Women Contractors Association Meets with Houston Independent School District (HISD)
The WCA has had several meetings with HISD to discuss issues that occurred on some of the prior bond projects. By working with HISD, we hope to prevent those issues with projects on the 2012 bond.
The first meeting was with Alexis Lacata, General Manager, Business Assistance Business Services and Robert Sands from HISD. The issue of General Contractors not paying their subs in a timely manner was discussed. WCA wanted to know how General Contractors with the reputation for not paying subs were allowed to bid on the 2012 projects.. A follow up meeting with HISD outside Legal Counsel and Procurement was scheduled.
During the follow up meeting WCA had three subcontractors attend to discuss issues that they had or currently having with prior bond projects.
All three subs voiced concerns that GC that had failed to pay their subs in a timely manner on the prior projects bond had received schools on the 2012 bond. Each had plenty of examples.
o HISD informed us that several General Contractors had not been awarded projects on the 2012 bond due to prior issues .
o HISD Explained new processes that should prevent this from happening including certified payroll submission..
o Steps that subcontractors should take to notify HISD of issues including notify Robert and Alexis ASAP if issue arise.
o Language in current contracts that would allow HISD to remove a GC from job and/or joint check if needed
One of the subcontractors had a list of schools /General Contractors that are of concern. She received a list from one of her vendors of the schools that they were waiting on payment from one of their subs. Robert and Alexis to review and take appropriate actions.
Concerns were raised regarding the layers of companies involved and the walk thru happening at different times resulting in punch list that can go as high as 55 or 60.
O Procurement provided an Explanation of Texas Laws regarding governmental construction projects
o HISD and CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AT RISK (CMAR) companies to walk through job sites daily so that issues are addressed before job reach final stage
o CMAR on site at HISD
Concerns were raised that individuals from previous projects had moved to new companies
o HISD reviewed org charts and resumes of CMAR and GC teams
- Any additions to teams must be approved from HISD
- New Badging processes would eliminate additions without notification to HISD
Executive Director, Susan Repka, also attended a Supplier Diversity Advisory Council (SDAC) meeting. The outside consultants for HISD were introduced:
- D. Samuels & Associates – will be working with all companies regarding LCP Tracker for certified payroll
- FC Background - background checks and drug screening
- 3PL Consulting – work with General Contractors and Subcontractors on any issues
In addition, HISD is installing a hotline for subcontractors to use regarding any issues that they are having with General Contractors on HISD jobs. HISD will use this information to do a complete audit on the General Contractors while keeping the subcontractor information private. The HISD IT department is working on the hotline and the information will be provided to all subcontractors as soon as the system is up and running.
WCA will continue to work with our members on the 2012 bond to ensure that any issues that arise are brought to the attention of HISD immediately. Please let us know if you are bidding and/or working on any HISD projects. We are here to be your voice and to aid in finding solutions!