CIFAC NEWS

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The Rules and Benefits of Advertising

When a public agency decides to move forward with bidding out a public project, advertising requirements come into play. Different agencies will have different rules to follow based on their individual procurement policies, but all must abide by the requirements set forth in the Public Contract Code (PCC). Depending on the type of public agency,

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Whack-A-Mole in Cal State Housing Projects

Do any of you remember the penny arcade game called Whack-A-Mole?  It’s a real simple game—you have a rubber mallet and you have to hit the “mole” when it pops up out of a hole—with the only problem being that there are lots of holes and the moles travel unseen underground, popping up when you

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Enforcement Is As Important As Getting A Bill Passed

Among the many lessons taught to us in Sacramento is that it is one thing to pass a bill into law, and quite another to make sure that somebody enforces that law. We got to be “somebody” in the case of Assembly Bill 720 (2011), known as the Road Commissioner Act. AB 720 was a

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Agencies and Annual Maintenance Contracts

By Anthony (Tony) Morelli, Southwestern Regional Compliance Manager. – Recently I observed a Public Work’s Director proposing to his City Council, the extension of a contractor’s $300,000 contract for the City’s annual sidewalk, curb, gutter and driveway repair or replacement maintenance contract. In looking at the background information, my concern was whether the project was

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Opting-in, The Final Step

By Matthew (Matt) Hilliard, Bay Area Regional Compliance Manager. – As a big supporter of local agencies adopting the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act (CUCCAA), The Construction Industry Force Account Council (CIFAC) must take every step to ensure that if an agency is using the provisions in CUCCAA, that they have followed all the

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Contracting by Local Agencies – California Competitive Bidding Laws

By Matthew (Matt) Hilliard, Bay Area Regional Compliance Manager. – California competitive bidding laws are intended to eliminate the awarding local agency from showing favoritism or in some cases trying to commit fraud and preventing the misuse of public funds. Contracting by local agencies laws are addressed in the California Public Contract Code (PCC), in

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3 Reasons Why Networking is Essential in Our Industry

By Jamie Watkins, Southeastern Regional Compliance Manager. – As Regional Compliance Managers we have opportunities to meet many of our partners at networking events. These occasions have allowed us to introduce ourselves, share what we do and build relationships. Most people are intrigued by our organization and want to know more. Networking is critical with

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CUCCAA Bid Threshold Limits Raised for 2019

This month, Governor Brown signed AB 2249, the State Controller sponsored bill that raises the bid threshold limits for California Uniform (Public) Construction Cost Accounting Act (Act) participating public agencies commencing January 1, 2019 for public projects. Here is the background of the bill, as reported by the State: The Public Contract Code specifies the

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The Fight to Save SB1

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” This signature line is spoken by Michael Corleone in Godfather III, but it could be used by the California heavy civil construction industry to express the frustration over the effort to repeal SB1, now known as The Road Repair and Accountability Act of

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Public Works Workers - Charter Cities

CIFAC is Keeping an Eye on Charter Cities

By Michelle Tucker, Executive Director. – As of last year, there were 121 “charter cities” out of the 485 municipalities in California…and right now it looks like another two want to join that list– City of Carson (Los Angeles County) and City of El Cerrito (Contra Costa County). July 17th El Cerrito’s city council put

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Top 10 Reasons Agencies Violate the PCC

Top 10 Reasons Agencies Violate the Public Contract Code

The Construction Industry Force Account Council (CIFAC) is a compliance organization that works to help private construction contractors get their legal, fair share of public work. To do this, we investigate California public agencies (hundreds of them) and their projects (thousands of them) to ensure compliance with state bidding laws. In the 40-years of our

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2017 President’s Message

By Dave A. Thomas, President, CIFAC. – As CIFAC’s President, I saw 2017 as a year of change, progress and success. Turning work around, building our team and holding the line on force account limits were all goals well realized. In the spring, CIFAC moved our headquarters to a more centralized location from Martinez to Fairfield. The new

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2017 By the Numbers – 2018 The Year Ahead

New staff promises more energy, fresh perspectives and a revitalized feel to CIFAC. Our focus has never been stronger and with the future addition of two more compliance managers, we will be able to turn more work around for the industry. Paramount to our success is ensuring that CIFAC has enough staff to pursue our

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California Senate Chamber

CIFAC LEGISLATIVE REPORT – 2017 Session Wrap-up

SACRAMENTO – The California Legislature wrapped up the 2017 legislative session on October 15th which was the deadline for Governor Brown to sign or veto legislation. This year CIFAC championed legislation (AB 1019) to ensure proper funding and staffing for the California Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Commission which oversees the California Uniform Public Construction

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Public or Private? Labor Code VS Public Contract Code on Public Projects

By Michelle Tucker, Executive Director. – There appears to be much confusion surrounding public project definitions. CIFAC Compliance Managers often hear “the Labor Commissioner made a decision that this is a public project so why didn’t it bid”. The Labor Code (LC) finds that most projects with more than a dollar of public money is

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Maintenance or New Construction? The Million Dollar Question

By Jamie Watkins, Southeastern Regional Compliance Manager. – Here at CIFAC one of the ways Regional Compliance Managers monitor state and local government agencies, is by reviewing city agendas looking for any items that may be out of compliance with the Public Contract Code. I was recently sent notification of a City in my region

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Sometimes you Don't Know, What you Don't Know

Charter City responds… “We’re doing what’s best,” Really? Sometimes you Don’t Know, What you Don’t Know…

By Anthony (Tony) Morelli, Southwestern Regional Compliance Manager. – During the second week of January, 2018, I noticed that the City of Arcadia was intending to award a $223,939 contract for their Fire Station No. 105 roof restoration project to a Southern California roofing contractor. Upon additional research, I determined that this was being procured

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SB1 – Rebuild California’s Roads!

