The Office of the Inspector General (IG) discovered several abnormalities during the contractor selection process at West LA College after reviewing whistleblower accusations alleging coercion, according to a report released to the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD).
The design-build scoring process for the Watson/Teacher Learning Center (TLC) at West LA College was flawed due to under representation of the college, lobbying of the project managers and the allowed score revisal of the chosen contractor, according to the IG.
The project consisted of two separate buildings: The 30,000 square foot Watson Building and a 60,000 square foot Teacher Learning Center.
The company FTR International/Leo A Daly (FTR) was finally chosen for the project after first losing the scoring process to Hansel Phelps, according to the report.
After reaching the first scoring decision several people reported that the selection committee’s non-college representatives made comments such as, “this was not the design the college president wanted,” and, “we need to rescore,” according to the report.
College representatives Allan Hansen and Bob Sprague refused to revise their scores but non-college scorers James Sohn, Tom Jeffries, and Steven Jacobsen did revise their scores. The radical change in scoring by Sohn, Jeffries and Jacobson resulted in Hansel Phelps losing 1.7 points and FTR gaining 0.4 points, according to the report.
The results of the rescoring process resulted in the FTR team receiving the highest score by 0.78 points compared to the initial scoring which had the Hansel Phelps team receiving the highest score by 2 points, according to the report.
In its report the IG suggested that the board lacked proper protocols required during a bidding process including a lack of guidelines, attendance sheets, confidentiality forms and allowing rescoring of a chosen contractor.
Contributing: Coburn Palmer