It's the old game of "if they can get away with it so can we." And "Hang the overruns, we will do whatever we want because no one will prosecute them!"
This time, it's Sarnafil.
Here's how they "cooked" the bid process and specs for the Las Positas Community College, New Science Building and general alterations to another, in Livermore, California.
1. Use of incorrect spec data. That is, the wrong ASTM numbers were used, in a long list of "tests" to be met.
For instance: Use of ASTM D5147 as the test for specific attributes, when it is only a basis for all the actual tests to be done on the roofs. That is, take so much of a product to use for the succeeding, actual specific attribute tests in the ASTM Test Listings. Specific tests are other numbers, and not called out for in the following product attributes: Breaking Strength, Ultimate Elongation, Cold Bending and Water Absorption.
The real tests are not listed - hence you can't compete with an incorrect specification. The listing is incomplete at best and fraudulent, leading the consumer to believe a valid number was used and is a competitive bid spec. The specification is a restrictive proprietary performance spec, non competitive and illegal by Public Contract Codes.
Anyone know how much in Federal Funds this college gets?
For instance: The University of California mixes all their fund sources together, so it makes all construction contracts liable to Federal Law....and I'll bet it's the same for this California College. It's the method College and University Administrators use to skirt the law - but it makes them also more liable....if the Federal Attorney General's Offices decide to protect the taxpayers and prosecute.
2. Use of restrictive specs. That is, too many product tests were listed, some which mean nothing to the overall good of a competitive system. Also used or missing were:
a. VOC content maximum numbers for a listing of 12
specific products associated with the single-sourced
b. Missing Strength Data (Compressive). Note: The
ASTM Roofing Committee added Compressive Strength
as a necessary component to roofing systems to their
testing procedures in the early 2000's, as there are
companies claiming erroneously that only Tensile Strength
c. Only one specific value for various materials are
listed, instead of minimums or maximums, the
competitive way to bid products.
For instance: The Thickness is called out as one
specific mil, not a minimum.
Also: Initial Reflectivity, Initial Emissivity, and Solar
Reflective Index do not state minimum or maxium
to the value listed.
3. A rep attempting to submit a listed alternate was told by the staff in charge of the contract that the College was " standardizing" on Sarnafil and would not be accepting any equals - and walked off. Despite what was listed as an acceptable alternate in the bid specification. Let's just hope previous roofs at Las Positas Community College were actually competitively bid - because if they were, they are probably still under a real warranty....which should not be ignored to "redo" roofs under this new "standardized" system of illegally sole-sourcing roofing products.
Question: At what point do prosecutors "get" the huge overruns from such practices affecting California's budget, and decide to take on the problem? Are they really that "clueless" - or covering up?
Below are some of the pages of the specifications, noted with the issues seen.