Protests, Multiple Licenses & CSLB Board

When your company holds multiple licenses which one do you use to bid a job? If you choose incorrectly another contractor will likely find reason to protest the award. Come along with me to visit the CSLB and meet the newest Board members…

Q: We are a “C-54” tile contractor in business for 30 years. We just bid a job and lost it to a contractor that holds a “C-27” Landscape and a General Engineering license. We questioned the general contractor inquiring how someone with a “C-27” and an “A” license can do “C-54” work. There reply was …”they have several licenses under other entity names. 1) If the contractor is bidding as a “C-27” and /or “A” General Engineering contractor can he do “C-54” exterior vertical tile work? 2) If he qualifies under one of his other entities wouldn’t he have to submit his bid under that company’s name?

A: Not knowing the exact nature of the contract I can only say that in most instances the answer to your first question is NO. In response to your second question, YES, the license class should be part of the licensed entity involved with the bid and not on a related license. You didn’t mention it, but if this is a public works bid the awarding agency can determine what class, despite CSLB regulation, is required.

I regularly visit the CSLB in Sacramento on behalf of my clients. On occasion while waiting at the public counter, I’ll overhear questions from contractors and the response from Board staff. Most recently a contractor wanted to apply for a 7065.1 Exam Waiver to replace the Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) on an existing license. This code section allows the Registrar to waive the law and trade tests if the applicant can, among other things, show supervisory experience for 5 of the prior 7 years. There are several parts to the Code Section, one of which is no longer recognized by the Board.

His application had been rejected and he was inquiring as to why. Apparently, his certification of experience involved work more than a decade ago and there was a question regarding whether he had in fact been “employed” by the company in question. After some back and forth discussion, the contractor stated that he “had been an officer on another license during the past 5 years and would use that experience to gain the waiver”. The discussion continued with the Board staff reiterating that he must show 5 years full time experience within the past 7. The problem is that 7065.1(a) — which at one time would have allowed the applicant to apply for such a waiver — was made inoperative by the Registrar in September 2003. As I exited the building 45 minutes later, the discussion was still ongoing.

Until recently, there were six vacancies on the fifteen-member Contractors State License Board. This has been reduced to four with the recent announcement of two new CSLB members. Paul Schifino, 48, of Los Angeles, and Mark Thurman, 51, of Newport Beach, have been appointed to the Board. Mr. Schifino has owned and served as president of Junior Steel Company since 2003 and, Anvil Steel Corporation since 1996. Previously, he was a partner for Schifino and Lindon from 1992 to 1996, associate attorney for Strook and Strook and Lavan from 1990 to 1992 and adjunct professor at Georgetown University from 1987 to 1989.

Since 2004, Mr. Thurman has been president of ARB Structures. Previously, he was president of Pepper Construction Company Pacific from 1989 to 2004; firefighter specialist for the Orange County Fire Authority from 1980 to 1988 and project manager for Miles and Kelley Construction Company from 1975 to 1980. He is a member of the Associated General Contractors of California’s Board of Directors, Urban Land Institute, Design-Build Institute of America and International Council of Shopping Centers.