Construction Industry Force Account Council

Promoting Transparency Through Public Agency Compliance

Southern California Progress & Accomplishments – April 2018




NOTE* This report is intended solely for the information and use of CIFAC members. Any copying, distributing, or publishing is prohibited without written permission from CIFAC Executive Director.

Northern California Progress and Accomplishments - April 2018


University of California Irvine MT170901 (50,000) Orange County

Tucker was contacted regarding the Middle Earth Expansion project at UC Irvine. This design-build project was noticed by an industry member due to signs posting the project. Subcontractors (subs) were listed, however, no public notice soliciting subs was evident. Tucker submitted a records request to the college and received no response. Industry partners experienced the same issue, not receiving any response to inquiry's. Tucker contacted the College two additional times and expressed her concern. Due to the last inquiry, Tucker finally received a response indicating a request for additional time to complete her records search. Some documentation was received and it appears that subcontractors were prequalified in 2016. This list of prequalified subs was then provided to general contractors for inclusion in their bid packages. Upon review of additional documentation, it appears that the subcontractor selection process was compliant and no further action was required.

Approximate Value: $98,000,000 | Status: Resolved/Monitor


City of Chino Hills JW180401 (CUCCAA-$45,000) San Bernardino County

Watkins received notification the City of Chino Hills, issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for “On-Call Painting Service”. The proposed project is described as maintenance to preserve city facilities, though it appears to be new construction. The RFP was published on April 19th and the City is scheduled to make a decision around June 26th. Watkins will review upcoming agendas to monitor the project by reviewing cost and scope of work to ensure competitive bidding.

Approximate Value: Unknown │Status: Monitor

City of Victorville JW180402 (Charter-$45,000) San Bernardino County

Reviewing the City of Victorville’s upcoming City Council agenda, Watkins observed the City Engineer requesting a rejection of all bids for section D7 a project to install 15 new LED street lights on Phantom Street. Upon reviewing further, it appears all eight bids were rejected, after the City concluded that the scope of work was more than they anticipated. The City Engineer originally planned to use city forces and determined the project would exceed $45,000 that would exceed their force account limit. Watkins will monitor future request for proposals and City Council agendas to ensure the City formally bids out the entire project.

Approximate Value: $50,000 │Status: Monitor

City of Wasco JW180403 (General Law-$5,000) Kern County

Watkins searched through the April 17th City of Wasco’s City Council agenda and came across the purchase of a new centrifuge for their Wastewater Treatment plant. The City had sent out a Request for Proposal for installation of the centrifuge back on March 25th and received 2 bids. The Public Work’s department was requesting City Council reject all bids because the lowest responsive bidder did not specify the exact subcontractor they would use for the project. Watkins will monitor upcoming agendas for updated information on the project to ensure the project is competitively bid.

Approximate Value: $296,000│Status: Monitor


Watkins traveled to Fairfield where she met the other Regional Compliance Managers (RCM) and attended the monthly staff meeting.

Watkins attended WiOPS (Women in Construction Operations) networking meeting in Irvine where she was able to network with project engineers and designers, as well as share what CIFAC is about and how we could help if they should need any services.

Watkins consulted and trained throughout the month with RCM Rascon and Hilliard on potential investigations, reviewing agendas, database, and possible investigations.

Watkins is continually monitoring public entities to ensure compliance with the California Public Contract Code. If she discovers and easily determines a project to be in compliance, it is not considered an investigation and therefore is not listed on this report as such.


City of Los Angeles TM180302 (Charter-No Limit) Los Angeles County

CIFAC has had many complaints from various contractors over the years concerning the City of Los Angeles's aggressive approach to their use of force account on many projects. Some of these include, but are not limited to; Street paving, grinding and underground projects, both within the City limits and at the Los Angeles World Airport. Based on recent activity, Morelli decided to send the City's Public Works Director a formal Public Records Act (PRA) request for information concerning their use of force account during the last two years. We are currently awaiting their response. Morelli received a call on March 27th, from the City of LA, Sr. Administrative Clerk, who asked for clarification. She claimed that she didn't understand what we were looking for and asked what we meant by City Forces? Morelli explained. She emailed Morelli indicating that the information CIFAC requested was not under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Contract Administration. Morelli received another email 3/29 from a women with the Civil Litigation, Street Services Investigations/ Enforcement Division, indicating that she would get back to him.

On 4/5 Morelli received a response from her indicating that her department received this request in error and that it belonged to the Bureau of Contract Administrations who she was forwarding it to. Receiving no response, Morelli sent a 2nd email again requesting the information. Morelli is currently awaiting the City's reply.

