Plant Administration

Volume 6, Chapter 4


In addition to providing personnel to administer the operation and maintenance of plant, the Plant Administration function provides various other services. Areas addressed in this chapter are: contracting for services, maintenance, and repair; providing work control; OMP and recharge accounting; providing data management; keeping a facilities inventory; maintaining OMP's relationship with other units; supplying required reports; and providing emergency planning and response.

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Contracts are required for all work other than that done by University staff. It is the responsibility of Plant Administration to provide guidance and insure compliance with University Policy in the administration of contracts. The following are the types of work likely to be needed for Operation of Maintenance and Plant.

4.1.1 Services

Services should be considered procuring labor performed by another party that may or may not produce a tangible commodity. Service work includes custodial work, window washing, rubbish and waste removal, security guards, transportation, software development, clothing rental, laundry, tests and analysis, film processing, and equipment repair. Such services may be contracted by using a standard purchase order form.

See: Materials Management Policy: Business and Finance Bulletin

Contracting for services which displaces University staff needs to be evaluated thoroughly before proceeding. Any contract over $100,000 must have Presidential Approval. The following is from the University’s Guidelines on Contracting for Services.

“In any consideration to contract out services where University staff would be displaced, the University will support and approve the contracting out of University work only when the decision is consistent with protecting the core teaching, research, service, and patient care functions of the individual campus or medical center; is in response to a demonstrated, sound business need; and minimizes to the extent possible the impact on University staff. Such decisions are intended to be consistent with the objectives of maintaining the University's good relationships with the local business community and the quality of the work environment. Because consideration must be given both to the requirements and circumstances of the services involved and the overall benefit to the campus, these decisions are made by the Chancellor or designated Vice Chancellor, with review by the Office of the President as appropriate “

See: UCOP -- UC Presidential Policies: "University Guidelines on Contracting for Services"

If services are contracted, the form of contract depends on the type of work but is usually a standard purchase order form that includes Supplement 2

See: UC Facilities Manual Volume 4 "Construction Contracting & Construction Documents"

4.1.2 Design Services

Design services are services that require design professionals such as architects and engineers who evaluate conditions, and, in the case of repair, provide design.

The selection of design professionals is subject to University policy and guidelines. State law requires design professionals and other consultants to be selected based on the procedures in the Public Contract Code as implemented by University policy. Guidance in contracting for Design Services is found in Volume 3 of the Facilities Manual.

See: UC Facilities Manual, Volume 3 "Design and Design Documents"

See: Public Contract Code Sections 10510.4-10510.9

4.1.3 Maintenance

Some maintenance activities may be contracted for by using a standard purchase order form or may be contracted for using the appropriate contract document.

Contracting for maintenance is not subject to the same competitive bidding requirements as required for repair. It is important to keep in mind the meaning of maintenance and the distinction between maintenance and repair as defined in Section 1.3.2.

4.1.4 Repair

Repair is considered a project as defined in the Public Contract Code -- “As used in this article, ‘project’ includes the erection, construction, alteration, repair, or improvement of any University of California structure, building, road, or other improvement that will exceed in cost, including labor and materials, a total of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).”

See: Section 10500 et seq. California Public Contract Code

As such it is subject to all of the requirements for Public Bidding in Chapter 2.1 (“University of California Competitive Bidding”) of the California Public Contract Code.

Assuming a project involves repair, alteration, or a work of improvement and is over $50,000 and thus must be contracted, the form of contract is typically a standard construction contract form (e.g. Mini Form, Brief Form, or Long Form) Contracting guidelines are provided in Volume 4 of the Facilities Manual.

