by Shari Bacon, Southeastern Regional Compliance Manager
Whenever CIFAC Regional Compliance Managers hear of intended force account work, we are quick to contact the public agency to see why they are not bidding out the project. As a general law city, Wasco can only self-perform new construction of up to $5,000. It is common knowledge most agencies can’t even mobilize (or get out the door) for less than $5,000, so at CIFAC we respond to every inquiry to make sure the public agency does not exceed their force account limit or bidding threshold.
Although the City of Wasco believed and stated the site preparation for the solar project might be private work, I asked for the probability of bidding out the work as an option. In the construction industry, it is always best to have skilled workers on the job as this ensures the best value for the public’s money in the long-run. At CIFAC, we have all seen projects that did not stand up to the test of time when performed by maintenance crews not trained in the specific construction trades.
After persistence in telephone calls and e-mail communications involving the Public Works Director, City Attorney and Staff, the City of Wasco decided to bid out the Wasco Green Waste Site Solar Facility Surface Preparation Project on June 14, 2017.
At CIFAC, our goal is to see public works projects bid according to law as stated in the California Public Contract Code (PCC). We also continue to monitor to ensure public agencies remain in compliance during current investigations and in the future. Earlier in my career, I had worked for several contractors assisting them in project management, estimating, and job site administration. Therefore, I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to shed light on the PCC and provide jobs to the construction industry through competitive bidding. It is especially rewarding when the public agencies actually see the light.