December 15, 2011

 

REPORT OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF THE RULES, POLICY
AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE/COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

 

Honorable Board of Directors
Golden Gate Bridge, Highway
  and Transportation District

Honorable Members:

A Meeting of the Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee/Committee of the Whole (Committee) was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, CA, on Thursday, December 15, 2011, at 11:00 a.m., Chair Pahre presiding.

Committee Members Present (4): Chair Pahre; Director Arnold; Vice Chair Chu; President Reilly (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (4): Directors Elsbernd, Mar, Snyder and Theriault
Other Directors Present (9): Directors Boro, Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Moylan, Rabbitt, Renée, Sobel and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (13): Directors Arnold, Boro, Chu, Cochran, Moylan, Pahre, Rabbitt, Renée, Sobel and Stroeh; Second Vice President Grosboll; First Vice President Eddie; President Reilly
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (5): Directors Campos, Elsbernd, Mar, Snyder and Theriault

[Note: On this date, there was one vacancy on the Board of Directors.]

Staff Present: General Manager Denis Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire; District Engineer Ewa Bauer; Secretary of the District Janet Tarantino; Attorney David Miller; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Transit Division Teri Mantony; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Transit Division James Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Kellee Hopper; Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Administrator Gail Jackson; Public Affairs Director Mary Currie; Senior Board Analyst Elizabeth Eells

Visitors Present: None

 
1.
Approve Changes to the Diversity Program for Contracts and Submittal of the Revised Program to U.S. Department of Transportation
     
  In a memorandum to Committee, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Administrator Gail Jackson, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Kellee Hopper and General Manager Denis Mulligan reported on staff’s recommendation to approve actions relative to changes to the District’s Diversity Program for Contracts (DBE Program), including addition of a new Small Business Enterprise (SBE) element within the DBE Program, updating the DBE Program to reflect increased accountability and monitoring of DBE participation in federally assisted contracts, and authorizing submittal of the revised DBE Program to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).

The staff report stated that, under regulations issued by USDOT in 1999, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) established policies and procedures for the District’s DBE Program.

The staff report further stated that, on January 28, 2011, USDOT published revisions to 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 26 to improve the administration of DBE programs by increasing accountability for grantees to meet overall DBE goals, and requiring more active oversight of contracts to ensure work committed to DBEs at contract award is actually performed by DBEs. The revised regulations require recipients of USDOT funding to take “all reasonable steps” to facilitate competition by small business concerns (not just DBEs) by actively implementing an SBE component to increase DBE participation on a race-neutral basis. Agencies must develop an SBE element for their DBE programs to be submitted to USDOT for approval by February 28, 2012.

A copy of the staff report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Ms. Jackson briefly summarized the staff report, stating that two charts within the staff report show the District’s DBE achievements during FY 10/11, for contracts funded in whole or in part by the Federal Transit Administration and for those funded in whole or in part by the Federal Highway Administration, and a third chart provides a summary of District purchases and contracts with DBE participation, regardless of funding source.

Discussion ensued, including the following inquiry:

 
  • Director Pahre inquired as to whether a listing is available, similar to that used for DBEs, which identifies the potential for small business participation on any given contract. In response, Ms. Jackson stated that, although a single list of SBEs is not available, there are a number of comparable small business certifications that the District will accept to identify SBEs for participation on District contracts. The District will use certifications that conform to the same Small Business Administration standards that apply to DBEs, including business size. Attorney Miller added that, in years past, the District had a very aggressive policy of setting goals on many of its contracts. With the advent of Proposition 209 many years ago, limitations were placed on the goals that could be established on specific contracts. Currently, such goals are limited to contracts with Federal Highway Administration funding assistance. He indicated that having a race- and gender-neutral program for small businesses provides a legal foundation for establishing goals more broadly, such that more small businesses, particularly DBEs, can be sought out for projects, including those that have no federal funding assistance.
 

Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors ARNOLD/REILLY to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for consideration:

RECOMMENDATION

The Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee/Committee of the Whole recommends that the Board of Directors approve actions relative to changes to the District’s Diversity Program for Contracts (DBE Program), as follows:

  a. Approve the addition of a new Small Business Enterprise (SBE) element within the District’s Diversity Program for Contracts (DBE Program);
  b. Approve the updating of the DBE Program to reflect increased accountability and monitoring of DBE participation in federally assisted contracts; and,
  c. Authorize submittal of the revised DBE Program to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) by February 28, 2012, to bring the DBE Program into conformity with recent revisions in USDOT DBE Program regulations.
 
Action by the Board at its Meeting of December 16, 2011 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (13): Directors Arnold, Boro, Chu, Cochran, Moylan, Pahre, Rabbitt, Renée, Sobel and Stroeh; Second Vice President Grosboll; First Vice President Eddie; President Reilly
NOES (0): None

     
2.

