San Francisco construction crew bidding process may change

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday the bidding process for public projects is flawed and moved to approve a measure designed to protect small businesses. (KGO-TV)

It seems everywhere you look in San Francisco, especially when you're driving, you see a construction crew, but the selection process for some of those lucrative jobs is about to change.

Last year, a civil grand jury said that San Francisco selection process, the bidding process for public projects was flawed and Tuesday the San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed.

There's an estimated $25 billion worth of city projects underway or in the pipeline between now and the next decade. The current criteria for who gets the jobs is the lowest bidder, but San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener said that needs to change. "We need to allow city departments to take into account if a contractor for example has a history of safety violations, if a contractor has a history of labor violations, if a contractor has a history of walking off the job," he said.

The contractors' track record was highlighted last Fall when workers on a multi-million dollar water main project in the Haight repeatedly ruptured gas lines and caused sinkholes in the neighborhood. Past performance like that, will now be a factor in future selections, but some contractors worry replacing the low bid system could lead to corruption. "If put into effect in not the right manner, this ordinance has the potential to open the door to potential collusion or bringing back the old boys network," American Contractor's Association Juliana Choylasian said.

The supervisors passed the measure on it's first go round Tuesday, although Wiener included an amendment designed to protect small businesses by making projects under $1.5 million exempt from the new regulations.

Related Topics:
realestateconstructionsan francisco board of supervisorsgrand jurymoneySan Francisco
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