Monday, February 18, 2008


Which brings us to the second reason why hiring an experienced construction manager is a good idea: capacity. The city doesn't have it, and a big firm such as MWH does. The company also has a lot more expertise than the city, and it has all-important experience in dealing with FEMA.

Good thinking there Clancy. Real good thinking:
The fiscal report also claims that city officials used "illegal contracting methodology" in inking agreements worth more than $92 million with two national firms, the Shaw Group and Montgomery Watson Harza. It says the deal with Montgomery Watson tied profits to costs, an arrangement that violates federal rules because it provides no incentive to keep costs low.

The report also claims both contracts were awarded without competition, which boosted the risk of "unreasonable prices," and that the city failed to monitor contractor performance. The Shaw contract, for home inspections and environmental mitigation, was written after the storm. Montgomery Watson already had a contract with the city that was amended to include storm-drain cleaning and construction management.

MWH's qualifications aside, it seems somewhat trusting to hire the biggest contractor on the biggest repair job facing the city to oversee all of the city's repair jobs, as a matter of general principle. I think the Picayune also wrote an editorial praising the move, but I couldn't find it online. The S&WB is a separate entity from the City of New Orleans, so its contracts might be handled separately, but it's still a lot of faith in one company.

Thanks Jeffrey, for reminding me of that DuBos column.

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The issue here is not whether hiring a Construction Management firm was a good idea. The issue is whether they hired the right one and whether it was don elegally.
I really don't see how anyone could think it's a good idea to hire one of the biggest contractors to oversee all the contracts. I would ask that question before any about integrity or competence.
How are the one of the biggest contractors?
I guess the link I gave didn't spell it out, but MWH is the biggest contractor for most of the S&WB work. It's also bid on city jobs, but I'm not sure if it got any.
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