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Ike's Newsletter October 23, 2020

Executive Director's Report

Do You Know When the Prime Gets Paid?  Members recently indicated that transparent payment – knowing when the GC/Prime has received payment from the owner – is more important than just about anything else to improve payment to subcontractors.  However, are you using the tools available to you?  There is no help in Maryland, but here are the payment sites for public work in DC and Virginia.

Virginia: Procurement Transparency for Dept of General Services (DGS) (with matching payment, if available) Click Here

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Ike's Newsletter October 2, 2020

Executive Director's Report

What Good are Laws, Meant to Protect You, if not Enforced? Two of your fellow members, Bryan Wright (Blackwood of DC) and Cindy Athey (Precision Wall Tech) put themselves at the forefront to explain the difficulties with working in the District of Columbia.  They were speaking on B23-0405, which would offer additional protections to subcontractors from a prime’s failure to pay.  They took the opportunity to explain how the District does not uphold the laws on wage theft, use of Certified Business Enterprises, subcontract language and more.  It appears from the dialogue with the DC Council Committee on Facilities and Procurement that laws on the books are not properly administered by the DC Agencies involved, such as DGS and DOES.  Now that we have the ear of the DC Council, we need more stories about how you have waited too long for payment, lost a bid to a non-CBE or any other instance in which the DC Agency has not followed the law. 

Why Construction Continues to be Strong -  This article indicates that lenders see construction as a good investment since delivery of the construction project will be two to three years down the road – hopefully post COVID-19. 

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Ike's Newsletter September 18, 2020

Executive Director's Report

Economist Reveals Markets to go After – Expect to see bids for data centers and distribution facilities close to high residential areas, according to Ken Simonson, the Economist, who spoke to a joint session of ASAMW and CFMA members on Sept. 8th.  School construction will be needed to meet the number of students in the area, with private and charter schools in demand.  Over the long term, owners will be reluctant to start new construction, high-end residential will suffer, office space will drop sharply and the DMV will see the effects of a decrease in business travel.  Please send an email to [email protected] to receive a copy of the deck used in this presentation. 

Are you Working in DC? Several members met with DC Council Members Robert White and Kenyan McDuffie to discuss the concerns subcontractors have about working in DC.  One of the points made was that those contractors who attempt to abide by the laws are more likely to receive audits resulting in fines than those who choose to skirt the laws.  Wage theft is a major issue.  Thanks to Cindy Athey (Precision Wall Tech) for orchestrating this meeting.  The Survey about technology mentioned below will include questions about working in DC. Click here for the Survey. If you would like the notes from this meeting, please send a request to [email protected].   

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Ike's Newsletter September 4, 2020

Executive Director's Report

Meeting with GC Partners - The ASA of Metro Washington Board met with its General Contractor Partners on Wednesday.  Here are some highlights:

  1. Contracts - Timing is a major issue here.  If the subcontractor has an issue to raise about the subcontract (boilerplate language), do so before the bid.  Do not come at the last minute or after the bid with changes.  The GCs in the room are willing to listen to Sub’s suggested changes.  ASAMW is working on a subcontract Rider that each GC Partner will review and consider.  In most cases, large national GCs cannot change the boilerplate in their subcontract without consulting their counsel, but will listen to our proposed changes and go from there. 
  2. Bidding – There seem to be misconceptions about what is bid-shopping and what Best and Final really mean.  ASAMW will consider programming to discuss how each group perceives how we bid jobs in the DMV.
  3. Change orders, on-site issues and close out – Change order negotiation and subsequent payments remain a problem that must be addressed, and ASAMW will continue to educate proper handling of the change order process.  Subs who are notified of a back charge long after their scope is completed should not accept it, but address their concerns with the GC (this issue is being addressed in the ASAMW Subcontract Rider).  On-site management (Foremen/Superintendents) must own their scope and the work of any lower tier subcontractors, and on-site management must remain on the job site full time, as required in the subcontract.  Subs who sub out their work cause significant on-site issues, and ASAMW will support efforts to prevent wage theft in the construction industry. 
  4. COVID-19 – Payment is quicker in some cases (government) but slower in others.  Zoom meetings are more efficient in many cases. 
  5. Technology – ASAMW will provide a list of most-used technology and ask that GC Partners consider this list for their use so that Subs do not have to learn a new technology on each project. 
  6. Government – ASAMW will monitor legislation to make sure laws are not an impediment to efficient construction. 

The final report from this meeting will be available to all members after it has been reviewed by the Board and the GC Partners for accuracy. 

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