FACTS about Public Roofing Procurement, and Oversight. Copyright 2010 by Robert R. Solomon

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Bloated Nuclear Spending (Including Roofing) Comes Under Fire"


"In Tennessee, the price tag for a new uranium processing facility has grown nearly sevenfold in eight years to upward of $6 Billion dollars that include a redesgn to raise the roof".

Nation's bloated nuclear spending comes under fire

Posted: Sep 13, 2013 12:27 AM EDT Updated: Sep 13, 2013 12:17 PM EDT

Associated Press
I believe the descriptions are fairly common, and representative of public procurement practicing "Favoritism", "Sole Source" bids, and assisting "Preferred Vendors".
They discuss "Private Contractors".  Those "Private Contractors" are facilitated by the complete negligence of "Competitive Bid" laws in every state.
You and I expect fair competition for our tax dollars, but lobbyists, attorneys, and government purchasing cooperatives, spend huge sums of money to secure favor.  "Favor" that is virtually limitless when spending YOUR money.
"Virtually every major project under the National Nuclear Security Administration's oversight is behind schedule and over budget - the result, watchdogs and government auditors say, of years of lax accountability and nearly automatic annual budget increases for the agency responsible for maintaining the nation's nuclear stockpile.
The NNSA has racked up $16 billion in cost overruns on 10 major projects that are a combined 38 years behind schedule, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reports. Other projects have been cancelled or suspended, despite hundreds of millions of dollars already spent, because they grew too bloated.
Advocates say spending increases are necessary to keep the nation's nuclear arsenal operating and safe, and to continue cutting-edge research at the nation's nuclear labs. But critics say the nuclear program - run largely by private contractors and overseen by the NNSA, an arm of the U.S. Energy Department - has turned into a massive jobs program with duplicative functions.

"The post-Cold War nuclear warhead complex has become a gigantic self-licking ice cream cone for contractors," said Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group, a watchdog organization".
 This may be a bit too off topic for those in the roofing discipline, but the $6 Billion dollars spent on ONE "Private Contractor" (I will research that further) to "raise the roof" is bizarre.

Initial report indicates it was to allow new equipment to be installed.

By comparison, the complete cost, furnished and installed, taxes included, to build a high school in my district is $52 Million dollars.  When you can "visualize" the money, it becomes "Real", instead of numbers with zeros behind them.

If you want to "see" what the numbers represent in terms of "Real Money", take a look:

"$100 Million Dollars = 1 year of work for 3500 average Americans

Here are 2000 people standing shoulder to shoulder, looking for a job.
The Federal Reserve's mandate is to maintain price stability and low unemployment.
The Federal Reserve prints money based on the assumption that increasing money supply will boost jobs.

If you want to "see" what the numbers represent in terms of "Real Money", take a look:

Respect to: http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/us_debt/us_debt.html

$100 Million Dollars = 1 year of work for 3500 average Americans.

Here are 2000 people standing shoulder to shoulder, looking for a job.

The Federal Reserve's mandate is to maintain price stability and low unemployment.

The Federal Reserve prints money based on the assumption that increasing money supply will boost jobs.


One Billion Dollars:
$1,000,000,000 - You will need some help when robbing the bank.
Interesting fact: $1 million dollars weighs 10kg exactly.

You are looking at 10 tons of money on those pallets."

"One BILLION Dollars"
Back to the astonishing waste, please read further:
"U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security financial and contracting oversight subcommittee, said a key problem is the Energy Department's reliance on private contractors to carry out its mission. The DOE has fewer than 16,000 employees and more than 92,000 contractors.
"Unfortunately for the taxpayer ... cost overruns, scheduled delays and technical failures are the rule, not the exception," said McCaskill, D-Mo. "We need to find a better way to do this because we can't just afford the status quo anymore."

The retired head of one of those contractors, former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine, told Congress this spring that the absence of day-to-day accountability and an ineffectual structure at the NNSA pose a national security risk. He described a "pervasive culture of tolerating the intolerable and accepting the unacceptable."

DOE and NNSA officials agree there are problems. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said earlier this month that addressing the cost overruns, and also embarrassing security breaches at some facilities, is a top priority. A congressionally appointed panel, co-chaired by Augustine recently began studying a potential overhaul of the NNSA".

Okay, I will slow down my "alarmist" rhetoric, but frankly, you should be "alarmed" by the definition of public procurement that is destroying "competition" for your money.

The problem is we think money withheld from an individual's paycheck means almost nothing.  They bite it off in such big chunks, that we've become numb to it. 

Often, I hear people complaining about out of control government spending.  I've just laid out for you here, the same way I will lay it out to my government representatives.  I think the moral is to not complain about things you are not willing to solve yourself.

I will return to Public Roofing Procurement in my next post, but felt this news, and illustrations, were necessary to put things into perspective.

A gold star to anyone who cared enough to read and comprehend the post today.  I do know it is mind numbing at times, but I happen to think your money is important.  Any money they take from you must result in a "benefit" for you, the taxpayer.  Not a "Burden" that comes at the hands of unfit people, running unfit purchasing schemes.

As you know, I do not discuss politics here, as I think "shared blame" of politicians on both sides is more appropriate.  Fair?

Please reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance




Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Garland's top "Salesman" (New Jersey) reaps 1.25 MILLION in commissions"

Friends, if you would like to see where your roofing tax dollars are going, courtesy of Garland Roofing Materials, please see the sales commissions printout here:


In black and white, you will see their top salesman (New Jersey) pocketed over 1.25 MILLION dollars in commissions (almost exclusively, if not entirely, government work).

Now, I would like someone to tell me how wrong I am about seeking fairness, and open competition when bidding public projects.

Do you work hard?  Do you work real hard?  Most of you do, and I bet you don't pocket 5 MILLION dollars for it.

Taxpayers are violently upset about government waste, and you need look no further than Garland to find out why.

It is this simple, but will keep repeating it:

NO government entity has the right to exclude competition for taxpayer dollars.  They may not write unnecessarily restrictive specifications that favor only ONE manufacturer.  A material manufacturer MAY NOT act as a roofing consultant, specifying only their materials.  It is against the law in all 50 states, and throughout Canada.

Tremco, an outfit very similar to Garland just got a federal fine of 65 MILLION dollars for abusing GSA 'line item" contracting.

In a previous post I furnished you a whole series on Garland's Apology Tour (what do you suppose brought that on?).  These people care about one thing, and everyone within the roofing discipline knows I'm right.
If any of you are ever up against a Garland Specification (certainly it will be a government job), show them the Garland "Commission Chart", and ask them if sliding a 25% commission into a salesman's pocket seems either reasonable or fair.

The more money he gets for that hideously overpriced roof, the better for him.  Where on earth is the incentive to seek value for the taxpayer dollars WASTED in this mess?

It does not make sense to immediately reduce your school roofing tax dollars to .75 each.  No sense at all.

They would have you think they are installing a "Superior" roof system, and they are not.
We're tired of the sleight of hand.  We're tired of people whose only purpose is to defraud our government, and us, the taxpayers.  EVERY school district in the country should consider themselves advised, because when it comes down, you'll be all alone in the investigative news report, and it will be you who carries the same.

Again, much respect to Ms. Campbell for her sacrifice.  
I think all public officials should read what she has to say.  There you will find both fact, and public record.

I appeal to you, on behalf of every published state law, and every taxpayer everywhere.  Common sense, and adherence to the law must be forthcoming as the Garland show continues to play at your expense.

They bring only shame to our discipline.

Thank you for spending time again with me today.  Please reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

We will get through this.

I promise.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Garland Corporate "We're Innocent" Tour in Videos.

Please watch, and LISTEN carefully.

Garland is going to tell you that Public Procurement is the same as Private Procurement.  That government has the right to buy anything they want.

Trying to circumvent that nasty "taxpayer" thing again.  The only problem with that is Private owners may spend their money as they wish.  It's their money.

Public Procurement is spending taxpayer dollars, not their own.  You and I own buildings, not the government.  By Garland's reasoning, all public officials could drive Mercedes 600's, and get away with it.  Absurd reasoning, and that's their problem.

NO Politician would ever come out in favor of "No Compete" scenarios, favoring only one supplier.  By the way, when Garland talks about "Consulting", that is positiively illegal.  It is against all procurement law that prohibit a consultant/manufacturer specifying only their material to a public entity.

Looks like Garland is stressed over the Tremco heat.  Funny how they can call another roofing manufacturer a "Bad Apple".  Please notice that each of them say the government, or their "Partners" have the right to buy anything that makes them happy.  and equate Public Procurement with Private Enterprise.

Each of them say "I don't know what this could possibly be about", yet a couple of them refer to investigations by the government. GAF, Firestone, and Carlisle don't have to make "We're Not Guilty" videos.

Please enjoy:




Thank you for spending time with me here, and I hope you are seeing the assault on taxpayers, perpetrated by only a few roofing material manufacturers.  These investigations are now bleeding over to the roofing contractors for "played along".

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance
CCC 1325620 (Florida)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Public Roofing Procurement"

Friends, over the years I've developed a specialty niche within the public roofing procurement field.  Thousands of hours in research are spent bringing you the truth.

The sastisfaction of protecting taxpayers, by assuring their roofing tax dollars go further, is my highest motivation.

Many of you know I have no interest in what private consumers do. They are spending money that belongs to them.  The private market is self policing and quickly balances benefit and value.

Public procurement however, is far behind in roofing technology. In most cases it receives inflated pricing through the use of purchasing cooperatives.  Purchasing cooperatives are the "middle man" between our schools (all public structures) and factually, is a "Commissioned Salesman".

Their revenues (commissions) are increased when the cost of a new roof is increased.  The public pays more, yet receives less with no additional benefit.  This system is obviously flawed, as all incentive to "save" money is absent. 

This may be a good time to tell you that many purchasing cooperatives make "arrangements" to get their "preferred vendor" listed as the only source of purchase.  The "preferred vendor" in many cases pay their sales representatives a full 25% commission.  That means that $0.25 of every $1.00 in taxes spent, goes straight into a "salesman's" pocket.