Adopt a Gift Policy and Authorize Related Actions

       
  In a memorandum to Committee, Attorney David Miller and General Manager Denis Mulligan reported on staff’s recommendation to adopt a Gift Policy governing the receipt of gifts by District Directors, Officers and employees, and to authorize the General Manager, or his designee, to implement the Gift Policy and to update the District’s Human Resources Guide, Procurement Manual and other District operating guidelines, consistent with the Gift Policy.

The staff report stated that the District’s Human Resources Guide Conduct Policy currently provides guidelines for receiving gifts, with additional clarification in the Conflict of Interest Code. State law on the receipt of gifts, set forth in California’s Political Reform Act and implementing regulations, and adopted by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), prohibits the receipt of gifts worth more than a total of $420.00, from any single source, in a calendar year. The annual gift limit is reviewed and adjusted every two years by the FPPC, with the next review and possible adjustment to occur in January 2013.

Current District policy prohibits District Directors, Officers, employees or agents from accepting gratuities, favors or anything valued at more than $50.00, from prospective vendors, and does not address cumulative gifts or set temporal limits. The proposed Policy for the Receipt of Gifts (Gift Policy) bans the receipt of any gifts from prospective bidders during pending procurements. The proposed Gift Policy aligns with State rules, and makes the annual gift limit of $420.00 applicable to all District employees for specified categories of gifts, and eliminates the $50.00 gift limit provided in current District policy.

A copy of the staff report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Mr. Mulligan briefly summarized the staff report, stating that the District’s existing policy requires updating to match State requirements. This change will make it easier for individuals who file FPPC Form 700 for multiple agencies to properly fill out the form.

Discussion ensued, including the following inquiries and comment:

       
 
  • Director Cochran inquired as to how the District was alerted to the need to update its Gift Policy. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that employees who participated in training on Assembly Bill No. 1234 (AB 1234), brought this to the District’s attention. AB 1234 requires that if a local agency provides any type of compensation, salary, or stipend to, or reimburses the expenses of a member of its “legislative body” (as that term is defined in California Government Code Section 54952), that local agency’s officials must receive training in ethics. He added that the District’s proposed Gift Policy, once revised, will allow a cumulative maximum of $420.00 per year. He concluded by stating that instructions for properly completing FPPC Form 700 are provided with the Form 700 that designated individuals complete each spring.
  • Director Grosboll inquired as to whether staff’s reporting of the receipt of gifts for Form 700 is monitored. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that individuals can view their reports online. Forms 700 are public information. Attorney Miller added that these guidelines provide the outer limits of acceptable gifts, and that the District’s fundamental policy of discouraging gifts should prevail. Individuals should be judged by that moral compass. He concluded by stating that acceptance of any gift during a procurement should be considered unethical. Secretary of the District Janet Tarantino added that training on the new Gift Policy will take place in the near future.
  • Director Pahre inquired as to how the promise of a gift to reward certain actions is handled; for example, if an employee agrees to do something in return for receiving a gift valued at $400.00, how such a situation would be monitored. In response, Mr. Mulligan stated that the District provides AB 1234 training, during which the quid pro quo situation is covered. In addition, the procurement process is standardized, with many built-in controls. Attorney Miller added that it should not be necessary to codify a quid pro quo situation in the policy, because that would be a violation. If a quid pro quo attached to a procurement were demonstrated, it would be a violation if it was uncovered.
  • Director Boro commented that one must continue to report any gift valued at more than $50.00, although the annual cumulative limit is $420.00.
   
  Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors COCHRAN/EDDIE to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for consideration:

RECOMMENDATION

The Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee/Committee of the Whole recommends that the Board of Directors approve actions relative to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) Policy for the Receipt of Gifts (Gift Policy), as follows:

    a. Approve adoption of the District’s Gift Policy, set forth in the Attachment hereto, governing the receipt of gifts by the District’s Directors, Officers, and employees; and,
    b. Authorize the General Manager, or his designee, to update the District’s Human Resources Guide, Procurement Manual and other District operating guidelines, consistent with the Gift Policy, and to implement the Gift Policy accordingly, effective December 16, 2011.
   

Action by the Board at its Meeting of December 16, 2011 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (13): Directors Arnold, Boro, Chu, Cochran, Moylan, Pahre, Rabbitt, Renée, Sobel and Stroeh; Second Vice President Grosboll; First Vice President Eddie; President Reilly
NOES (0): None

   
3.

Public Comment

There was no public comment on items not on the Agenda.

   
4.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.

   
   

 

Respectfully submitted,

s/ Barbara L. Pahre, Chair

Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee

Attachment: Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Policy for the Receipt of Gifts