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

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

School Roofing: The importance of P&P Bonds to protect Taxpayers.

Welcome Good People:

Today's lesson is about proper procedure, protecting the Owner, and in most cases, involve Public Works.  That will be the focus, and is my answer to "Low Bid" scenarios, and Taxpayer Protection.

It is very cheap insurance (2%?), and GUARANTEES the project will be finished by an approved applicator of any roof in question.  The problem is only between the Roofing Contractor, and their Bonding Company. 

All School Administrators should read this, and better understand a proper procurement method that saves them, and the Taxpayers from harm.  If you are not already doing this, contact me, and I will happily guide you through the sequence.

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

I'll highlight a few words, and don't get nervous if the language seems foreign to you.  My time is your time.

Here, we have no interest in what a Private owner does.  Applies primarily to Publicly Funded Projects.



Respect to:  The good people at Cotney Construction Law.

https://trentcotney.com/

Respect to:  Roofing, "The Industries Voice" 

http://roofingmagazine.com/miller-time-bonds-sovereign-immunity-and-public-projects/

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Let's get started:

"Miller Time: Bonds, Sovereign Immunity, and Public Projects"


NOVEMBER 30, 2020 BY 


Getting paid can sometimes be the hardest part of the job for a subcontractor. Typically, a subcontractor can claim a lien on the property where the work was performed or sue the prime contractor for breach of contract. However, where the “owner” is the government, getting paid can be a little trickier. Public construction projects consist of projects where the services and materials provided are used to make improvements to government owned property.

The government, whether it be the federal, state, or municipal government, has “sovereign immunity.” Sovereign immunity essentially means that the government cannot be sued in civil court. It is common, however, for legislatures to enact partial waivers of sovereign immunity by statute. The abiding test for whether the government has sovereign immunity rests in whether the wrongdoing arose in an operational or planning function. Decisions relating to policy making, planning, or judgmental government functions are usually not subject to these waivers — these are planning functions. Conversely, government entities are not immune from liability for their wrongdoing in operational functions, which are usually performed by private entities.

So, what does this mean? You cannot sue the government or put a lien on a government-owned facility in the case of non-payment. However, the Contracts Dispute Act waives government immunity in contract disputes with prime contractors, but not for subcontractors. This severely limits the ways in which subcontractors can enforce payment provisions in their contracts for public projects. There is legislation that can help subcontractors should they encounter payment issues involving government property: The Miller Act.

The Miller Act

The Miller Act is a law that requires every contractor bidding on a federal project to post a performance bond and a payment bond covering all labor and material. This is required on contracts exceeding $100,000 on any building or property in the United States. The performance bond is required to protect the government in the event that the contractor fails to perform its scope of work. The payment bond protects labor, suppliers, and materials. Payment bonds also cover subcontractors and suppliers contracted by subcontractors, called second-tier claimants. In addition to bonds required by The Miller Act, federal acquisition regulations could require additional protection or bonds to contracts between $25,000 and $100,000. It should be noted that since projects under $100,000 may not require a bond, the subcontractor should proceed with caution since they do not have the security of a bond or a lien in the case of non-payment by the prime contractor.

In addition to the federal Miller Act, all states and the District of Columbia have passed “Little Miller Acts,” statutes based upon the federal Miller Act that require prime contractors on state construction projects to post bonds guaranteeing the performance of their contractual duties and the payment to their subcontractors and material suppliers. Like the federal Miller Act, Little Miller Acts require the posting of both performance and payment bonds.

Little Miller payment bonds provide an alternative source of payment to the subcontractors and material suppliers who worked on the job. If the claimant did not have a direct contractual relationship with the prime contractor, the claimant is typically required to give some form of notice to the prime contractor within a specified time after the completion of the work to preserve the right to make a claim against the payment bond. The purpose of this requirement is to give the prime contractor notice that you have been hired by the subcontractor and expect to be paid. Across state lines, the notice requirement and the entitlement to a copy of the bond varies.

