At this meeting we explored Cost Allocation Plan (CAP) rates.
What are CAP rates? When the city performs work under the terms of a
federal grant, for example, city employees are paid by the federal
government according to their CAP rates. Those rates take into account
salaries and benefits. But they also take into account things like the
cost of the employee’s cubicle, lighting his office and providing his
Some LA City department heads have said they prefer to hire consultants
instead of LA City workers because the CAP rate is expensive.
The JIMEE Committee members agreed that we need to work with the CAO to
seek a modified rate to present to departments that are looking to hire
personnel in MOU 8 and 17 to perform inter-departmental work. After
all, the city, unlike the federal government, is already paying to light
its offices. So why would one department charge another for this cost?
Other issues besides cost are skill sets and resources. Since ERIP, many
technical work units have been downsized and, with departments cut to
the bone, it’s difficult for them to share talent. The Committee agreed
to examine strategic plans from city departments and to perform an
operational analysis to determine which services are needed and which
employees can provide them. Hopefully, from this analysis we can spot
trends and gaps and make recommendations for optimizing the usage of
city employees for professional engineering services.
Let me know what you think of the 1022 process for determining if work should be contracted out. Send me an email.
The next JIMEE strategy meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 23rd.
–Reported by Michael Simpson
Senior Environmental Engineer
Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation