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Contract compliance change to protect wages and foster diversity

City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen today announced that the City will add five employees to its Contract Compliance Office to improve the enforcement of prevailing wage standards on construction projects currently underway citywide. The additional staff also will evaluate workforce composition to assure that more local minorities and women benefit from the construction boom.

Joining Cauthen to make the announcement at a news conference at the Central Exchange, a women’s networking organization, were Councilman Terry Riley, who represents the 5th District and is the chairman of the Operations Committee; representatives of organized labor; and members of the contracting community.

“With more than $2 billion in construction projects underway downtown and many others on the drawing board citywide, it’s important to assure that local workers are fairly compensated and that more women and minorities benefit from this surge in our economy,” Cauthen said.

Citing a letter he mailed to 300 contractors last September, Cauthen said the expansion of the City’s staff reinforces the importance of a diverse, fairly compensated workforce, and gives strength to the enforcement arm of the Contract Compliance Office.

The City will add a coordinator and four staff members to assist in enforcement of prevailing wage standards, investigation of complaints, audits of certified payrolls, and construction site inspections. If violations of the written contract between contractors and the City are uncovered, the City will aggressively pursue remedies which can include termination of a contract and criminal charges in the case of fraud.

“The amount of new construction is unprecedented in the recent past. This is a once in a lifetime chance to put Kansas City citizens to work on rebuilding our city’s economic base,” Councilman Riley said.

The new coordinator and staff will be housed within the Capital Improvements Management Office in City Hall. CIMO currently manages more than 300 capital improvement projects, including public infrastructure improvements for the KC Live! Entertainment District, downtown arena, fire station facilities, and the police training academy in the Northland.

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