By Justin Bochmann, Central Regional Compliance Manager. – In 2017, California Senate Bill 1 (SB1) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Also known as the, “Road Repair and Accountability Act”, the bill will raise approximately $52.4 billion over a 10-year period to invest in desperately needed transportation infrastructure repairs. The passage of this

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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

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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

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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. Here’s the difference by definition.

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What is CUCCAA?

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

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When In Doubt Bid It Out - Waterline Extension Spring Valley

When In Doubt, Bid It Out

By Justin Bochmann, Central Regional Compliance Manager. – Recent CIFAC investigation provides a perfect example of how projects valued close to the force account limit should be bid out. Overview: In February, CIFAC’s Central Regional Compliance Manager, Justin Bochmann, investigated a waterline extension project taking place in the city of Valley Springs. This particular project

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Illusion or Fact Building

ILLUSION or FACT?

By Patricia (Patti) Rascon, Southern Regional Compliance Manager. – Enacted in 1983, the California Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act (referred to as the ACT) provides public agencies economic benefits and greater freedom to expedite public works projects. Their Policies and Procedures Manual offers a plethora of information, and provides systematic instructions for adoption or

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Pismo Beach, Bello Street Veterans Building

Following Proper Contracting Procedures Results in Cost Savings Benefit

By Anthony (Tony) Morelli, Southwestern Regional Compliance Manager. It was recently brought to my attention that the Public Works Director for the City of Pismo Beach would ask the City Council to approve an upcoming agenda item regarding a change order for a grading and paving contractor, in the amount of $137,380.00. Upon additional research,

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The City of Ukiah Bids Work Listed in Change Order

After a letter from CIFAC, the City of Ukiah decided to bid a $71,000 paving and sidewalk project. This work had previously been listed in a change order, but CIFAC was able to convince the agency to bid the work. On January 17, CIFAC was contacted about a change order pertaining to the work being

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ABC’s of Public Works Bidding in California

By Michelle Tucker, Executive Director One of the most frequent calls we get at the CIFAC office is from a contractor wondering what the requirements are to be able to bid on public works projects. As money’s raining down from SB1, the November 2014 Prop.1 water bond and another bond issue on the ballot June

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Paving the Way with ADEA

By Patricia Rascon, Southwestern Regional Compliance Manager What is ADEA and how does it potentially benefit our construction industry? ADEA is the acronym for the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. By crushing the stereotypes that prevent companies from recognizing the variety of strengths they currently have, such as wisdom, experience and reliability, older

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Five Things You Need To Know About Emergency Declarations

Over the past several months, California has received a lot of rain. In many areas of the state, the record rainfall and snow pack totals are enough to lift them out of drought status. At the same time, many areas in Northern California also saw a slew of emergency declarations pass by county and city

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Water Dripping City of Stockton Story

The Importance of Contractor Licensing Laws

By Michelle Tucker, Executive Director Anyone who works within the public works construction industry knows the importance of the contractor licensing laws in California. Our State has some of the strictest rules in the nation, sometimes causing confusion and headaches while navigating through the bid and award process. Although the annoyance factor is understandable, did

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Bridging the Gap Without the App

By Patricia Rascon, Southwestern Regional Compliance Manager For the first time in history our workforce is comprised of five different generations. The three main groups are Baby Boomers born 1946-1964, Generation X born 1965-1980, and Generation Y born between 1981-1995. Add in some of the Traditional generation born before 1945 and the now emerging Linkster’s

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The Brown Act – Impacts Two Cities

By Patricia Rascon, Southwestern Regional Compliance Manager CIFAC Educates Two Cities on Agenda Posting Requirements (January 2017) What is transparency? Ballotpedia refers to it as, “Openness, accountability, and honesty define government transparency. In a free society, transparency is government’s obligation to share information with citizens. It is at the heart of how citizens hold their

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Lease Leaseback: This Foe May Be A New Friend

By Michelle Tucker, Executive Director A new law brings fairness to “lease leaseback” contracting. For many compliance agents and contractors in California, the mere mention of a “lease leaseback” school construction project spurred verbal groans and eyeball rolls. The negative perception surrounding this contracting method was in large part due to school districts abusing its

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Do California Fairs Follow Public Contract Code?

California’s fairs can be difficult navigate. What are the force account limits? Do all the fairs have to follow the same rules? What’s the difference between a state owned fair and a county owned fair? Many of the answers are cut and dry, while some are in a grey area. In 2012, California’s budget shortfalls

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