The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) did not have adequate processes to effectively monitor the extent to which each contractor achieved workforce participation goals for women and minorities in order to establish measures to enforce compliance with these goals. During the audit period, 120 (95%) of the 127 construction contracts did not meet the women’s workforce participation goal: that 6.9% of the hours of construction worked should be done by women. Seventy-eight (61%) of the 127 construction contracts did not have any hours worked by women. In addition, 81 (64%) of the 127 contracts did not meet the minority workforce participation goal: that 15.3% of the hours of construction worked should be done by minorities. Thirty-six (28%) of the 127 contracts did not have any hours worked by minorities.
As a result, DCAMM did not have adequate enforcement provisions in place to help ensure that its contractors met the diversity requirements regarding workforce participation for women and minorities.
Section 44A(1)(G) of Chapter 149 of the Massachusetts General Laws states,
Every contract by a state agency or state assisted contract for design, construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance or repair shall set forth the participation goals of minority and women workers to be employed on each such contract and the processes and procedures to ensure compliance with those workforce participation goals, including reporting and enforcement provisions.
The Executive Office for Administration and Finance has issued an administrative bulletin, “Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination on State and State-Assisted Construction Contracts,” effective March 18, 2009. Section III of an attachment to the bulletin states, “The participation goals . . . shall be 15.3% for minorities and 6.9% for women.”
Although the contracts included reporting and workforce participation goals, DCAMM did not fully use enforcement provisions.
Reasons for Noncompliance
DCAMM had not established policies and procedures to effectively monitor the extent to which each contractor achieved the workforce participation goals for women and minorities in order to establish measures to enforce compliance with these goals.
DCAMM should develop policies and procedures to effectively monitor the extent to which each contractor achieves workforce participation goals for women and minorities. These policies and procedures should establish the conditions under which DCAMM will use enforcement provisions against contractors that do not meet their workforce participation goals.
DCAMM’s Affirmative Marketing Program is both a focus and source of pride for our agency. Through our Affirmative Marketing Program; DCAMM expands opportunities for minority, women and veteran-owned businesses, helps minorities and women realize successful careers in the construction industry, and helps to create a pipeline of skilled workers for a diverse workforce.
Monitoring of workforce participation goals has historically taken place via a comprehensive tailored approach which involves the DCAMM Compliance Officer at every stage, from contract inception to close-out. The Compliance Officer meets regularly and conducts site visits with the project managers, resident engineers, primes and contractors. The Compliance Officer reviews submissions, daily reports, meeting minutes and other communications. The comprehensive tailored approach allows the Compliance Officer to best review the project process, understand the (often evolving) timing of various categories of work and, because each project is unique, to best tailor actions to achieve and increase both minority and women business and workforce participation.
DCAMM is implementing the recommendation of the [Office of the State Auditor] by supplementing its comprehensive tailored approach with a structure for additional supervisory review and automatic implementation of its contract option to require quarterly projected workforce tables. The internal compliance officer procedures will be updated to require a workforce report on all active contracts to be run and provided to the Deputy Director of Access and Opportunity at least quarterly. The Deputy Director will meet with the Compliance Officer and identify all underperforming contracts, and promptly provide notification of such underperformance to both the Director of Access and Opportunity and the applicable Prime Contractor. A meeting will be scheduled and conducted by the Deputy Director and the Compliance Officer with the Prime Contractor and relevant Subcontractors in attendance, at which time an action plan will be created. If, after review of the circumstances and information provided, DCAMM staff believes that quarterly projections may assist in the increase in workforce participation, DCAMM may require the submission of quarterly projections as part of the action plan. If a subcontractor continues to be underperforming in the following quarter, quarterly projections will be required in all instances.
DCAMM will be communicating the foregoing procedure update to all members of the compliance team.
In addition, we note that DCAMM is leveraging its eBuilder project management system to provide the Access and Opportunity unit with yet another tool and resource for oversight and involvement in projects. Finally, DCAMM has updated its Contractor Evaluation Form, which now explicitly includes the consideration “Did the Contractor meet applicable workforce goals, benchmarks or other requirements?”
Based on its response, DCAMM is taking measures to address our concerns on this matter.
|Date published:||February 23, 2022|