Oklahoma Lawmakers Debate Over Roofing Contracts

Tuesday, March 12th 2013, 11:08 pm
By: Karl Torp

There are questions about how the state's spending our money at schools, police departments and other government buildings. Right now, lawmakers are debating how to award contracts to re-roof government buildings.

Re-roofing Greystone Higher Elementary costs 1.2 million, and doing the same at John Marshall high school costs 1.1 million. Repairs at Oklahoma City police headquarters costs $234,000. All of that work was completed through the state's asset roof management program, or RAMP.

Mark Neslen with the coalition for competitive construction is pushing for legislation that he says levels the playing field. He says every RAMP project on this list that exceeds 50,000 wasn't put up for public bid, but awarded to one of only two companies RAMP uses.

Jim Morrison with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which overseas RAMP, said the program is efficient and cost effective.

The contract Morrison mentions is one RAMP put up for bid five years ago to cover all of its roofing projects, not each one individually.

Morrison says if customers don't like RAMP's price, they can shop elsewhere.

But critics like Neslen says state-run RAMP creates an advantage that is not only unfair, but against the law.

A bill that would make RAMP put each of its government projects of more than 50,000 up for public bid has passed a Senate Sub-committee.