For those interested in these matters – and I am finding more and more of you are asking about this – the following PDF file is the Ministry of Transportations Construction and Rehabilitation Cost Gude for 2010. This gives the reader and indication of construction costs taken from the low-end tender and even the least knowledgeable reader can clearly see in the included examples, how much is alloted for contingencies and unforseen costs… which is a good indicator of why costs can spiral out of control rather quickly.
You can access or even download this cost guide in PDF format here: Cost_Guide_May5-2010
And while we are talking about exorbitant cost of doing business in the Ministry of Transportation and Highways…. here is a little something- something that will make you go hmmmm…. courtesy of someone in the know.
“One issue that in a sense pales in comparison, yet is serious enough that someone should start talking about, is the early retirement scam that has been practiced by our illustrious civil servants for years.
I only know how the Highways people operate it, but believe it is pretty standard in most of the ministries in Victoria. It is not unique to BC (the basic idea has crept into many unionized government jurisdictions across the continent), but it is blatantly corrupt enough that someone like you should be getting it into the public realm.The game works like this: the folks have a cute formula known as something like 50-30 (that is not quite the term they use, but it and the formula are in the public domain–probably in the union agreements each packs around in his pocket).The deal is if you have at least 30 years service, and are over 50 years old (similarly, I probably don’t have it quite right, but it is public info), you can retire with a pension of something like 90% of your last years’ wages. Then you hire on with a company called either Focus Construction Management Services or Focus Engineering at about double your previous pay scale, and Focus hires you out to the Ministry of Highways to manage their projects.It is slam-dunk, because there is no-one left at the ministry with any experience (it takes a lot of years to learn the business, which roughly coincides with the early retirement age when they all leave) so they have to hire a consultant–and all of the experienced highway people work for Focus.You’ve probably seen Focus pickups all over BC, carrying ex-MOTH people who are doing surveying, design and construction management on highway projects–now taking in almost triple the pay they got before ‘retirement’.They all do it, and that is part of the story about why there are no competent people left in the ministry. Even Dan Doyle used Focus as his gravy-train between political assignments such as the Olympics and BC Hydro. It also fills in part of the story of ‘exorbitant cost-of-government’.Check it out. And have fun with it!