After a big night of trick or treating, I read with interest the plan to increase the number of minority subcontractors under consideration by Guilford County’s BOE.
While the plan “is not a replacement for any of the ongoing efforts at GCS,” citizens should be concerned if the plan becomes official GCS policy because it places extra burdens on general contractors at a time when school construction is a major concern for the school system.
Among the more troublesome proposals:
*Contractors shall purchase supplies and materials from their suppliers for minority businesses who are acting as subcontractors to help them with bonding and cash flow.
*Bidders awarded the contract shall not replace a minority contractor without consent of the purchasing officer at any time.
*If any subcontractor is added or replaced, contractor must document efforts to to solicit bids from minority contractors.
*Failure to comply with policy, including providing documentation, could lead to contractor’s disqualification from bidding and receiving GCS contracts.
*Construction plans, specs and requirements should be made available for review by prospective minority contractors at least 10 days before the bids are due.
*Contractors should provide assistance to minority subcontractors in getting required bonding or insurance or provide alternatives to bonding or insurance.
*Contractors should provide assistance to an otherwise qualified minority to secure loans, lines of credit, or joint pay agreements to secure loans, supplies, or letters of credit, including waiving credit that is ordinarily required.
*A grievance procedure should be put in place for minority subcontractors.
All this in addition to the extra paperwork contractors have to provide in proverbial triplicate to assure the school system of their good faith efforts.
This is just what contractors need to get the schools built on time and on budget. Not.