Rational people, with their own money, do not buy goods or services in this way.  So why is the money from taxpayers different?  Taxpayer money seems more "distant",  perhaps less "personal", but it isn't.  It's "REAL" money, earned by people who've worked hard for it, and expect value as well as serviceability for it.

Let me share that (without exception) every state in the Republic has "Fair Competition" or 'Competitive Bidding" laws in place.  The same is true for all territories and provences of Canada.  Purchasing Cooperatives circumvent these laws through fraudulent bidding procedures designed to suit their purpose.

The fraudulent aspect is the use of such terms as: "Line Item Contracting", "Sole Source Contracting", "Proprietary Specifications" and "Job Order Contracting".  Following, I will try my best to define each "technique" for you:

A.)  Proprietary Specifications:


"A proprietary specification is one which requires the use of a sole source product. Bidders are responsible for determining the cost and sources of the items specified. It is a contractor's obligation to raise questions to the Government concerning purported proprietary items prior to bid submission and opening, not afterward.

In order to recover under a theory of proprietary specifications, a contractor must prove that (1) the specifications described the characteristics of only one standard product, (2) it submitted data describing an equal substitute product, (3) the substitute was of the same standard of quality."

B.)  Sole Source Contracting:


"A sole source contract implies that there is only one person or company that can provide the contractual services needed in that any attempt to obtain bids would only result in one person or company being available to meet the need.  A contract may be awarded for a supply, service or construction item, without the necessity of competition, when the contracting officer determines in writing that one of the following statutory conditions exists:
  1. Only a single contractor is capable of providing the supply, service or construction.
  2. Federal and state statute, or  federal regulations exempts the supply, service or construction from the competitive procedure.
  3. The total cost of the supply, service or construction is less than the amount established by the State System for small, no-bid procurements as dictated by the policy on small procurements.
  4. It is clearly not feasible to award the contract for supplies or services on a competitive basis.
  5. The services involve the repair, modification or calibration of equipment and they are to be performed by the manufacturer of the equipment or by the manufacturer’s authorized dealer, provided the contracting officer determines that bidding is not appropriate under the circumstances.
  6. The contract for supplies or services is in the best interest of the Commonwealth.
Before entering into a sole source contract, a statement of justification must be sent in advance to university legal counsel certifying that the contract is appropriate as a sole source. University Legal Counsel will review the statement then either approve or disapprove the certification."

C.)   Line Item Contracting: 

This is a copy of a roofing manufacturer's "Line Item" bid schedule to the GSA.  Keep in mind, the schedule is applied to roofing replacements on buildings that are unseen in many cases.  I'm asking a lot here, but please read the following. Tell me how an administrator could possibly track such complex schedules? 


D.)  Job Order Contracts:


"ezIQC® is the easy and intelligent alternative for buying on-call facility repair and alteration construction services.

Thanks to the competitively bid prices available through cooperative purchasing, you can shed the red tape of traditional procurement in favor of speed, efficiency and the power of group buying.

ezIQC is based on job order contracts, or indefinite quantity construction contracts as they are sometimes called, in which contractors bid based on a catalog of pre-priced construction tasks for all divisions of construction.

Quality contractors have already been competitively selected in almost every area of the US and they are ready to perform work today.

Proven Success
ezIQC is a proven system that has been in use for over twenty years. This same system is utilized by the United States Postal Service, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, as well many other large, small public and private facility owners across the country including state governments, counties, towns, universities and school systems. ezIQC is ideal for interior, exterior, vertical, horizontal and environmental projects."

Inspector General's handbook may be found here:


Friends, I believe in "Fairness" to ALL people.  I make no distinction between Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Left, or Right.   It is not my station in life to debate such complex issues between them, but I do know "our" tax dollars must be wisely spent.

There is no such thing as "Pre-Compete" because you can not bid on structures you have not seen. This is how foolish it sounds:  "Hi, my name is Ron, and I have a 10,000 sq. ft. building in Tampa that needs a new roof.  How much will it cost?"

In almost 4 decades of service, I have never seen such illogical thinking, that is all perpetrated upon the public in order to circumvent "fair competition" for taxpayer dollars.

My next post will illustrate proper public procurement method. 

This is where my heart is. There are thousands of roofing sites to describe details of roofing, and roofing types.  I will continue to write about roofing's role as it pertains to sustainability (energy, water, petroleum dependence).  I remain deeply concerned for worker safety (heavy lifting, molten asphalt, and open flame).


It's important to know that I do not work for anyone.  I have not solicited, nor accepted compensation, or personal advancement of any kind since August 19, 2003.  This includes manufacturers, consultants, distributors, and contractors.

Everything I do is based upon civic responsibility, and how my discipline (roofing procurement) may be incorporated into that theme.

Humbled you care one bit about what I have to say, I will encourage you to reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Constructive criticism is both welcomed, and encouraged.

"In this world everything changes except good deeds and bad deeds; they follow you as the shadow follows the body" (unknown)


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance
CCC 1325620 (Florida)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Lawyers Piling on RPM (Tremco) over 61M federal fine involving GSA contracts"

I simply provide data, and you are the judge.

Humbled you care what I have to say, will remind you to reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP"


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance

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