OIG Follow-Up Inquiry Finds that the Public Building Commission Has Mostly Implemented Corrective Actions

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed a follow-up to the Public Building Commission of Chicago’s (PBC or the “Commission”) change order review and approval process, concluding that PBC has substantially implemented corrective actions related to its process and partially implemented corrective actions related to policy documentation. Our 2018 audit found that while PBC designed a robust change order process, ineffective implementation of the process permitted errors and inconsistencies when recording information and recovering damages. OIG recommended that PBC improve its change order review and approval process by: requiring contractors to submit cost proposals on a standardized digital form, implementing an electronic document control system; and revising its Errors and Omissions (E&O) damage recovery policy to ensure that damage calculations are reviewed and decision rationales are recorded.

In response, PBC created standardized forms, conducted trainings, and implemented procedures to ensure that all costs in change orders are accurately identified and appropriately marked up for overhead and profit. While the Commission has committed to adopting an electronic change order tracking system and making comprehensive revisions to the E&O Manual, neither task has been fully implemented yet.

“The Public Building Commission has carried out improvements to ensure more accuracy, provide increased transparency, and reduce the risk of excessive charges,” said Inspector General Joe Ferguson. “Once PBC fully implements a project management system and comprehensively revises its E&O Manual, the Department will be able to serve residents, contractors, and developers throughout the City more efficiently.” 

The full report can be found online: bit.ly/PBCFollowUp

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The mission of the independent and non-partisan City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity by identifying corruption, waste, and mismanagement in City government. OIG is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City and has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and audits into most aspects of City government. If you see corruption, fraud, or waste of any kind, we need to hear from you. For more information, visit our website at: www.igchicago.org.