In sum, although you cannot lien public property to secure payment for work completed on a public project, there are other methods available. The requirement that prime contractors secure both performance and payment bonds ensures that all parties to the project will be satisfied at the conclusion of the project. It is best practice for any subcontractor working on a public project to become familiar with the requirements under the host state’s Little Miller Act, and to request a copy of the payment bond if possible and timely serve its Notice to Contractor, if required. This is the best way to ensure preservation and enforcement of a bond claim in the event of non-payment.

About the authors: David Keel is an Attorney at Cotney Construction Law who represents clients in construction law. Richard Anderson is an Attorney at Cotney Construction Law with direct experience working in the construction industry. Cotney Construction Law is an advocate for the roofing industry and serves as General Counsel for NRCA and several other roofing associations. For more information, visit www.cotneycl.com.

Authors’ note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Never buy a roof through a "Purchasing Cooperative".  You will be paying approximately 40-50% MORE for an average roof at best.  Don't fall for the sales pitch. 

 Contact me, and I'll tell you the truth, substantiated by public record.

I can save you a ton of grief.  

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".


Ron

RobertRSolomon@aol.com



Friday, November 6, 2020

National Roofing Partners CEO, Mr. Steve Little and Ron Solomon achieve "Peaceful Coexistence" .

  


Welcome, good people:

Today, I have a very special message  to share with you.  One of  joy and happiness.  A great advancement.

Mr. Steve Little, CEO of National Roofing Partners, representing a group of approximately 200 Contractors, writes


 This was a rather long, and difficult challenge, but we got it done.

Mr. Little was a top flight Professional throughout the negotiation, and that's  hard to do.  I can be overly insistent at times, and somewhat hard headed, but we got it done.

My theme from the very beginning was "Peaceful Coexistence", and Mr. Little's letter helped us achieve that goal.  Mr. Little is a "Tough Up",  He runs KPOST Roofing out of Dallas, and responsible for 400 employees.  You don't reach that responsibility level without possessing a model work ethic, time management skill,  and "Care' for his employees, and clients.

I must acknowledge his communication etiquette, a rarity in 2020.  This is a lesson for other administrators to follow.  Steve could have just shut me down, but it would have put me in a bad place.

A place I didn't want to be, and would have forced me to do things I didn't want to do.  Thankfully, we were both spared a gut wrenching, protracted, battle, but in the end, it worked out great.  Just like two rational, reasonable, and responsible, Men.




National Roofing Partners website:

https://www.nationalroofingpartners.com/roof-services

I want to give KPOST roofing in Dallas credit for their fine work, and organization.  They are very important in the process, and am greatly appreciative. While I'm here, let's give KPOST a little "Pop" :

Contact KPOST, and mention my name:

KPOST: Website:

https://www.kpostcompany.com/

Ask for Steve Little, and he'll get you all set up.

                              Mr. Steve Little

You will notice the mention of Tremco, and Garland in his letter, and I am thankful NRP does not endorse them, and to me, that's huge for taxpayers.  One day, our schools will be free of  "Predatory Sales Models", and think Steve will be a valuable partner  in my fight against them.


THANK YOU STEVE:





Again, check them out:  

https://www.kpostcompany.com/

You'll be in good hands with Steve.

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

Much Respect.


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

State Certified CCC 1325620

Public Procurement Analyst

Licensed Roofing Consultant


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Public Roofing SCAM through "Exclusion", and 100% FAKE "Bids" VIA Purchasing Cooperatives.

 Welcome, good people.


The purpose of this site is to increase public awareness of "Predatory Sales Models" and "Exclusion" of  fair competition in public works.  Roofing in particular.

Approximately 40%-50% MORE in cost than a "Competitively Bid Project' through "Msajors" like GAF, Johns Manville, Firestone, Carlisle, Sika Sarnafil, and many more.

