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February 3, 2005 - We examine the advantages and disadvantages of the design-build method compared to the traditional design-bid-build method and find that design-build can be a useful option for some public construction projects. We make recommendations for statutory changes to provide that option while preserving the public's confidence in the procurement process, quality control, and access for small contractors to public contracts.
June 23, 2004 - Faculty research generates substantial overhead revenue for UC, and a portion of this revenue is intended to pay for the construction of faculty research facilities. We find, however, that most of this research facility revenue is being used by UC for other purposes. Since hundreds of millions of dollars a year are available to UC to fund construction of faculty research facilities, we recommend the Legislature treat faculty research facilities in the same manner as it treats other higher education facilities that can be "self-funded." We recommend faculty research facilities be funded by reimbursements using nonstate funds rather than General Fund-backed bonds. This will free up hundreds of millions of dollars of scarce state resources for other high priority projects in higher education or other program areas.
May 24, 2004 - The California Youth Authority is confronted with various challenges that call for a fresh examination of its facility needs: (1) an aging infrastructure with housing-related and other deficiencies; (2) demands for special facilities, as a result of state, federal, and court mandates to deliver mental health and education services to wards; and (3) facility overcapacity as a result of a significant decline in the ward population. Given these concerns, we believe that a fundamental reassessment of the department’s facilities—achieved through the development of a facilities master plan—could lead to a significant improvement in the way the department’s infrastructure needs are met.
February 18, 2004 - The University of California (UC) receives billions of dollars a year from faculty research contracts and grants (primarily with the federal government and private companies and organizations). Included in this revenue is hundreds of millions of dollars that the university charges for the use of facilities for this research. Because UC has the ability to recover these costs, we recommend the construction of new faculty research facilities be funded from this nonstate revenue.
November 12, 2003 - Current state standards for utilization of higher education instructional facilities can be simplified and made more flexible. We recommend restating these standards on the basis of "annual hours of station use per year." This would both simplify the standards and accommodate year-round operation.
October 24, 2003 - Chapter 421, Statutes of 2001 (AB 1402, Simitian) authorizes school districts to enter into "design-build" contracts for specified construction projects and to submit specific information about these projects to the LAO upon completion of construction. This interim report describes the design-build process and reports that, thus far, no districts have reported to the LAO that they are using the design-build authorization provided by Chapter 421.
February 19, 2003 - The 2003-04 Governor's Budget proposes to fully fund all phases of eight major capital outlay projects that use lease-revenue bonds as their source of funds. We recommend budget bill language requiring notification of proposed project augmentations or scope changes.
February 19, 2003 - As in the past, we recommend the Legislature fund higher education capital outlay based on year-round operation, statewide priorities and criteria, reasonable construction cost guidelines, and appropriate utilization of existing facilities.
February 19, 2003 - Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11, which will appear on the March 2004 statewide ballot, would establish the California Twenty-First Century Infrastructure Investment Fund, a dedicated financing source for state and local infrastructure projects. We provide background on state capital outlay planning and funding, explain how the measure works, and describe the measure's potential fiscal impact. (Reprint.)
February 19, 2003 - We review the administration's report, 2002: California's Five-Year Infrastructure Plan, its first legislatively mandated plan for funding public sector capital outlay needs. We examine its strengths and suggest improvements for future plans. (Reprint.)