Approximate Value: Unknown │Status: Ongoing

City of Port Hueneme TM180303 (Charter-$25,000) Ventura County

RCM Morelli observed that the City of Port Hueneme's Public Works Director was asking his City Council to approve and award a contract to a contractor for $186,250 to rehabilitate the Moranda Park Tennis Courts # 7 & 8 project. The project was being done through the use of a National Joint Powers Agreement (NJPA) which claimed the project was competitively bid. The Director's staff report only indicated that one contractor submitted a proposal. Morelli sent a Public Records Act request asking for additional information concerning their advertising and bidding process. Specifically Morelli wanted to know, what method and/or process was used in the advertising and asked to see proof of the project being advertised. Morelli also wanted to know if there were any other contractors who submitted bids for this project and if so, asked to see that list as well. Morelli additionally asked that in the meantime the City pull and table the awarding of this contract agenda item from their March 19th City Council Meeting Agenda until the City could provide specific details concerning CIFAC’s request. On 3/16, Morelli received an email form their City Attorney indicating that the City would not pull the item from the City Council Agenda because; 1) They believed as a Charter City using the JPA, that all legal requirements regarding the contracting process were done correctly, and 2) that the City needed to move forward with the progress of the project. The Attorney also indicated that he would get back to Morelli once they had the documents requested. Morelli received the documentation on 4/6 via email and it clearly shows that the JPA was using a JOC for the project through the Gordian Group, who did in fact advertise the project properly, which also had several bidders. Bottom line, they are in compliance with the JPA.

Approximate Value: $186,250 │ Status: Resolved/Monitor

City of Pismo Beach TM180401 (CUCCAA-$45,000) San Luis Obispo County

Morelli receive an inquiry from a referring source concerning the City accepting bids and awarding to "A" licensed General Contractors who have utilized additional "A" licensed contractors, as subcontractors for the electrical portion of the project and not require C-10 Electrical contractors to perform this portion of the work. Morelli researched the issue and was able to clarify that the City was within their legal authority to do this, per the California Business and Professions Code, Sec 7059 (B) and as defined in Sec. 1101 of the Public Contract Code; the City can determine the contractor license classification required for the project.

Approximate Value: $10,700,000 │ Status: Resolved

City of La Puente TM180402 (General Law-) Los Angeles County

Reviewing the City's upcoming agenda, RCM Morelli noticed that the City Manager and Director of Development Services were requesting that the City consider a resolution and adopt findings to dispense with the competitive bidding procedures and approve a maintenance service agreement with Progressive Design Playgrounds, via the use of the Department of General Services Administration (DGSA)/California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS) process for the removal and replacement of the rubberized playground surface at the City of La Puente Park. Morelli was concerned whether proper solicitation and bidding procedures were being followed per the Public Contract Code (PCC), as the City's Staff report made no mention or provided any details regarding any other contractors who may have bid on this project. Morelli sent an email, along with a formal Public Records Act (PRA), requesting more information and asked to see proof of the solicitation process and a list of all contractors who bid on the project. The City actually has the legal authority to dispense with the competitive bidding process per Government Code Sec. 54205, so long as they adopt a resolution to dispense with the competitive bidding process on a specified project and to make purchases of materials through the Department of General Services via special agreements in accordance with PCC 10298. "State and local agencies may contract with suppliers awarded those contracts without further competitive bidding". Bottom line… The City is in compliance in this particular case.

Approximate Value: $100,170 │ Status: Resolved

City of Redondo Beach TM180403 (Charter-$15,000) Los Angeles County

In reviewing the City Council Agenda, Morelli noticed that the City's Public Works Department had an agenda item asking the City Council to appropriate $245,101 in additional funds and approve change order No. 2 in that amount for their Pier Parking Structure Repairs Project, Job #70610. The contractor bid on and was previously awarded the original project #70610 back in March 2017 for $1,022,934 with the scope of work specifically defined per the contract. In December 2017, the City also issued the contractor change order No. 1 for additional work in the amount of $571,972. Upon further investigation, Morelli discovered that both change order #1 and the proposed change order #2 are for additional work that was not part of the original scope of the City's project #70610. Morelli emailed the Public Works Director and City Manager to advise them that they were violating the PCC, Sec. 100 and misusing the process for change orders since this was additional new work and not part of the original project's scope. Morelli made a formal request for the Public Works Department to remove their agenda item requesting the approval for change order #2 from the May 1st City Council meeting agenda and to please formally bid-out the additional new work separately, as required. Morelli is currently awaiting the City's reply.

Approximate Value: $245,101 │Status: Ongoing


Morelli attended the CIFAC Staff meeting in the Fairfield office.

Morelli asked for and attended a meeting with the County of Ventura, Public Works officials and Department Staff to discuss contract administration and explain CIFAC's purpose.

