Comms Staff
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Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools: SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2021

On September 17, 2021, Florida TaxWatch received the Bond Oversight Committee Quarterly Report for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2021 (“Quarterly Report”). This report provides updated information on the implementation of the District’s SMART Program and the use of general obligation bond funds to purchase and install technology upgrades, purchase music, and arts equipment, improve school safety, upgrade athletic facilities, and renovate educational facilities.

To encourage greater accountability, transparency, public support, and confidence in the use of the general obligation bond funds, and to hold the District accountable for spending decisions, Florida TaxWatch has reviewed the District’s Quarterly Report against the most recent SMART Program schedule and budget.

Completed Projects: 

Non-Primary Renovations Security & Saftey Projects - completed at all 238 schools

Music Equipment - Completed at all 195 identified schools.

Art Equipment - Completed at 135 of 136 identified schools.

Theater Equipment - Completed at all 39 identified schools.

Track Projects: Completed at all identified schools.

Weight Rooms - Completed at all 30 identified schools.

Technology - Completed at all 230 identified schools.

Monitoring:

Construction schedule resets.

Primary Renovation Projects delays (although there is some progress).

Schedule-related issues (the number of primary renovations post schedule reset increased from 3 to 46 totaling 1,901 days of delay)

Roofing 

Budget.

Expenditures.

Financial risk.

Reserve funding.

Hard costs vs. soft costs.

Supplier diversity and outreach.

Communications.

Florida TaxWatch recommendations:

  • Florida TaxWatch recommends that the District brief the Committee at its September 27, 2021 meeting on steps taken by the SBBC/District to reduce the frequency and length of construction delays and their estimated impacts.
  • Florida TaxWatch recommends the District brief the Committee at its September 27, 2021 meeting on steps taken to reduce the amount of time it takes to navigate the change order process, including delegating authority to approve change orders below a certain threshold.
  • Florida TaxWatch recommends the District brief the Committee at its September 27, 2021 meeting on steps taken to reduce the number of rounds of review and re-submissions before a roofing sub-permit binder is approved and to increase the number of roofing subcontractors who have been able to consistently obtain a roofing permit.
  • Florida TaxWatch recommends the District brief the Committee at its September 27, 2021 meeting on the results of its investigation into the cause of the partial roof collapse at James S. Rickards Middle School and the status of the roofs at the other four schools with similar designs.
  • Florida TaxWatch recommends the District include SMART Program budget allocations for years 9 (FY 2022-23) through 12 (FY 2025-26).
  • Florida TaxWatch recommends the District calculate the lifespan of remaining unexpended SMART Program funds and evaluate the possibility that the District may exhaust the remaining unspent SMART Program funds before the planned facilities construction projects have been completed.
  • Florida TaxWatch recommends that, if it appears that the District may exhaust the remaining unspent SMART Program funds before the planned facilities construction projects have been completed, District staff should be prepared to present to the Committee at its September 27, 2021 meeting the District’s plan to make up the shortfall.
  • Florida TaxWatch recommends the District brief the Committee at its September 27, 2021 meeting of its decision to exclude a comparison of the cumulative SMART Program spend with E/S/M/WBE certified companies to the aspirational Target Goals outlined in the District’s Policy 3330.
  • Florida TaxWatch recommends the District brief the Committee on its plan to address the over-representation of Hispanic-American and Women-owned owned businesses and under-representation of African-American owned businesses.

Documents to download

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