayment (2017-2020)
  • $1.6 billion – $25-$175 transportation improvement fee (Jan 1, 2018)
  • $1.1 billion – 17.3 cent reset of price-based gas tax (July 1, 2019)
  • $20 million - $100 zero emission vehicle registration fee (July 1, 2020)

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See Something Say Something Banner

If you See Something, Say Something – It’s Not Just a Cliché

By Patricia (Patti) Rascon Southern Regional Compliance Manager. –

Just like any valuable tradesperson, the Regional Compliance Manager (RCM) team at CIFAC relies on many tools of the trade to empower us to complete our jobs. While we continuously monitor agendas in our respective regions to pinpoint force account violations, we also rely on alerts from our industry partners (boots on the ground), networking contacts, educational events and occasionally, Google Alerts. With that being said nothing beats being at the right place at the right time!Patricia (Patti) Rascon, Southern Regional Compliance Manager

What happens when a Public Works department admits to self-performing paving work at a depth over one inch because… “It’s just easier than bidding it out”? Yes, this actually occurred at an event I was attending! This information can and did set the wheels in motion for a closer look.

Straightforward information in problem solving includes the Five W’s: Who, What, Where, When and Why. In this scenario we know who and why. During the preliminary stages of my investigation, I located the issuance of two purchase orders for “Bulk Street Materials”. In of itself, this is a common practice, but when you factor in the purchase of a new grading tractor, a heavy duty loader and the admission of self-performing work, it definitely warrants an investigation! With a public records request in place, the missing blanks of what, where and when will soon be revealed to me, and will ultimately determine the outcome for this agency.

CIFAC values our industry partners and we strive to maintain integrity with all agencies concerning bidding, force account and the like. If you see something, say something, we are just a phone call or click away at www.cifac.org


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Force Account Limit and Bid Threshold Article Banner

Force Account Limit and Bid Threshold, What’s the Difference?

By Matthew (Matt) Hilliard, Bay Area Regional Compliance Manager. -

Our members, partners and supporters are frequently asking; “What’s the difference between a public agency’s force account limit and their bid threshold.” The person asking the question tends to be confused because they think they are one and the same.Matthew (Matt) Hilliard, Bay Area Regional Compliance Manager

Here's the difference by definition.

The Force Account limit is the limit of work that a public agency can do with its own forces before they must go out for competitive bids. Force account is the dollar value of labor, materials and equipment at the rate the public agencies charge themselves. Labor cost calculations are based on the entity’s actual cost of labor. Force account limits do not apply to maintenance work.

The Bid Threshold is the dollar amount at which an entity, if they are going to use a contractor, must bid out the work. This is sometimes set by a local ordinance, but is commonly used with Charter Cities. It may, but does not need to be the same as their force account limit.

Here’s where limits and thresholds get a little tricky, but we are available to help.

California State Law (General Law) defined in the California Public Contract Code (PCC) sets the force account limits and bid thresholds for public agencies. They vary by type of agency. For example, a general law city has a force account limit of $5,000, while a county has a $4,000 limit if their population is less than 500,000 and $6,500 if it is above 500,000. All new work over that amount must be formally advertised for competitive bid. School Districts and Special Districts have different force account limits.

Charter Cities can write their own rules but the local voters must approve these rules. They may set force account limits and bidding thresholds at different levels. CIFAC will always encourage Cities to follow general law when it comes to the public contracting section of their Charter.

Then there are public agencies that are signatory to the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act (CUCCAA). They can self-perform the work to $45,000 and use informal bidding up to $175,000, above which they must advertise for formal bidding.

As you have read, the definitions of force account limits and bid thresholds are clearly different and there are a variety of formulas Counties, Cities and Special Districts use. That is why CIFAC exists. We use our expert knowledge of the Public Contract Code to help you with your questions and get you the answers you need.


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What is CUCCAA?

By Maghan Hunt, Northern Regional Compliance Manager. -

The California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act, or CUCCAA, is a term that gets thrown around a lot when talking about local public agencies, but what is it?

The Act is legislation enacted in 1983 to help promote “uniformity of the cost accounting standards and bidding procedures on construction work performed or contracted by public entities in the state.” Section 22001. The Act is a voluntary program available to all public entities in the State, but only applies to those public agencies that have “opted in” to the provisions set forth by the Act. The Act can be found in its entirety under Public Contract Code section 22000 et seq.Maghan Hunt, Northern Regional Compliance Manager

It allows local agencies to perform work with their force account up to $45,000. It also allows the agencies to informally bid a project up to $175,000. Because local agencies choose to become a signatory to the Act, they can leave the Act whenever they like.

Many participants praise the Act because it gives them more leeway to get public works projects done by speeding up the awards process, improving timelines for project completion, and has eliminated considerable amounts of red tape related to bidding projects. This benefits contractors because it means more public works projects are going out to bid, equating to more work for the construction industry.

There is a commission within the California State Controller’s office that oversees the Act and ensures local agencies are following the provisions outlined in Public Contract Code sections 22000 to 22045. The Commission is made up of seven members from the private sector and seven members in the public sector, and they receive no pay for being a part of the commission.

Should an agency be found out of compliance with CUCCAA, a formal complaint can be filed and the Commission will investigate the complaint and then deliver a verdict on whether the agency was in the wrong.

When an agency is found to be out of compliance, the Commission will issue a “strike” against the agency. If an agency receives three strikes over a 10 year period they are disqualified from the Act and must wait three years before they can file to be part of the Act again.

Overall, the Act gives public agencies that participate benefits as a tradeoff for additional compliance measures. The Commission and the ability to file a complaint against an agency is an additional tool to help bring an agency out of compliance with the Public Contract Code back into compliance.