I write it to help:  

Taxpayers, Architects, Public Administrators, Contractors, Consultants, Manufacturers, and Distributors, who are all affected by "Proprietary Specifications".  

A sales trick to eliminate all competition for taxpayer money.  A complete SCAM, 

Everything I say here is backed by  public record, and subsequent documentation.  If I say something that is factually incorrect, I will retract it.  Constructive criticism is encouraged, and welcomed.


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


*Revised August 4, 2019.



In the upper right search box, please type keywords:  School Roofing Scam, Purchasing Cooperative, Taxpayer abuse, Tremco, Garland, sole source, NRCA, Honor, Fairness, Competition, Public Procurement,etc.

Approximately 172 posts all told. 

Highly recommended is Roof Consultant's Institute who provide necessary data, and support.  (I have no affiliation with them).


"Self Advocacy Tools"

You may find it here: 

http://rci-online.org/news-and-advocacy/self-advocacy-tools/


The following comments are mine:

FACT:  Garland, and Tremco do not make half the products they sell, and are not found in any local roofing supply house. It must be trucked in from Ohio.  You are essentially exporting 70% of your local tax dollar to other economies. 

FACT:  Garland, nor Tremco will "Compete" for anything.  Don't believe me?  Tell your Garland, or Tremco Representative that you want to include other manufacturers to the bid list .  Watch their faces, and I GUARANTEE they will run away.


But Ron, the purchasing cooperative says they won by "competitive" means.  This an outright lie.  The Cooperative lies to increase their commissions.  U.S. Communities listed 55 pages of BLANK line items from Garland.


Since I noticed the blank documents, they have come up with this convoluted mess:

https://www.garlandco.com/us-communities

The "Response Package"

https://www.garlandco.com/uploads/misc/14-5903_RESPONSE_PKG_FOR_WEB.pdf


YOU, and all  taxpayers should be concerned that we are paying upwards of 50% MORE for roofing and duped into thinking you've received a value.  The opposite is true. 

If you are working with a Purchasing Cooperative, your district is taking a beating that is 100% avoidable.  Certainly, I've illustrated the scam that is undeniable. 

I know all the manufacturers, and have installed millions of sq. ft. of any subset of roofing.  Steep slope, single ply (EPDM, TPO, PVC), built up, modified, etc.  I've successfully completed over 100 public schools, and know what I'm talking about.


If I don't know the answer, Roof Consultant's Institute (RCI) will.  RCI is the standard for roofing excellence, and an honorable organization with top level consultants.


Many are Architects, Consultants, Engineers, Contractors, Manufacturers, etc. ,ALL are credentialed, and will have someone near you.


I do not belong to any organization.  A lot of my work is very sensitive, and may cause discomfort through association.  They are not allowed to speak freely, while I can tell the truth without fear of reprisal.


Please understand that I have no beef with individuals trying to make an honest living.  It's the "Predatory Sales Model" I despise.  I do not want to "Exclude" those mentioned, and welcome them to any public bid list.  Repeat, I do not want Tremco or Garland "Excluded" from anything.  They should get the same opportunity like everyone else.


IF YOU ARE NOT COMPETITIVE IN THE PRIVATE MARKET, YOU ARE NOT COMPETITIVE IN THE PUBLIC MARKET.


Doesn't that make sense?


Instead of "Favoritism", we seek fair competition for our own tax dollars.  


Roofers will decide all things roofing, and not elite sectors who are without credential, experience, or the exhaustive safety training it takes.  


"My name is Ron, and I'm a roofer.........For some reason, feel like I should be at an AA meeting."


Just so I don't come off like a 'Lone Wolf", will share what the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and Roof Consultant's Institute (RCI) have to say:


Reference:


From Roof Consultant's Institute:



http://rci-online.org/news-and-advocacy/policy-statements/


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.

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This is what the NRCA has to say:  Click to enlarge.




There you have it.  The largest roofing organization (NRCA), and the premier Consultant's organization: RCI (Roof Consultant's Institute) have spoken, and any reasonable person will agree.



