Unit Price Books & Other Things JOC

Unit Price Books – UPBs & Other Things JOC

A Job Order Contract requires the use of a unit price book, UPB, and an associated co-efficient.  Contractor bid one, or multiple co-efficients and then apply the co-efficient to the unit price line items when preparing an estimate for specific JOC project (task order).

In many cases, an area location factor may also be be applied to the estimate, in addition to the construction co-efficient.

Line items from the current UPB are called “priced”, or “prepriced” line items.  Any line item used in a JOC  estimate is called a non-prepriced, NPP line items.  JOC contracts typically limit the total value of NPP line times to be no more than 10% of the total cost of the project estimate.

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

Historically, most Job Order Contracts have used the  Facilities Construction Cost Data publication from the RSMeans Company, LLC as the UPB.   This was likely because the RSMeans Company, LLC was recognized at an objective national resource for cost data. With the acquisition of the RSMeans Company, LLC by The Gordian Group, the types(s) of unit price books used, and their prevalence, may change.

Most job order contracts, at least in the public sector, require the use of “bare cost” line items, i.e. costs that do not include contractor overhead and profit.  Contractor overhead and profit and other costs are generally expected to be accounted for within the contractor’s JOC co-efficient.

standardized cost data

Any selection of a unit price book for a Job Order Contract should consider the following:

  1. Detailed descriptions for each line item in common industry terms, and with a minimum of abbreviations.
  2. Cost data research and provided by an independent and objective source.
  3. Ease of use
  4. Full search capability
  5. Annual updates
  6. Area cost location factors, with quarterly availability



Job Order Contracting Metrics – LA County June 2016

The Board of Supervisors routinely authorizes County departments and agencies to sign Job Order Contracts (JOCs) with contractors, which are used as an alternative to traditional procurement methods in order to expedite and competitively bid various construction and refurbishment projects.

In the last four months alone, the Board has authorized departments to sign 17 separate JOCs for $4.5 million each, totaling $76.5 million.

A recent article in the Long Beach Press Telegram reports that an audit of the City of Long Beach’s use of JOCs found “a significant lack of controls over all key areas of the process, creating an environment that is highly vulnerable to fraud.” The audit found that contractors would lowball their bid for a JOC in order be awarded the contract, and then proceed to charge the City for multiple change orders, unnecessary parts and labor, and specialty items that are not listed within the price book, for which the City must pay full value plus a 10 percent premium.

Over the 17- month period of the City’s use of JOCs that was reviewed in the City’s audit, 91 percent of JOC projects had change orders and cost overruns, and cost city taxpayers $1.9 million.

Given the County’s extensive use of JOCs and the large amount of public funds used to pay for them, it is imperative that the processes and procedures used by our County departments to administer their JOCs ensure that this type of abuse does not happen.

I, THEREFORE, MOVE that the Board of Supervisors instruct the CEO, in coordination with the Auditor-Controller and all departments that utilize JOCs, to report back in 45 days on:

1. The percent of JOC projects over the last year that exceeded the initial project cost estimate due to change orders or fees for specialty items not listed in the price book; and

2. The process by which departments evaluate requests by JOC contractors for change orders and fees for specialty items; and

3. The frequency with which contractors made unreasonably low bids for JOCs, and whether the County was warned about these low bids by The Gordian Group, with whom the County contracts to help administer JOCs;

4. A thorough review of the concerns raised in the audit released by the City of Long Beach’s Auditor on May 25, 2016, and identification if similar concerns exist within the County’s use of JOCs, with recommended corrective actions if any similarities are found.


Job order contracting performance metrics

job order contracting

LEAN – Job Order Contracting WebCast – Society of Military Engineers Facility Asset Management Committee

“LEAN – Job Order Contracting WebCast” – Society of Military Engineers Facility Asset Management Committee

On April 14th, The Society of Military Engineers (SAME) Facility Asset Management Committee hosted a WebCast presented by the Center for Job Order Contracting Excellence – CJE.

The WebCast titled, Efficient Renovation, Repair, and Minor New Construction LEAN – Job  Order Contracting, Best Management Practices,  was well attended and well received by attendees.

Presenters included:

Peter Cholakis, CJE Board Member

Charlie Bowers, LEED AP – CJE Board Member, Center for Job Order Contracting Excellence

 Jacob Kashiwagi, PhD, – Program Manager/Lecturer, Performance Based Studies Research Group, School of Sustainable Engineering and the   Built Environment, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University

WebCast Outline:

  • Definition of JOC (Termed SABER / Air Force)
  • JOC Best Management Practice Areas
  • Defining Characteristics of a JOC Program
  • Experience, Capability, and Technology Requirements
  • Roles – Owners, Contractors, Subcontractors, Oversight Groups, COOPs, Service Providers
  • Performance Metrics
  • Lessons Learned
  • ASU 2015 National JOC Research Study

“Owner implemented and managed Job Order Contracts are, by far, the fastest growing.” – Charlie Bowers, CJE Board Member

“We need to make more Owners aware of JOC, as it clearly provides major benefits such as the highest rate of on-time, on-budget, projects, as well as higher quality and greater overall satisfaction” – WebCast Attendee

“Only a fraction of Owners are aware of JOC” –  WebCast Attendee

“Five percent (5%) or less of real property owners are aware of JOC and practice Job Order Contracting using “best management practices” – Peter Cholakis, CJE Board Member

“The biggest obstacle to efficient construction delivery is Owners not hiring experts, not using BEST VALUE procurement, and not allowing competent experts to exercise their expertise” – Jacob Kashiwagi  –  Performance Based Studies Research Group -p PRBSRG,  Arizona State University

20160414-SAME Facility Asset Management WebCast

20160414-SAME Facility Asset Management WebCast


Collaboration Matrix

job order contractingjoc CERTIFIED