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How Do Contractors Work With Public Works Projects In Oakland, California
As a contractor in the state of California, landing Public Works contracts is a great way to both increase your profits, and ensure consistency in your earnings. This is also the surest way to build a strong and recognizable brand, and to attract the attention of new and higher paying clients. If you’ve never bid on this type of job before, you may be asking the very common question, “How do contractors work with Public Works Projects in Oakland”? Read on to learn everything that you need to know about this process, including how to comply with the necessary insurance requirements, register with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), and how to finalize and submit your bid.
A public works contractor is any contractor that accepts a contract to complete work that requires prevailing wage payments. This can include brokers and sole proprietors, as well as sub-contractors who have been hired by primary contractors. Ultimately, any entity that accepts the responsibility of completing work on a public works project falls under this designation, even if the individual in question lacks employees or has no intention of using in-house manpower in order to get the necessary work done. With this in mind, all parties meeting this designation must be duly licensed, properly insured, and registered with the DIR.
If you bid for and accepted a contract of this type in the past, registering with the DIR may not have been a stipulation. New laws have been implemented in the recent past, however, that have made this additional step paramount. Any projects accepted and completed after 2015 require this additional step. Any contractors working on projects awarded before April 1 of 2015 are excluded.
Before bidding for any job, you must have your DIR registration complete. When jobs are accepted all responsible parties must maintain certified payroll records in an ongoing fashion. Moreover, these records will need to be submitted to the office of the Labor Commissioner as requested. If a bid proposal is accepted, the winning company or professional can obtain notification via the DIR’s PWC-100 system. This is a publicly accessible system that shows bid award histories, job bidders, and current bid awards among many other things. It is in place to streamline and refine the bidding process, and to help expedite the award system as necessary.
California State licensing must be accurate and up to date when submitting a bid proposal. The foremost requirement for all bidders is competency. Anyone who bids for a job in this category must be both capable and competent enough to perform the required work according to a satisfactory standard. Upon request, all bidders must provide statements of their prior experience on projects of a similar caliber. They should also be able to provide a detailed plan of the procedure that will be used, the machinery, organization, plant, and equipment that will be relied upon for any parts of this process.
Other details that bidders must furnish pertaining to competency include statements of their current financial health, assets, and other resources. Additional documentation by this end may be requested to determine whether or not the bidder in question is able to get the job done. When submitting bids, current California Contractors’ license numbers should be presented. The license in question should also be within the proper license class for the project. If a bid lacks any of this information or other pertinent details, it may be rejected due to non-responsiveness on the part of the bidder. Moreover, a record of this rejection could be made permanent in the publicly available DIR PWC-100 system.
As with all hiring decisions, contractors insurance is also a vital part of the screening process. Without the right coverage in place, bidders can again be deemed as being unresponsive and can have their proposals rejected outright. This makes it important for California contractors to connect with companies like Contractors Insurance Solutions Inc early on in the proposal process. This way, they can have their general liability, errors and omissions coverage, workers’ compensation coverage, and other applicable policies reviewed, the coverage limits for their plans checked, and other pertinent factors verified before actually submitting their proposals.
The Risk Management Department of Oakland will be doing the final review of all policies that contractors have bound to ensure that these are on par with the current requirements, before any award decisions are made. Not having insurance or having insufficient insurance at the time of bidding is one of the most common reasons why bids are rejected outright. Risk Management also handles all documentation concerning Oakland public works bonds and can be contacted directly for the necessary forms. These and other forms pertaining to the bid proposal process can also be found online. There are many similarities between the public works bidding process and the process for engaging in real estate development in Oakland. With these projects, companies must still comply with all requirements for licensing and insurance. Much of their requests to develop will be reviewed by the Risk Management Department as well. In the instance of development project, contractors must have licenses with one of two specific designations. These are either “Engineering” or “Building”. In this instance, no other form of licensing will be deemed sufficient.
One of the most important things to know about these projects is that there are requirements that winning contractors have when choosing their subcontractors. In these instances, rather than looking solely at the lowest cost, factors such as experience, financial stability, and years established will matter far more. There can also be hyper-local requirements for every jurisdiction. It is important that all bidders and subcontractors have a keen understanding of what these and other requirements are. Joining trade associations is often recommended, particularly for those who are new to their industries and new to the public works bidding process. This will open the door to new allies and networks of people, as well as providing access to educational programs that are largely focused on teaching recent changes in laws and regulations that affect specific industries, businesses and bidding processes.
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