South San Francisco, CA October 9, 2017 Submitted by Leslie Guevarra Office of Senator Hill
Governor Sign Bill Enabling San Mateo County and Three Peninsula Districts to Potentially Reap Millions in Savings for Major Construction Projects
SB 793 by Senator Jerry Hill Takes Effect January 1
SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 793 by Senator Jerry Hill today, enabling San Mateo County to take advantage of a process that allows public entities to ensure the best value in construction project contracts – a move that would expedite the county’s five-year, $444-million capital improvement plan.
A related provision of SB 793 allows three special districts – the Peninsula Health Care District, the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District – to use the design-build method to carry out public construction, repair and restoration projects. Contracting with the same firm to design and build such projects is typical among state and local government entities and schools. But the process, which saves money and time, is not as prevalent among special districts, as many have yet to be granted authority to contract with a single firm to design construction projects and then execute those plans.
Taken together, the provisions of SB 793 have the potential to save tens of millions in taxpayer money for public construction projects.
Representatives for San Mateo County have said they are optimistic that enabling the county to participate in a best value pilot program, which was initiated by the state for seven counties in 2015, could produce savings of about 10 percent. The county committed this year to pursue a nearly $500-million, five-year capital improvement plan embracing nine projects that range from a new five-story county office building to an overhaul of the county’s health system campus.
“This bill makes it possible for San Mateo County and the three special districts to take advantage of processes that can yield substantial savings in taxpayer money for public projects,” said Senator Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
The best value pilot program for seven counties was established in 2015 by SB 762, authored by then-Senator Lois Wolk. It allows Alameda, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Solano and Yuba counties to select a bidder on the basis of best value – a concept that takes into account price as well as project features, functions, lifecycle costs, experience and past performance – for construction projects in excess of $1,000,000.
SB 793 adds San Mateo County to the list of participating counties. It also clarifies the terms of the pilot program so that the best value concept and criteria can be applied to construction contracts and not just construction projects. Specifically, the bill enables the participating counties to apply the best value concept to job order contracting, a procurement method prevalent in California counties that produces a fixed-price, master construction contract covering many renovation, repair, alteration and large maintenance projects in a single competitive bid.