Please help stop this assault on taxpayers, and school maintenance budgets across all of North America.  The "Scam" is impossible for them to argue, so they take the position of  subterranean termites, and hide.



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".

It is humbling that anyone cares one bit about what I have to say, and please know I am thankful for your time.

Respect.

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Public Procurement Analyst
State Certification  CCC 1325620
Licensed Consultant
Tampa, Florida  33647




RobertRSolomon@aol.com

Friday, July 31, 2020

RoofConnect, and Mr. David Workman. An "Honorable" Roofing Service Provider

As many of you know, I write about roofing scams in public works.

Everything I say is backed by public record, with supporting    links.

The people I protect are Taxpayers, Public Schools, and all projects that involve public money.

I expose "Predatory Sales Models", and outright lying to public administrators.  Most of these lies are perpetrated by Purchasing Cooperatives manipulating numbers for a "Preferred Vendor".  Against the law in all 50 states.

I have a great example of "Bid Rigging" that I will share soon.

Several people with "clout" in the roofing discipline have assaulted me, and are trying to silence me.  I know who they are, and will reveal them in a rather unflattering way.

Enough, let's get to the happy stuff:  

RoofConnect CEO Mr. David Workman and I had several meaningful, and productive conversations.  I believe he is an "Honorable", and decent person.  A TRUE Roofing Professional.


RoofConnect

Mr. Workman writes:



Please excuse the quality of this image, but will try to offer a much cleaner view when the original document arrives.

Perhaps other roofing service providers can get the message, and choose "Honor" over scheming to defraud taxpayers and decimateing school roofing maintenance budgets.

RoofConnect is the ONLY national provider of roofing, and roofing services, that I endorse.  FINALLY, I've found a man, and and firm with integrity.

To reward his honesty, will suggest you contact RoofConnect if you have either one, or many properties in your portfolio.

Praying that others will follow his lead, and do what's right for public works ehtities, and taxpayers across this country.

Today, I can rejoice, but must immediately get back to work, chasing Purchasing Cooperatives, Garland, and Tremco who lie, cheat, and steal through "Bid Summaries" and predetermined outcomes.  

Soon, you will see if Mr. Steve Little, CEO of National Roofing Partners, gets the message, and turns away from his "Preferred Vendor":  Tremco.

I've invested many months researching them, and will present all public record pertaining to them, and you can decide.  I've tried to negotiate fairness with Mr. Little, a number of times, but to no avail.

Thank you again Mr. Workman for being a man of your word, and for not "going along" with people who force us to either participate in taxpayer abuse, or go hungry.. 

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

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

Much Respect.

Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
State Certified CCC1325620
Licensed Roofing Consultant
RobertRSolomon@aol.com










Wednesday, March 11, 2020

"Predatory Sales Model in Roofing, and Purchasing Cooperatives".

Friends:

This is about:






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

On this site, you can access the "search" box for words like:

Taxpayer,  School Roofing Scam, Tremco, Garland, Purchsing Cooperative, school maintenance budgets, etc.  There are 170 posts all told.  They are accompanied by a link for source reference.

We have a right to compete for our own tax dollars.  Not have a single manufacturer "mandated" to us.  This forces us to go hungry, or play a dangerous game of defrauding taxpayers.  We know better.

Show me ANY Purchasing Cooperative that offers roofing, and I'll expose the fake competition. 

NOTE:  It will feature either Garland, or Tremco.

Two firms that nobody uses on private projects. 

We use competitive firms like GAF, Johns Manville, Carlisle, Firestone, Sika Sarnafil, etc.

Tell Tremco or Garland you are asking for several quotes, and watch them run away at top speed.   It doesn't fit the "Predatory Sales Model", and they'll move on.  They WILL NOT BID against other manufacturers.

"Bidding Manufacturers" is wrong.  Roofing Contractors bid to a "Standard", not a specific manufacturer.  That would be "Bid Rigging".

