DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS: BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING DIVISION HIGHWAY DESIGN SECTION – DESIGN CONTRACT PROCESSING

11-D
BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION
TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING DIVISION
HIGHWAY DESIGN SECTION: DESIGN CONTRACT PROCESSING
Problem Identification:
The Transportation Engineering Division uses consultants to design projects that are too large, too time consuming or too detailed for in-house staff to execute. Once interviews have been held, and the consultant has been approved by the Architectural and Engineering Awards Commission, the Transportation Engineering Division begins negotiations with the selected consultant. When negotiations are complete the contract is then processed by the Construction Management Division who in turn issues a Design Notice-to-Proceed. After issuance of the Notice-to-Proceed, the Transportation Engineering Division begins to manage the consultant throughout design.The responsibility for the various steps of the approval process changes divisions too many times, making the tracking of the project from interviews to Notice-to-Proceed too timely, too costly, and difficult to manage.Additionally, competing priorities within the Construction Management Division may cause processing efficiency to suffer. The Construction Management Division also processes Notice-to-Proceed for Construction Projects. This has been one of the major tasks for the Division. In the past, design processing was the responsibility of the Transportation Engineering Division.

Recommended Action:
Move responsibility for design contract processing from the Bureau of Transportation’s Construction Management Division to its Engineering Division.

Classification:
Organizational, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
Bureau of Transportation Engineering Division and Construction Management Division

Estimated Annual Impact:
While the immediate financial impact cannot be estimated, shorter-processing times would have a direct impact on operational costs.

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Negligible

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
60 days

Next Steps:
The Bureau of Transportation’s Construction Management and Engineering Divisions need to coordinate to establish a list of projects and their status. Then sixty days are needed to hire personnel and coordinate. There are three contract administrators, one supervisor, and one assistant who currently process design and construction contracts. The existing work flows of these personnel should be examined to identify which employees could be reassigned.

Analysis:
Currently, contract processing is as follows: after approval from the Architectural and Engineering Awards Commission, negotiations of design scope and hours occur. This takes approximately two months. Next, MBE/WBE qualifications audit reports and payroll rosters are submitted by the prime and subcontractors. The final step is to acquire signatures on the agreement, which takes approximately one month. The entire process takes five months. This time period could be reduced in half if the Division dedicated to design issues was responsible for all of the steps in the process.