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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mr. Brian Gardiner on Publicly Funded Construction Projects, a must read.


It seems like I'm always writing about the "Bad Guys" who bring shame to our discipline,and harm taxpayers;  but today will be quite the opposite, and far more rewarding.  Certainly for me, and hopefully, for you too.

I'd like to share an exceptional article written by my friend, Mr. Brian Gardiner.  Brian is well known to members of RCI, He's worked tirelessly on their behalf, and fair minded people everywhere.  

Brian's article is accurate, reasonable, and fair  (typical of Brian).  My fondness for him is genuine, and well earned.  Brian stood by me, when I had no one.  Another admission is that we are a bit different in temperament.  Brian being the more educated, accredited, and experienced, while I struggle with aggressiveness, and a somewhat mercurial temper.  A character flaw I'm working on.

Please read "Interface'" RCI's publication.  It is imperative for anyone who considers themselves a "Professional".

Every school board in this country should read it, print it, and tape it to the wall.

The full article may be found here.  


I'll share a little of it below, but to get the full effect, PLEASE read the article in full. 

Editor’s note: This white paper was prepared for RCI and will be disseminated to news media throughout North America in support of RCI’s stance on publicly funded construction procurement.


Public procurement of construction projects has evolved into various methods. Not all methods are allowed in all states. This article will examine two options: design-bid-build (open bid) and cooperative (interlocal) purchasing.


The design-bid-build project delivery method is available in all states (Figure 1).
  • The owner contracts directly with a designer of record—typically an architect, engineer, or consultant (AEC)—to provide project-specific sealed documents that are advertised and bid by general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.
  • The AEC has no financial interest in the products specified.
  • There is usually a public bid opening by the owner, where bids are read aloud and recorded.
  • The AEC typically participates in helping the owner determine bid awards and provides construction administration services.

Cooperative Purchasing

Cooperative purchasing of publicly funded construction is not allowed in all states. Additionally, some states previously allowed cooperative purchasing for construction, but now prohibit its use. Cooperative purchasing bidding and other practices can vary significantly from one cooperative to another.
  • The cooperative, using its own criteria, determines who is the lowest responsible bidder and awards a multi-year contract, with possible one-year renewals.
  • The primary entity providing construction services, or vendor, may be a contractor, manufacturer, or another type of business. These entities have an inherent financial conflict of interest when performing as the designer of record.
  • There might not be a formal written construction agreement between the owner and the vendor. The owner may only issue a purchase order based on the unit price book created by the cooperative and priced out by the vendor (Figure 2).
  • Bidders in cooperatives are often evaluated for items not included in a design-bid-build project, such as level of financial and sales force commitment to market the cooperative to prospective owners.

Brian Gardiner has practiced consulting for over 30 years. He is a past director of both RCI, Inc. Region IV (1995-1998) and the Building Envelope Institute, Inc. (2005-2006). Brian has been awarded the RCI, Inc. “Outstanding Educator Award” for presenting at numerous seminars. He is past chair of RCI’s Advocacy Committee and currently assists RCI with procurement issues affecting its Consultant members.
The article goes on to describe proper competitive bidding in all public projects.  If you don't like to read, he's got a number of graphs you can keep busy with.
If you are a public administrator, Brian's article just might spare you a world of hurt.  It can also make an administrator look like a "Super Hero" to the taxpayers in their district.

Staking my reputation, will tell you that if Brian Gardiner says it, it's true.  Truly, one of the most honorable, and capable men I know.  It is impossible for me to give higher praise.  The discipline needs him, and about 1,000 more like him.  If not 1,000, I'll settle for just one.

I wish I could list the names of everyone who's helped me, and the discipline, but I can't, lest they be ostracized.  We are free people, but cannot bid on projects using our own tax dollars.

If anyone wants to correct me, by all means, do.  Every word I say is backed by public record, so please make your comment fact based. as I cannot debate emotion.

Thank you kindly for spending valuable time with me here, and know how desperately I appreciate it.  

NOTE:  Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

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

Much Respect.

Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Anaslyst'
State Certified CCC 1325620
Licensed Consultant.

Note:  I do not contract, or work for anyone.  I maintain my credentials as reference only.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Roof Consultant Institute Honorable Position Statement AGAINST Purchasing Cooperatives.


Roof Consultant's Institute (RCI) is the premier roof consulting organization on earth, with members in many countries.

Our mailing address is:
RCI, Inc.
1500 Sunday Drive
Suite 204
RaleighNC 27607

Add us to your address book

I had the distinct honor of working for, and being trained by, the first and only two time President of RCI, the late Mr. Bob Lyons.  His photo is on the right margin, and I display it with pride.

NOTE: Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

This brings me to today's topic:  RCI's Official Position Paper regarding Purchasing Cooperatives.



