PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Audit Alleges Holes in Oregon DOT's System

Friday, March 17, 2017

More items for Program/Project Management
More items from North America

Comment | More

A recently released audit indicates that the Oregon Department of Transportation could be leaving itself open to artificial inflation on the part of the contractors it employs.

The audit, released by Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, leads with the assertion that “ODOT should better scrutinize construction costs and project changes by tracking line item bids with abnormally high or low prices.”

ODOT construction site
Oregon DOT, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

A recent audit of the Oregon Department of Transportation suggests the agency could do more to prevent contractors from costing the state more money than necessary.

The issues called out by the audit center around “unbalanced bid items”—line items that a contractor bids unusually high or low on, which keeping the bid on the whole low. The Department of State argues that when a contract has unbalanced bid items and then changes are made in the project later on, it can lead to increased costs for the state.

ODOT has no mechanism for keeping an eye on unbalanced bid items in relation to project changes, the audit says, leaving the agency open to gamesmanship and even fraud by contractors. The audit notes that not all project changes are problematic or avoidable, but that they must be monitored for that potential.

How It Works

The audit cites a hypothetical example: In an overall lowest bid, a contractor could bid $50 per ton for 1,000 tons of aggregate for paving, while ODOT’s estimate for the cost of the aggregate was $25 per ton. If a change occurs in the project later on, requiring 2,000 tons of aggregate to be used, the contractor has then charged the state $100,000 for what the state had estimated would, at maximum, cost $50,000.

The audit explains that ODOT legally does not have the opportunity to reject a bid simply because a line item is “mathematically unbalanced” (i.e., notably high or low in comparison with the estimate), only when it is “materially unbalanced” (meaning there is reasonable doubt that awarding the contract to this bidder will benefit the state).

Recommendations

In order to keep an eye on mathematically unbalanced items and prevent massive overcharges like in the audit’s hypothetical example, the Department of State recommends that ODOT:

  • Track unbalanced bid items;
     
  • Include bid item numbers in contract change orders (and larger-scale changes, known as overruns and increases);
     
  • Conduct regular analyses of unbalanced items vis a vis project cost; and
     
  • Provide project managers more guidance on how to manage unbalanced items.

ODOT Response

In a response to the audit, included in its public release, ODOT Highway Administrator Paul Mather questioned the State Department’s analysis, arguing that the “data analyzed by the audit did not show that unbalanced bids have caused significant price increases.”

However, he noted, “ODOT supports the recommendations of the audit because we agree it would be useful to better understand whether unbalanced bids have impacted prices.” He said the agency was in the process of implementing new software that will help with tracking unbalanced bid items.

   

Tagged categories: Bidding; Contracts; Government; Government contracts; Infrastructure; Transportation

Comment from john lienert, (3/17/2017, 8:24 AM)

why worry about over-charging for repairs that are NEVER done in Orygun...."The pot-hole capitol of North America"


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
 
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
 
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.
 

 
Safway Services
 
Safeguard Assets. Ensure Productivity. HAKI®
 
Protect assets and equipment. Keep facilities open and operational. Maintain schedules regardless of weather. Ensure smooth and continuous production. Easy to erect. Safway is the primary distributor of HAKI® products including HAKISPAN and HAKITEC® 750 – in North America.
 

 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
Strategic Materials Inc.
 
Crushed Glass Abrasives
 
TruAbrasives™, a clean crushed glass abrasive superior to other abrasives for performance, health, and environmental benefits.
 

 
W Abrasives
 
Premium Products for your Blasting Needs
 
Ready to use operating mix steel grit abrasives developed specially for air blasting applications.
 

 
Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
 
TIER 4 EQUIPMENT
 
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. www.absoluteequip.com or Call 412-931-6655.
 

 
Monti Tools, Inc.
 
BRISTLE BLASTER® – THE ORIGINAL ONE
 
  • Abrasive blast with a power tool
  • Remove corrosion, mill scale and coatings
  • Cleans & roughens
  • Meets SSPC-SP 10 / NACE No. 2
  • Profile up to 4.7 mils
  • ATEX Zone 1
  •  

     
    SAFE Systems, Inc.
     
    Custom blast rooms
    by SAFE Systems
     
    Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the system that best fits your requirements.
    Call 1-800-634-7278
     

     
    Clemco Industries Corp.
     
    Maximum Dust Suppression Systems Start at $14,950
     
    The system comprises proven technology and equipment with user-friendly flexibility in mind. See it in action.
     

     
    PreTox Products - NexTec, Inc.
     
    GOT LEAD? Specify Pretox System products
     
    The ONLY Lead Stabilizer Compatible with All Paint Removal Methods. Works with all Blast Media: Grits | Recyclable Abrasives | CO2 | Water | Power Tools | Etc. Call Dave Steffen at 800.338.8296.
     

     
     
     

    Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

    TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


    The Technology Publishing Network

    Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

     
    EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
    REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
    MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us