Construction database goes unused in SF

Result could be billions to contractors shoddy work history, Civil Grand Jury finds

San Francisco /
Apr.April 14, 2022 01:00 PM
Van Ness Improvement Project ( San Francisco Chronicle)
Van Ness Improvement Project ( San Francisco Chronicle)

San Francisco shelled out $250,000 three years ago to launch a database to track construction delays, but has never used it, according to a civil grand jury report.

The result: billions of dollars in taxpayer money may continue to be spent on firms with a history of shoddy work. The report comes as San Francisco plans to spend $39 billion on capital projects over the next decade.

The database was intended to track the performance of contractors on city construction projects, but staffers failed to “populate” it with information that could help choose good contractors from bad ones, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, citing the grand jury report.

The San Francisco Civil Grand Jury report covers the history of a “performance evaluation database” that was recommended in a 2014 city controller’s audit. The city spent $250,000 on a contract to develop the database, completed in 2018 and first tested in 2019.

The departments that oversee public construction projects – the Department of Public Works, Port of San Francisco, Public Utilities Commission, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Recreation and Park Department – never touched it, according to the Civil Grand Jury, which scrutinizes the conduct of public business.

“Too often … projects experience recurring problems,” said Civil Grand Jury Foreman Michael Hofman. “These include cost overruns, delays to completion, inconsistent staffing, unnecessary change orders and construction that does not ‘adhere to contract specification,’ which means work is of poor quality and sometimes requires a do-over.”

The 18-member jury investigation, entitled “Shovel Ready,” is the fourth report in the past eight years to focus on capital projects, which can include bridges, museums, parking garages, playgrounds and more. It’s also the third report stressing the need for a central contractor performance evaluation database, and the second in the past 12 months to recommend the use of other construction best practices.

It was published as the city opened a bus rapid transit line on Van Ness Avenue – three years behind schedule and $37 million over its projected cost of $309 million.

Public Works spokeswoman Rachel Gordon said the department had just received a copy of the report and would respond within the 90-day period required by laws governing civil grand juries.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin expressed disappointment the database was ignored by city departments who oversee capital projects.

“The Civil Grand Jury report ‘Shovel Ready’ should more aptly be titled ‘Buried Alive’ — because that’s exactly what happened with this $250,000 investment,” Peskin said. “No wonder our capital projects suffer delays upon delays.”

[ San Francisco Chronicle] – Dana Bartholomew





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Bradley Blake and Brad Griggs with 115 Town and Country Drive (Blake Griggs Properties, Google Maps)
    Mixed bag of factors in $304 psf price on East Bay retail
    Mixed bag of factors in $304 psf price on East Bay retail
    George Shultz and 999 Green St, San Francisco (Compass, iStock, U.S. Department of State/Public domain/via Wikimedia Commons)
    Eichler-designed George Shultz penthouses go into contract at record last ask
    Eichler-designed George Shultz penthouses go into contract at record last ask
    From left: 1750 Sacramento St and 3100 Adeline St (Loopnet, Google Maps)
    Berkeley eyes BART stations with state housing mandate in mind
    Berkeley eyes BART stations with state housing mandate in mind
    Amit Goel and 22330 Main Street, Hayward (Google Maps, Hillsdale Investment Management Inc.)
    314 resi units approved for site of failed office project in Hayward
    314 resi units approved for site of failed office project in Hayward
    Stockdale Capital Partners’ Steven and Shawn Yari with 501 Geary St (Stockdale Capital, The Markers, iStock)
    Pebblebrook sells DTSF’s Marker Hotel
    Pebblebrook sells DTSF’s Marker Hotel
    70 South Park, San Francisco, CA (70SouthPark)
    ‘Gallery House’ aims for South Park record with $12M ask
    ‘Gallery House’ aims for South Park record with $12M ask
    San Francisco Mayor London Breed (Getty, iStock)
    San Francisco to consider cutting affordable housing demands to spur construction
    San Francisco to consider cutting affordable housing demands to spur construction
    Residential Real Estate, San Francisco, Bay Area
    Silicon Valley’s return-to-office trend tied to jump in San Jose resi rents
    Silicon Valley’s return-to-office trend tied to jump in San Jose resi rents
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...