CAPE Helps Improve County Services by Better Management of Outside Contract Employees

Recent efforts by CAPE leaders has significantly curtailed the number of jobs contracted to outside agencies by County executives, mostly at the Department of Public Works, but also at other departments where maintaining institutional memory saves significant resources.

County executives started overusing contracts to outside agencies many years ago because contracts are easier to manage than real employees.  The temptation to displace actual employees with contract workers comes at a significant cost to the County.  Institutional memory is lost, training to maintain important infrastructure assets is compromised, and CAPE members are often left with the work of cleaning up after contract workers leave the job incomplete.

CAPE leaders were able to control the use of contract workers through hard won agreements that took years to secure at the bargaining table. The agreements, first struck in 2017, require County officials to divulge copies of Requests for Proposals (RFP's) for outside contracts before they are released to the public. With that advance knowledge, CAPE representatives are then able to fight the issuance of the RFP's with input from CAPE members working in the units potentially impacted.

This new process secured by CAPE representatives has yielded significantly positive results. The number of outside contractors working in the County's DPW Building and Safety Office has been reduced from seventy to roughly seven.  And the benefit to County services will last for years.  The institutional memory, training and experience continuity will improve the quality of work for years.

CAPE President Carlos Clayton credits the work of Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Hilda Solis for their efforts that helped secure the process that provides advance knowledge of outside contract RFP's.  "This was a big issue for both Supervisor Hahn and Supervisor Solis when they first met with our CAPE leadership," Clayton said. "The new leadership at the Board of Supervisors has given us a tremendous improvement in our ability to provide the best services for LA County residents and businesses."

For more information about CAPE's efforts to better manage the use of outside contractors, please call the CAPE office at (626) 243-0340.