Release: Port Covington Agreed-Upon Procedures Report
Friday Nov 18th, 2022
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Geoff Shannon, Public Relations Officer
The Department of Audits released an agreed-upon procedures report (AUP) for Port Covington’s Local Hiring Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The AUP reviewed the developer’s progress from September 14, 2016, through December 31, 2020. It can be found on the Comptroller’s website.
What is the Local Hiring MOU?
The development of New Port Covington requires the developer to build infrastructure such as streets, roads, sidewalks, sewer systems, etc. When Baltimore City government engages in these types of public works projects, they are required to follow local hiring guidelines. The Local Hiring MOU commits the Port Covington developer to follow the same hiring guidelines.
This AUP report is not intended to be a qualitative examination of the Developer’s performance. Rather, the purpose of this report is to ensure that the Developer has the procedures in place to follow through on commitments it has made to the City.
The Department of Audits found that the Developer has procedures in place for the following commitments:
- To impose the local Hiring Mandate in each of its contracts with contractors and subcontractors and put in place both procedures to monitor compliance and contractual provisions to enforce these requirements;
- To pay a minimum wage of $17.48 per hour and $5.93 per hour for health and pension benefits for employees engaged in all trades and working on the TIF Infrastructure Project, or required its contracts with contractors and subcontractors working on the TIF Infrastructure Project to include these wages and benefits;
- To require contractors and subcontractors to provide workforce plans to MOED within a timely fashion;
- To require compliance with the Local Hiring Mandate and the “Employ Baltimore” Executive order;
- To provide $80,000 to MOED on an annual basis to employ a New Port Covington Local Coordinator;
- Although the Developer is not responsible for funding the Port Covington Local Hiring Coordinator position in MOED until after December 30, 2020, the Developer funded $160,000 for CY 2019 and CY This position was established in September 2017.
- To require all contractors and subcontractors to post all new jobs needed in MOED’s One Stop Career Centers Network and Workforce Partner Network seven days prior to public advertisement.
- To require that each contract has compliance monitoring procedures in place, the contractors and subcontractors provide MOED and the developer with Manpower reports monthly, and these reports are transmitted to the Local Hiring Advisory Committee.
- To fund 100 Youthworks jobs at the rate of $1,500 per job annually starting in 2016.
- To establish policies and procedures to comply with the record-keeping requirements of the Local Hiring MOU.
Here is where improvements could be made:
As of January 2021, there were not adequate procedures in place to track if contractors and subcontractors had formal apprenticeship programs.
The Developer reviews bi-weekly apprenticeship reports for comparison to the goals of the MOU.
The New Port Covington Advisory Committee needs to be re-established.
The Advisory Committee was re-established on December 13, 2021. The Mayor’s office needs to appoint members to fill its vacancies.
After the TIF bond issuance on December 30, 2020, the Developer will be responsible for:
- Collaborating with MOED to produce promotional marketing materials and holding job fairs to inform community residents of the project employment opportunities.
- Establishing the Port Covington Workforce Opportunity Center.
The Department of Audits (DOA) is the city's independent auditor, providing various audits, attestation engagements, and assurance services with the overall goal of improving government accountability. DOA is part of the Office of the Comptroller.