E-Mail Forum
Capital Projects Management Crisis
June 16, 2001

With the recent passage of nearly $60 million in bonds and the use of numerous State and Federal grants, the City of Richmond is about to embark on one of the largest capital improvement programs undertaken in our city since World War II. I have become painfully aware that there has been a critical and embarrassing lack of leadership, experienced staff, training and management procedures needed to make these projects successful and to provide adequate and accurate information about them to the City Council and the public.

We do, however, have a new Public Services director, Richard McCoy, who appears to be dedicated to improving the management and delivery system for capital projects. We also have many fine and dedicated staff members, who with adequate training and leadership, have the capability and motivation to run a first class capital improvement program. In addition, the City plans to bring in experienced project managers through outside contracts.

What we still lack, however, are documented administrative procedures related to capital improvement projects. On June 26, 2001, I plan to introduce in the City Council a resolution providing minimum management requirements for capital projects. It is intended that these can serve effectively until such time as more detailed and permanent procedures are developed by City staff and adopted by the City Council. The draft resolution is attached as a WORD file and follows in text.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestion for additions or corrections.




WHEREAS, the City of Richmond is embarking on a Capital Improvement Program with anticipated expenditures of approximately $80 million; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Richmond currently has no documented procedures for the management of capital projects; and

WHEREAS, It is prudent that the City of Richmond have in place minimum requirements for the documentation and management of capital projects; 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Richmond City Council adopts the following interim minimum requirements for managing capital projects and providing accurate and up to date information about capital projects to the City Council and to the public:

1.   A capital project is defined as an undertaking wherein labor and/or materials are used to construct, alter, append or replace a building or an item of infrastructure or a component of a building or an item of infrastructure. Not considered as a capital project is routine maintenance, for example, the periodic scheduled renewal of finishes or the replacement of minor items of equipment. Any outside contract, or interrelated group of contracts, for a single item of building or infrastructure-related work exceeding $10,000, shall automatically be considered as a capital project. 

2.   The Public Services Director, the Redevelopment Agency Director, the Housing Authority Director or the Port Director shall have responsibility for all capital projects under their jurisdiction. 

3.   For each capital project, there shall be a single delegated project manager, designated by one of the four directors listed above, who has complete delegated responsibility for the implementation of the project. The project manager shall have full information about the project and shall b responsible for its successful implementation.

4.   Each project shall be individually identified with a name and a reference number that is recognized by the SAP system.

5.   All staff hours expended for the implementation of a capital project shall be recorded and allocated a cost as appropriately determined by the Finance Director.

6.   An analysis shall be prepared for each project that includes an estimate of any additional annual cost or savings, compared to the most recent annual budget, related to requirements for staffing or maintenance as well as a description of the impact on the City’s ability to provide services to the public. 

7.   The City Manager shall maintain and post and periodically update on the City’s web site a comprehensive list of all budgeted or partially budgeted capital projects, including estimated cost, projected start date, projected completion date, and name of project manager.

8.   For each project, there shall be a readily accessible “project file,” which shall include, at a minimum, the following items:


a.   Name, address, phone number and email address of project manager.

b.   Current budget, including all in-house and contract costs, both expended and projected.

c.   Current updated implementation schedule, including completion of each phase of design, CEQA review, discretionary design review, plan check and permitting, bid solicitation, award of contract and completion.

d.   A list of dates that the City Council approved implementation steps for the project, including release of RFP, award of contract, change orders and acceptance of completed project.

e.            Summary of all revenue sources to match the budget, including reference to page and line item numbers of approved City of Richmond budgets. Where budget items have been appended since the adoption of the current Budget, show date and resolution number adopted by City Council.

f.    Copies of all contracts with outside contractors and consultants and pre-contract documents, including RFPs, if applicable, and full documentation of the selection process.

g.   Copy of all contract documents, including but not limited to drawings, specifications, addenda and change orders.

h.   A current compilation of the contract cost and any approved change orders.

i.            Documentation of CEQA determination.

j.            Documentation of Design Review or other discretionary approval, if applicable.

k.   For building-related projects, the building permit and record of plan check.

l.    List of names, addresses, phone and fax numbers and email addresses of all consultants, contractors, and others with key involvement.




I certify that the foregoing Resolution was passed and adopted by the Members of the City Council of the City of Richmond at a regular meeting held on _________________by the following vote:










Clerk of the City of Richmond





Approved as to form:


City Attorney