Morelli and Bochmann attended AGC, San Joaquin District Crab Feed event and networked with their contractor members. Morelli provided an overview of CIFAC's purpose the next morning for their district board of directors.

Morelli and Rascon attended and participated as an exhibitor at the California Asphalt Pavement Association's Annual Conference in Ontario.

Morelli is continually monitoring public entities to ensure compliance with the California Public Contract Code. Although he routinely searches for violations, if he discovers and easily determines a project to be in compliance, it is not considered an investigation and therefore would not be listed on this report.


City of Colton PR180201 (General Law-$5,000) San Bernardino County

Rascon was contacted and provided pictures of city crews removing trees in early February 2018 for a project with a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued in early December 2017 (bid due date of 01/04/2018). Although city outreach was to 174 landscape companies, they only received one bid. The bid was ultimately awarded on February 20. Rascon is continuing her investigation for the potential misuse of Force Account limits since the work by staff appears to be part of the original the RFP. Rascon contacted the Environmental Conservation Supervisor and is awaiting their response.

Approximate Value: $295,200 │ Status: Ongoing

Housing Authority of the County of Riverside (HACR) PR180301 (CUCCAA-$45,000) Riverside

Rascon was contacted about an asbestos, abatement & demolition project of (58) mobile home units in Mecca & Thermal. The reporting party was experiencing difficulty in obtaining the bid results. The agency received five bids ranging from $5,800-$22,250. The concern was that the apparent low bid might not be meeting the requirements to complete the project. Rascon received confirmation the low bid was accepted and a letter of intent was issued. The project is scheduled to start on April 30. Rascon notified the reporting party with her findings.

Approximate Value: $5,844 │Status: Resolved

City of El Centro PR180401 (CUCCAA-$45,000) Imperial County

Rascon discovered a SB1 project for the La Brucherie Avenue Widening project posted on the City website with a bid opening of May 3rd, but was unable to locate additional advertising in the specific trade journals as required by PCC 22036. Rascon contacted the City Clerk and Engineering Departments and was provided the additional documentation. Satisfied with their response, Rascon will continue to monitor the progress of the bid.

Approximate Value: $2,750,000 │Status: Resolved

City of Calipatria PR180402 (General Law-$5,000) Imperial County

During agenda checking, Rascon discovered an agenda item to award a contract for the installation of a prefabricated restroom facility including a sidewalk around the building to connect it with an existing bus shelter and the addition of solar lighting. Her concern is that this project was previously bid and rejected in early January 2018 with only one bid received for $240,055. According to the current agenda, the project was re-advertised (no supporting documents with the agenda) and only one bid was received from the same contractor for $99,575. Rascon was concerned about the lack of supporting documentation, and contacted the City Clerk to request the informational reports. She is awaiting an answer from the Engineering Department. She also sent a formal letter to the City Clerk and City Manager, citing Government Code 54954.2 (a) (1), reminding them of their duty to provide information to include current/past agendas, minutes, staff reports and their Municipal Code.

Approximate Value: $99,575│ Status: Ongoing

City of Beaumont PR180403 (CUCCAA-$45,000) Riverside County

Beaumont was previously classified as a General Law City and became signatory to the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act (CUCCAA) in November 2017. In September of 2017, Rascon began monitoring a traffic signalization project on a very well-traveled bridge. The City advertised a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purchase of traffic signal poles and equipment in advance of the construction with Caltrans to issue a permit. The City received two bids for the poles and they accepted the lowest responsible bidder. The May 2018 agenda was requesting that Council accept the lowest responsible bidder for the installation of the new traffic signals for the east and west ramps, left-turn channelization and minor widening. Rascon learned there were only two bids received and was concerned that their outreach may not have been in line with CUCCAA advertising requirements. She contacted staff and received verification of publications and is satisfied with their response.

Approximate Value: $1,116,577 │Status: Resolved


Rascon traveled to the CIFAC Corporate office in Fairfield to meet new RCM's Matt Hilliard and Jaime Watkins. She assisted in training the new RCM's and attended the monthly staff meeting

Rascon and Morelli attended the California Asphalt Pavement Association (CalAPA) Spring Conference and Equipment Expo in Ontario. Morelli introduced Rascon to Executive Director, Russell Snyder and Brandon Milar, Director of Technical Services. Rascon networked with attendees (suppliers and city public works staff) and provided them information on CIFAC's role monitoring projects

Rascon continues to assist in training RCM Watkins on investigation techniques and the use of the CIFAC database.

Rascon is continually monitoring public entities to ensure compliance with the California Public Contract Code. If she discovers and easily determines a project to be in compliance, it is not considered an investigation and therefore is not listed on this report as such.

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Part-Time Researcher & Office Assistant