San Francisco Struggles To Use And Profit From Building Greatest Practices

2021-2022 Civil Grand Jury Publishes “Shovel Ready: Best Practices and Collaboration to Improve San Francisco’s Capital Construction Program”

SAN FRANCISCO, April 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The 2021-2022 San Francisco Civil Grand Jury today released its report on best practices and collaboration to improve San Francisco’s capital construction program. The Jury’s interest in investigating this subject stemmed from its desire to follow up on recommendations made in prior Jury reports, including San Francisco’s City Construction Program: It Needs Work (2015) and Van Ness Avenue – What Lies Beneath (2021), which City leaders agreed to adopt, but have yet to implement.

san francisco relies on contractors for most of its capital construction projects, budgeted at $39 billion for the 2020-2029 period. To ensure the greatest chance of success, these projects require relevant experience, use of construction best practices, and close collaboration between the city and contractors.

One recommendation from the 2015 report focused on the need for City departments charged with managing capital construction projects to create and adopt a contractor performance evaluation database. The purpose was to find the best contractor for the job, by requiring these city departments and contractors to evaluate each other’s performance during and after a construction project, thus ensuring accountability, transparency and two-way communications. The Mayor, Board of Supervisors and head of each applicable department all agreed the database would have a meaningful and positive impact on project quality, budgets and timelines.

“Six years after the City decided to create this database, and two years after it was developed, the database remains unused,” said Michael Hofman, Jury Foreperson. “No department has entered data since February 2020. As a result, there is little contractor information in the database, and since the database isn’t being populated with evaluations, it’s unlikely to be used in selecting contractors. The City is failing to benefit from lessons learned on construction projects, and given the high stakes nature of the City’s capital construction projects, we want to see this change.”

The database, however, is only one example of a construction best practice. The Jury’s report finds that the City misses opportunities to benefit from other construction best practices too.

About the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury
The Superior Court selects 19 San Franciscans to serve year-long terms as Civil Grand Jurors. The Jury has the authority to investigate City and County government by reviewing documents and interviewing public officials and private individuals. At the end of its inquiries, the jury issues reports of its findings and recommendations. Agencies identified in the report must respond to these findings and recommendations within either 60 or 90 days, and the Board of Supervisors conducts a public hearing on each Civil Grand Jury report after those responses are submitted.

Civil Grand Jury reports may be viewed online at https://civilgrandjury.sfgov.org/

400 McAllister Stroom 008, San Francisco, CA 94102 • 415.551.3635 • civilgrandjury.sfgov.org

SOURCE San Francisco Civil Grand Jury

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