New York City School Construction Authority

Soliciting Bids and Awarding Contracts for Capital Improvement Projects

The New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) is responsible for designing, building and rehabilitating public schools in New York City. We examined the adequacy of the procedures used by SCA in soliciting bids and awarding contracts for capital improvement projects. We found that, if certain improvements are made in SCA practices and procedures, the process used to screen the firms seeking SCA contracts can be more effective. For example, we identified firms that were allowed to bid on contracts, even though they had repeatedly been cited for unsafe work practices. We also found that, while SCA generally uses a competitive process when obtaining contractors for capital improvement projects, the process would be more competitive if certain improvements were made. In particular, SCA could obtain bids or proposals from a greater number of firms, and give firms additional time to prepare their bids or proposals. SCA could also be more effective in recruiting participants for a program in which contracts are reserved for firms owned by minorities, women or local residents.

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