June 21, 2012 RCI’s Position Statement applies to all publicly bid work, including federal, state (provincial/ territorial), municipal, and local government projects or otherwise taxpayer-funded projects in which RCI, Inc. members may participate.

Projects not under the procurement requirements of government agencies or that do not utilize taxpayer funds should also employ similar fair and impartial procurement practices. It is the position of RCI, Inc. that all public work and taxpayer-funded projects clearly adhere to all applicable procurement regulations, maintain the highest levels of transparency and value, and comply with the following principles.

In addition to the owner, projects should involve three distinct entities: the design professional, the manufacturer (or supplier), and the qualified contractor (contractor).

1.) . The design professional should be selected by the owner based on qualifications, experience and past performance. The design professional should prepare contract documents to be in compliance with all applicable code requirements (including but not limited to fire, wind, drainage, thermal resistance or performance, warranty and environmental requirements).

Contract documents should not be proprietary or exclusive to a manufacturer, a supplier or a qualified contractor. A product or system that may be able to be produced, supplied or installed by other competitors but is not, is considered a proprietary product/system. Procurement regulations have specific procedures that are required if proprietary materials or systems are to be considered. Design professionals are discouraged from utilizing proprietary specifications.

All projects should utilize a minimum of three manufacturers or utilize materials commonly available from three manufacturers. Systems should be selected to meet specific performance criteria or standards. The design professional must adhere to all state (provincial/territorial) licensing requirements and carry the appropriate errors and omissions insurance.

2.)  The manufacturer and its suppliers should provide the materials and systems adhering to the contract documents. A manufacturer should not act as the design professional unless qualified to do so, and should state in writing and publicly its financial interest in the specifications/requirements provided. Contractual obligations or agreements should not exist between owners and manufacturers. Proprietary and/or exclusionary specifications intended to limit competition among manufacturers, suppliers and/or qualified contractors are strongly discouraged.

Manufacturers are encouraged to provide data, RCI, Inc. Position Statement on Procurement – Support Document information, or other assistance to qualified contractors to determine the best use and application of their materials and systems. Manufacturers should not control material specifications.

3.)  The contractor should be contracted directly to the owner. At no time should any contractual or financial obligation or agreement exist between the design professional and manufacturer, or the design professional and the qualified contractor, or the manufacturer and the qualified contractor. At no time should the manufacturer act as either the design professional or qualified contractor. At no time should the design professional act as the manufacturer or contractor.

4.)  Design-build delivery methods are acceptable under the following conditions: (a) The principles noted above, are met. (b) Design build delivery maintains a competitive bidding/tender environment among all parties: designer, contractor, and manufacturer. (c) A design-build contract is used to ensure that a clear line of responsibility for the design and compliance with code is established. It is the position of RCI, Inc. that the use of "buy boards,” group-purchasing agencies, and all similar purchasing models in any type of building construction, remediation, or rehabilitation are not transparent, do not ensure compliance with the minimum requirements of the codes, do not provide a competitive bid situation, and should not be utilized.


Got That?

ROOFING is NOT a specialty item, and major manufacturers are stocked at local supply houses.  Purchasing Cooperative materials (Tremco, and Garland) are NOT. 

At any rate, I thank RCI for their fair, and common sense approach.  NO MANUFACTURER  may act as the specifier.   NO MANUFACTURER  may act as the consultant.  


NO Purchasing Cooperative can PROVE that competition ever existed.  Purchasing Cooperatives are essentially commissioned salesmen, with the Purchasing Cooperative getting 2%-4% for handling paperwork.  The "Salesman" gets a 25% commission.

The MORE the roof costs, the MORE commission they make.

I have a 15 year history of interaction with them, and have never seen such "Organized Corruption".   They will not defend their position, because it is indefensible.  COWARDS, and rotten to the core.  A strong statement, but one I can prove in a public debate.

You can buy Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils through a Purchasing Cooperative if you like, but Roofing is out of the question.  It's all a SCAM, and everyone knows it.  The excess spending on "Proprietary Specifications" is in the billions of dollars, and NOTHING to show for it.

Schools don't have money because too many people are stealing it before reaching it's intended purpose.   

RESPECT  to RCI on their honorable position.

SHAME on Purchasing Cooperatives who steal from our schools.

For the moment, I'll leave it there.

As always, I am humbled that anyone cares one bit about what I have to say, and I am very thankful for spending time with me here.

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

NOTE: Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept compensation or personal advancement of any kind.


Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
Licensed Roofing Consultant
Licensed Roofing Contractor  CCC 1325620

Note:  I am retired, and keep my credentials as reference only.  I do not consult, contract, or work for anyone since 2003.  I do this because I can, and because I'm right.

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