I took a look down into the Food Court this morning and it looked substantially complete. It looks like it could open by December 1st but it would need a deep and through cleaning first.
It is certainly not only the City - many of the customers of both Carillion and Bondfield are governments - who are almost always obliged to accept the lowest compliant tender. Though the City were well aware of Bondfield's problems, they won the North St Lawrence Market contractin early 2018 as lowest bidder but could then not come up with the necessary $$$ guarantees. This all greatly delayed that project as the City had to go out for bids again - they are currently being evaluated. Not sure that allowing governments to NOT accept lowest compliant bids would be better as that would open the process up to 'favouritism' and the 'envelope under the table' that was quite common in the past.It takes a special touch to choose a contractor that went bankrupt only to be followed by another with apparent financial distress. That's a pretty damning track record - among other high profile examples that calls into question the procurement practices of the City.
Honestly, it is about getting what you paid for and the fact that the public purse is always under scrutiny,It takes a special touch to choose a contractor that went bankrupt only to be followed by another with apparent financial distress. That's a pretty damning track record - among other high profile examples that calls into question the procurement practices of the City.
Definitely a route worth considering.Introduce legislation that requires governments to go with the second lowest qualifying bid. You'll get more reasonable bids in the first place (as purposefully underbidding will no longer be rewarded), and should make the firms responsible more financially surefooted.
Also bonuses and penalties for early completion/delays. Project delays should not be considered a norm to the point of making completion date an optional "nice to have".Definitely a route worth considering.
There are also other options.
Insert warranty requirements. This is currently done w/tree planting. All contractors supplying and planting trees for the City must warranty their survival for 2 years or replace them at their own cost.
Now, it's worth saying this is not enforced as well as it might be, though it is, sometimes.
You could likewise leave a contractor on the hook to remedy any deficiencies or things that go wrong w/i a 2-5 years of project completion. The way to do this would be a performance bond to ensure that that the contractor doesn't fold their tent and run.
You could also withhold the final 10% of payment pending independent verification that the project is complete, deficiency-free.
Another important measure is properly trained City project managers. Many do not have enough experience w/trades or construction to oversee work properly.
It's normal in projects of size to have to sub spec'ed materials as things become unavailable or circumstances change.
A challenge is that a contractor goes to a City project manager and says 'we can't get 'x' tile or this type of tree or whatever and the manager in question has no concept of the relative importance of what was spec'ed in the first place
or whether the substitution is a reasonable equivalent.
As an example, a major streetscape project was done a year or two ago in the City, where the tender spec'ed red oaks.
The contractor claimed after winning the bid that they were unable to get red oaks in the fall (BS); they then proposed to substitute Crimson Norway Maples (a non-native, invasive that Parks won't plant anymore).
The project manager was not a forester or ecologist, clearly had no idea there was a policy against planting Norway Maple, and approved the substitution.
This sort of thing happens all too often in a variety of different ways.
There is a need for better tender writing.
I've read more than a few in my day, and it never ceases to amaze me what isn't said.
Some would think it 'common sense', but if you don't say certain things....
I will afford an example from the private sector, a major landlord hired a company to repaint the common areas of several buildings.
The tender said not much more than that. Shall paint the following common areas at properties 'x', 'y' and 'z'.
The work was awarded to the lowest bidder.
The paint job was done so poorly (bubbling and peeling within days) the work had to be entirely re-done by a different contractor, costing a lot of $$$
Here's what was missing in the tender:
- no requirement to clean the surfaces or sand prior to painting.
- no specification as to paint quality
- no specification as to using drop cloths (painters managed to drop paint over several sections of new carpet)
- no specification that the painters themselves had to have any experience or be supervised by anyone with experience (several painters were total novices)
If you want Quality, you must make that clear in the tender.
Finally, the City must adopt a clear program of adversely scoring or banning from bids, poorly performing contractors.
The major thing that is NOT yet completed is the restaurant fitting out and even if the public areas are all done - and they aren't yet - there is little point in a Food Court with no open vendors. They ARE working hard on the whole area so December 1 does seem reasonable but ....I took a look down into the Food Court this morning and it looked substantially complete. It looks like it could open by December 1st but it would need a deep and through cleaning first.
It makes total sense from a passenger flow point of view.The major thing that is NOT yet completed is the restaurant fitting out and even if the public areas are all done - and they aren't yet - there is little point in a Food Court with no open vendors. They ARE working hard on the whole area so December 1 does seem reasonable but ....
Is the food court going to be a dead end like there will be no connection to like maple leaf square or the subway or anything? Like will the centre retail area open with the food court or is their hoarding covering where the entrance to that area will be?