Dear Facilities Task Force
In what can only be described as a bad sequel to an equally bad movie, the all-employee program manager selection committees met yesterday in what was purported to be the 13th floor conference room, but appeared to be more of an open area amidst a sea of cubicles.
The purpose of yesterday’s meeting was to respond to a “speaker’s” concerns from the last board meeting that the selection process hadn’t fully met the requirements of Sunshine Law. You may watch all four glorious hours or so at https://becon223.eduvision.tv/Default.aspx?q=d0F7qPKKlcfzu2JffePz9A%3d%3d
You’ll need to select “Misc” from the orange drop down menu and then look for the meeting in the gray boxes to the right of the screen. I have yet to be informed of a more direct way to view the video.
While construction purchasing agent IV Phil Kaufold facilitated the meeting, he read primarily from a script, with attorney Bob Vignola sitting right next to him, correcting every deviation from the script.
What transpired yesterday appeared to be the district’s attempt at curing the apparent sunshine law violations, but would probably be ruled a “perfunctory ratification of the action taken outside of the sunshine” (2015 Sunshine Law Manual, p. 51) as for the most part both sets of committee members merely copied their scores from the first evaluation onto the new score sheets, making no attempt to even appear to review the proposals or any notes. When I asked Phil for a copy of the proposals I was told I couldn’t have one because the committee members might need them. Committee members were asked to provide a summary explanation justifying their shortlisting scores. However, except in a few cases, most comments were generic, rather than specific.
Although shortlisting scores differed for cost and program controls, owners rep final scores were IDENTICAL (even to two decimal places) to the scores reported on 6/8/15.
Staff did make sure to take formal action in recommending the award of the contracts for both RFPs.
You may remember the purpose of having two RFPs was to both “mitigate risk and add additional controls to protect the District’s interest” (see E5 from 3/17/15 when the prior RFP bids were rejected).
I’ve asked Derek to explain, so that I may forward to you, how we find ourselves in a situation where Skanska, as the top scorer for both RFPs, is being recommended for award of the Program Manager – Cost and Program Controls contract, as well as one of the two Program Manager – Owner’s Representative contracts (along with Heery).
The agenda, scoresheets, and Excel file I used to check their numbers may be accessed from https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9k0mzLNzDCBfkhZQjBZOWlXS2RwVTRtOW1JYjJhQ1c5NllqRng0UExsOVhUV1dQRHhJbGM&usp=sharing
Public comment was not taken at the meeting, although it could have been. The district appears to have adopted an a la carte attitude toward Sunshine Law in that they appear cognizant of any part of sunshine that allows for the avoidance of public input, access, or participation, but ignore any part of the same rule that encourages public input:
However, as the court observed in Herrin, s. 286.0114(2), F.S., now mandates that “[m]embers of the public shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a proposition before a board or commission.” The opportunity to be heard does not have to occur at the same meeting at which the board or commission takes official action if the opportunity “occurs at a meeting that is during the decisionmaking process and is within reasonable proximity in time before the meeting at which the board or commission takes the official action.” Section 286.0114(2), F.S.
The terms “proposition” or “official action” are not defined in the statute, nor is there a distinction between official action taken at a formal meeting versus an informal setting, such as a workshop. Inf. Op. to Jacquot, April 25, 2014. “In light of the purpose of the statute to allow public participation during the decisionmaking process on a proposition, it should be liberally construed to facilitate that purpose.” Id.
|Cost and Program Controls|
Facilities Task Force Chair
In Florida, transparency is not up to the whim or grace of public officials. Instead, it is an enforceable right.
— Attorney General Pam Bondi