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. 

SIE – Word on the Street was Last Week - This is a confidential discussion that is not to be discussed further after the meeting.  This is only for subcontractor and supplier members of ASA of Metro Washington.  But one discussion was very revealing.  In looking at the possibility of legislation that would make condition precedent language null and void in contracts verses an ability to know exactly when the prime contractor has been paid for your work, the results were unanimous.  Transparency of payment to the prime is what the members want most.  Reply to this email to comment.  If you think ASAMW should pursue condition precedent legislation over transparency legislation, speak now or forever hold your peace. 

Where is Construction Heading?  Things are looking strong again - at least in residential.  Dodge Data & Analytics reports July construction starts in the DMV were the same as July a year ago.  In July, residential was 21 percent higher than last year, while non-residential was 19 percent lower.  The overall rate of construction starts is 32 percent lower for the year as compared to last year.  

How About Golf at Lansdowne on Oct. 5th?  ASAMW held a very successful golf tournament in June and we are looking forward to the next tournament on Oct. 5th.  Click here for more information to sponsor or register.  Act now, this is the first year at Lansdowne and tournaments typically sell out.  

Winery Happy Hour at Paradise Springs -  Join the Frontrunners for an opportunity to catch up with members and guests outside for a happy hour at Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, VA. Visit the ASAMW website to learn more!

Advocacy Issues

Maryland:  No report

DC: As previously reported, a group of members will meet with Councilperson Robert White to discuss the unique challenges subcontractors face in DC Construction projects. Our discussions will focus on the need to help all subcontractors succeed by improving payment processes, alleviating other pains subcontractors face. 

Virginia:  See other article about the member’s selection of transparency over condition precedent as a legislative initiative in Virginia. We will actively support both, but our primary efforts will focus on transparency.

Member Updates

We want to welcome our newest GC Partner, Coakley & Williams Construction Inc. Brian Cole will be ASAMW’s primary contact. Coakley & Williams joins 15 other GCs in supporting our mission of Better Construction through Fair Construction.  

Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, P.C. (CBM), has made a significant jump to #220 of INSIDE Public Accounting’s list of Top 300 Fastest-Growing Firms list.

 

 

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