Prepared, Not Scared: Emergency Construction Procurement

Breaking news: An emergency or natural disaster has hit your area. Every second counts. Do you panic or are you prepared to meet the needs of your community? Natural disasters and mechanical failures, such as a water line break or a bridge bearing failure, can create an emergency event that requires an immediate response. When the response to the disaster is delayed or deferred, further damages may occur. Explore a faster way to respond to emergency construction needs.

Common Challenges for Public Disaster Response Efforts

Every public owner can engage contractors and other service providers quickly following an emergency without abiding by traditional competitive bidding requirements. However, this expedited response time comes with a high price tag. Emergency repair rates for contractors can be well above standard labor costs – sometimes between 50% to 100% more expensive!

There may be some relief for state and local agencies. If the occurrence is a natural disaster impacting a large geographic area, the public owner may be eligible for federal reimbursement through FEMA funds. However, certain recordkeeping requirements and procurement guidelines must be followed to qualify for reimbursement. Procurement officials need to provide complete and timely documentation to support the purchases made during the disaster.

In addition to the added stress, there are numerous common challenges that make disaster response particularly difficult. When a disaster strikes, public agencies may have a hard time finding quality contractors, may face inflated prices for equipment and materials and see longer repair times. While they navigate these challenges, procurement professionals must still follow complex federal and state compliance rules.

A Solution for an Immediate, Cost-Efficient Response

Gordian’s Job Order Contracting (JOC) programs help speed project delivery and rein in costs after disasters. For over 30 years, Job Order Contracts have provided facility and infrastructure owners with the ability to accomplish a substantial number of individual construction projects with a single, competitively-bid contract. Contractors bid a multiplier to be applied to a catalog of Tasks with preset Unit Prices developed using local labor, material and equipment costs. Job Order Contracts are generally, but not always, awarded to the lowest, responsive, responsible bidder. Once the contract is awarded, the owner can have the contractor perform a variety of projects. The contractor is paid the preset Unit Price x the quantity ordered x the competitively-bid adjustment factor. No negotiation required.

Gordian JOC addresses emergency construction challenges after a disaster and helps prepare you for the unexpected by:

  • Providing a pool of competitively awarded, readily available contractors.
  • Eliminating price gouging because prices are locked in at the outset of the contract and remain fixed for the duration of the contract, typically one year.
  • Expediting construction procurement so the contractors are ready to begin work immediately.
  • Meeting all applicable Federal procurement standards for use of Federal funds. Plus, all the project data is managed electronically, creating the detail and transparency typically required for reimbursement.

A Real-World Solution to Real-Life

Job Order Contracting is a powerful ally when navigating the construction procurement journey during crisis scenarios. Here are two quick stories about how local governments used JOC to jump into action and repair critical facilities following a natural disaster.

Days of pounding rain exposed a sewer line buried in a California hillside. To stem the tide of sewage running into a local creek, the County of San Mateo Department of Public Works used Job Order Contracting to repair the line in a week.

A wicked combination of winter storms and high tides caused rampant erosion on San Francisco’s Great Highway. Waves ate away at the bluff next to the highway until an exposed manhole toppled over, destroying a catch basin and stormwater pipe. The collaborative nature of the Joint Scope Meeting allowed San Francisco Public Works and their awarded JOC contractor, Yerba Buena Engineering, to determine the best way to mitigate the erosion. The flexibility, pricing transparency and the collaborative nature of JOC contributed to the project’s success.

JOC be Nimble, JOC be Quick

Job Order Contracting is a proven method to help public agencies get back online following a natural disaster. Emergency Response Job Order Contracts provide facility and infrastructure owners with prequalified on-call contractors ready to respond to emergency events quickly at preset unit prices for all labor, material, equipment and services. The detailed cost information, fixed through competitive bidding, will also meet the requirements for reimbursement from FEMA or the owner’s insurance carrier.

Click here to see how Gordian’s Job Order Contracting solutions have helped other governments save time and money when it’s most critical.