Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) Executive Director Richard Murray’s report to the commission Tuesday addressed the view that it is against the commission’s interest to award prime contracts to contractors who end up performing no work on the building site themselves.
He said they, in effect, become “pure brokers” and practice “bid-contracting down to the lowest price” instead of concentrating on the quality of the work.
Murray suggested instating a “self-performance number” on the contractor who wins the prime contract, and suggested one way to do this is to require 15 to 25 percent of the masonry work of a project be done by the prime contractor, as opposed to “subbing out” all of it.
He said his recommendation is a way the commission can get elements of self-performance from the prime contractor. “The best service [the commission gets],” Murray said, “is to have the prime contractor on site, over-seeing the subs.”
In response to Murray’s point that submitted bids regarding goods and services be of a “similar and equal design” in nature, Rep. Kris Jordan (R-Powell) said, “Competition is good in almost every aspect.”
“Everything is done with the competitive process in mind,” Murray assured him, and added that he understands Jordan feels strongly about these issues.
Murray’s report also touched on a pending lawsuit brought by the Cincinnati Schools Board of Education against Roger and Deborah Conners, who bought a vacant school in South Fairmont and now intend to create a charter school at the site, allegedly in violation of the sales contract.