We are the ROOFERS, and you are Public Administrators.  I can't reasonably expect an administrator to be a specialist in construction trades any more than I am a Public Administrator.




"Competition" is absent in all Purchasing Cooperatives who "sell" roofing.  They get paid a "commission", and have no incentive to compete.

Intentionally, they use the highest priced material through a "Predatory Sales Model".  You will see Tremco, and Garland as the main perpetrators.

If you have a question, or feel like I need correction, please write to me directly, or add it to "Comments" at the bottom of each page.  ALL comments are welcomed, and I leave them up for public view.

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

Respect.

Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
State Certified  CCC1325620
Licensed Roofing Consultant
RobertRSolomo@aol.com


Monday, February 10, 2020

Pennsylvania bill would open door to competitive school construction bids.

Friends, I think we're getting closer in our quest for "Fair Competition" in public schools.  I'll be in touch with Rep. Topper, and furnish both thought, and documentation.

https://www.constructiondive.com/news/pennsylvania-bill-would-open-door-to-competitive-school-construction-bids/541536/

Pennsylvania bill would open door to competitive school construction bids.

AUTHOR
PUBLISHED
Nov. 7, 20

·  "     Pennsylvania state representative Jesse Topper has introduced a bill that would open major construction projects to competitive bidding, reported The Inquirer of Philadelphia. 

   The bill, which is with the State Government Committee, was precipitated by a study from research firm Ducker Worldwide that found from 2005 to 2010, schools across the state wasted more than $100 million in taxpayer money on roofing by using cooperative purchasing rather than competitive bidding.

·         The proposed bill would outlaw cooperative purchases for construction projects, which the bill's backers say will save money, especially for public schools having financial troubles. One school district received a roofing bid from a cooperative for $2.4 million, whereas an open bid for the same project totaled $1.4 million.

·         Still, many Pennsylvania school officials say cooperative purchasing agreements have merit, offering quality assurance, consistency and reduced maintenance, reported The Inquirer. They also say that open bids, unlike cooperatives, don’t take design costs or project monitoring into account.


Dive Insight:

Pennsylvania joins other states, including Virginia and Indiana, as well as Baltimore County (Maryland) Public Schools, in challenging whether cooperative purchasing agreements are the best choice for public school construction projects. 

2015 audit in the Baltimore County Public Schools revealed that it had overpaid by $11 million for roofing projects since 2006. The report also said that Texas estimated its taxpayers paid an excess $1.3 million per year related to roofing, while Indiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and other states found fraud and abuse in these arrangements.

An investigation of waste and abuse in public school roofing projects in New Jersey dating back to 2000 concluded there was “evidence of widespread cost-gouging, unscrupulous bidding practices, contract manipulation, questionable design, installation and inspection procedures and other abuses.”

Public school building represents just a fraction of construction projects that taxpayer dollars finance. Projects supported by state DOTs are funded by taxpayers, for example, but these dollars can show up in other types of construction projects as well. 

In Nevada, the Clark County Commission opted to help finance the NFL’s $2 billion Las Vegas Raiders stadium with a $750 million taxpayer-supported bond deal. The bonds, which will be repaid with proceeds from a new county hotel tax, will finance the public share of the project. Taxpayer protections, which require the team to pay off the bonds if it should move before 30 years, are included in the bond ordinance."

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If your school district is buying roofs through a Purchasing Coloperative, ple3ase know they are rigged to favor a single vendor.   The opposite of what we have in the private market.

If you're not competitive in the Private market, you are no0t competitive in the Public market.   Just that simple.


If a Manufacturer's Representative tells you they'll be on the job EVERY day,  is not lying.  The problem is that you have to pay $750.00 per day.


Purchasing Cooperatives decimate our school maintenance budgets, and do it with ZERO competition.

NO PRIVATE OWNER IS THAT STUPID.

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

Respect.

Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
State Certification  CCC 1325620
RobertRSolomon@aol.com

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





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