By Patricia (Patti) Rascon, Southern Regional Compliance Manager. -
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” right? Most of us are familiar with the Parent-Student Handbook that outlines the school districts expectations for kids and parents alike, but who holds the schools accountable for their behavior?
Education Code (EC) Section 1040 (a) provides that County Boards of Education shall “Adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of this state, for their own government”. Simply put, they must follow the rules! A recent investigation with an Orange County School District on a Lease-leaseback project uncovered a discrepancy on an agenda item, which spelled out …WITHOUT ADVERTISING FOR BIDS.
History 101: In January 2017, with the help of CIFAC and their partners, AB 2316 became law and allowed for significant changes to the Lease-Leaseback (LLB) construction program. Notable revisions included specifically deleting the phrase “without advertising for bid” from EC section 17406 and adding a new competitive bidding process to the LLB procedure. In other words, the code now requires a competitive bidding process should the district choose to use this contracting method. This process now includes the adoption and publishing of required procedures, guidelines by the school district, the advertisement of Request of Proposal (RFP), pre-qualification of contractors, proposals submitted in a sealed envelope with each proposal scored based on a best value system, and lastly, subcontractors shall be afforded protections built into the contract.
While doing my homework, I discovered that someone failed to make the grade in keeping the purchasing policy up-to-date. Their version from September 2000 read, “Without the benefit of a formal bid”. So what are the consequences for bad behavior? Not receiving the best value for dollars spent, and lost job opportunities for our industry to name a few.
History 102: The CIFAC mission is to create and increase job opportunities for the public works construction industry and this equates holding agencies accountable for their actions. With our involvement, the district acknowledged the errors and pledged to follow the rules.
Lesson learned, passing grade, no detention, gold star!