How to Minimize ‘Call-Backs’ and Un-Funded Work
We have talked to concerned state and local Weatherizers nationwide and collected ideas that may be possible solutions. Any of these that appeal to you will need to be hammered out with the state and all local agencies. We suggest using this list with your own additions, as the agenda for a state-local working group first meeting. This list and more details can be downloaded from our site.
Your comments and ideas are needed by colleagues everywhere. Please join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Options to Consider: Local and State
- Inspector/crew or contractor relationship
- Is an inspector ‘one of the guys/gals?’
- Is an inspector too trusting of certain contractors?
- Is each inspector well-trained?
- Do local inspectors have consistent practices/standards within one agency, in every agency?
- Who knows the answers to this question? Local W.A.P. coordinators? State monitors? Crews and contractors? If the answer is no: what immediate training response will rectify this?
- Are contractor and crew payment policies based on uniform performance requirements?
- Is agency preparation/response to state inspections standardized across the network? (See also – state issues). If not, build in the extra paperwork!
- More installer documentation for inspectors to see
- Take multiple pictures before, during and after
- Is file completion time built in to job order and compensated?
- Be sure combustion analyzer printouts and other testing results are filed routinely.
- Strategy: inform contractors before minor findings become major. Establish a report form so W.A.P. coordinators can spot patterns. Inspect new and problem crews/contractors while in progress.
- Desk-top "forensic" monitoring to ID past (2010) post-completion spending patterns and target the sources of call-backs:
- How many homes were call-backs?
- What items?
- What agencies?
- What was the typical cost?
- State inspectors who generate many call-backs?
- Contractors who are often called back?
- Measures that are the reason for call-backs?
- Establish uniform, consistent monitoring/inspection practices
- Establish non-DOE funding pool for ‘legitimate’ post-W.A.P. work. What is legitimate? How much?
- Not items previously paid
- Consistent with state healthy home and energy goals
- Get a LIHEAP funding commitment, and retain some all program year
- Have no-fault criteria (e.g. ‘Acts of God’ – how about ‘acts of client’ or ‘acts of client pets’?)
- Alternative funds: state CDBG? Home repairs? State health funds (for H+S measures?)
- Change RFB and contracts so contractors compete in full knowledge of the rule (no help to crews from this one, however.)
- For state inspections, establish ‘vintages’ from which to sample. Announce when moving forward to new ‘vintage’, i.e. "We will be inspecting only homes weatherized after March 15 – beginning on May 15"
Change the Practice of Reporting Completions
- Allow agencies to offer ‘near-complete’ homes for inspection in the ‘active vintage’. Pay most of reimbursement for near-complete. A near-completed home is one that is ready to be declared complete if the state inspector agrees OR when the ‘vintage’ is no longer ‘active’.
- This means delays in reporting completions and it means that units will be ‘completed’ officially in large groups. (After the first 2 months, this should be invisible to DOE in SAGE reports if ‘vintages’ are about one month long.) States must withstand federal monitors’ pressure in favor of quality assurance.
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