|11-A, 11-B, 11-C
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS: STREAMLINE PROCESSING OF CONSULTANT PROCUREMENT, CONTRACT AND CHANGE ORDER APPROVAL AND INVOICE APPROVAL
The current procedures for consultant procurement, contract and change order approval and invoice approval are tedious, time-consuming, and inefficient.
– Developing a more streamlined process of procuring consulting services. Investigate procurement policies utilized by the State of Maryland and other local jurisdictions and adopt those which produce the greatest procurement efficiency.
– Developing new, personal computer-based systems to process Expenditure Authorization Requests which allow easy access to information, easy data correction and proper linking of calculation fields. Allow computer based approvals to be made in lieu of the current manual approvals.
– Developing a new policy for handling direct cost billings which avoids the tedious and time-consuming labor efforts currently required to process invoices. Solutions include:
1. Use lump sum negotiated set fees for direct costs based on detailed cost estimates with no backup required. Consultant to bill a percentage of direct costs on monthly invoices.
2. Allow consultants to keep receipts in their office records for possible audit by City and pay direct costs invoiced based on honor system.
Estimated Annual Impact:
Estimated Implementation Costs:
Barriers to Implementation:
Consultants have stated that other jurisdictions have a more streamlined process for procurement of architectural and engineering services.
Estimated number of consultant contracts approved per year: 100; estimated number of employee hours saved per contract: 30.
The current Expenditure Authorization Request (EAR) approval process involves the utilization of an antiquated mainframe computer program. The program can be accessed through local personal computers, but is not flexible. For instance, the addition of information often requires a complete retyping of the body of the EAR. Also, numerical adjustments do not automatically trigger the recalculation of numerical information. In addition, a six-carbon document printed by the computer is still required to be manually hand-carried to various offices for approval. (Note: The fourth, fifth and sixth copies of the seven-page-thick EAR document are normally not readable).
Number of DPW Bureaus : 4
The vast majority of the cost of consultant invoices involves direct labor charges, which can be justified by the simple submission of a certified payroll signed by a company principal. However, the Department of Audits requires consultants to submit invoices for all direct expenses such as photocopying, long-distance telephone calls, parking fees, etc.
Many hours are spent by Department of Public Works personnel reviewing direct cost expense items and receipts on invoices that comprise an average of only five percent (5%) of the invoice amount but require approximately eighty percent (80%) of the review and processing time. Developing a simpler requirement for the justification of the direct costs will streamline the invoice processing procedure.
– Personnel can spend more time on other administrative work that is backlogged.
Number of invoices/year : 1,200