See: Section 10505 California Public Contract Code

See: Facilities Manual, Volume 4

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Work Control as described in this section is the processing and managing of OMP related work and resources (See Chapter 3 for explanation of OMP funding). When work is done for activities which are not OMP supportable such work must be recharged to the program requesting and authorizing such work. Work Control is a task category of the OMP function, Plant Administration (See RD 1.2)

Eligible and ineligible programs and the space which they occupy are listed in the EFA database:

See: IR&C - Corporate Equipment, Facilities, and Assets System (EFA)

It is not the purpose of this Manual to specify the appropriate system for the purpose of work control. In general work control is aided and tracked by a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). Such work order systems should be able to:

  • Track work order costs including labor, material, and contracts
  • Interface with Campus financial systems
  • Provide on-line work order entry and work order cost information for Campus clients
  • Schedule preventive maintenance
  • Provide tools for job scheduling and tracking

4.2.1 Restrictions on Use of General Funds:

In addition to the restrictions above, OMP funds are also restricted by the Legislature as to the size of an OMP funded work. Currently, no more than $100,000 of OMP funds may be encumbered for preliminary plans, working drawings, or construction or alteration of a state facility unless the Director of Finance determines that the proposed alteration is critical and that it is necessary to proceed. In addition no OMP funded alteration may exceed $400,000.

These limits are included in the Supplementary Budget Bill and may change from year to year. Contact Office of the President for current limits.

4.2.2 Recharging of Facilities Services to Non-OMP supported functions

An essential component of work control is making sure that costs are allocated to the appropriate accounts. Work that is not supportable by OMP needs to be charged to the department or other campus entity authorizing the work. Such recharges may be done through a work order or through a fund transfer.

  • An example of a recharge work order would be when a non OMP funded program requests a locksmith to change keying.
  • An example of a fund transfer would be when a non OMP funded program enters into an agreement with the OMP facilities to perform custodial services for a period of time. Such a fund transfer would need to be documented by a signed agreement or Memorandum of Understanding.

Typically a Computerized Maintenance Management System will have the ability to interface with the Campus accounting system to properly record and charge costs. Labor and material rates need to include indirect costs. Physical Plant or Facilities Departments submit these costs annually to the appropriate Campus Committee to arrive at an approved recharge rate.

See: UCOP Recharge Guidelines

See: Business and Finance Bulletin A-47

4.2.3 OMP Accounting

As a component of the General Fund, OMP funds can be appropriately allocated to the OMP categories corresponding to the OMP elements described in Chapter 1, Section 1.5

  • Plant Administration
  • Building Maintenance (and Operation)
  • Grounds Maintenance
  • Custodial Services
  • Utilities Operation and Maintenance
  • Refuse Disposal
  • Purchased Utilities
  • Fire Departments (where applicable)
  • Executive Housing (where applicable)

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Effective data management is important to the success of a Facility's OMP program. Three suggested OMP data management goals are:

  1. Establish data collection systems to develop:
    • Uniform reporting formats.
    • Supervisory and management control reports.
    • Continual feedback of information between departments through communications and manuals.
    • Easy, preferably web-based, campus user interface.
  2. Institute systems for reporting historical data and operating statistics.
  3. Maintain trend lines and indices of operating effectiveness.

4.3.1 Corporate Equipment, Facilities, and Assets System (EFA)

EFA is an information system that provides planning and management data on the existing physical plant. Specifically, EFA provides information on buildings, and rooms within buildings. EFA also serves as the Facility's official record of existing space. EFA is the source for information on OMP eligibility.

Each campus maintains and updates its own inventory. Once each year, campuses provide their inventory to the Office of the President where the data are merged into the Corporate Equipment Facilities and Assets System. This system enables the Office of the President to perform tasks such as developing capital budget proposals, analyzing space needs, and reporting to the state on facilities for the entire University.

See: Corporate Equipment, Facilities, and Assets System (EFA) for information about and instructions for reporting data.

Ultimate oversight of the EFA database is provided by the Information, Resources and Communications Joint Oversight Group (IR&C - Joint Operations Group).

Laboratories also maintain their own separate inventory systems, but these systems are not a part of the Corporate Equipment Facilities and Assets System.

The applications of EFA data have expanded in recent years. In the past, data was used mainly to support capital outlay programming and space utilization analysis. The following list indicates the expanding scope of inventory data applications:

  • Space assignment and control.
  • Program OMP eligibility
  • Construction project planning and management.
  • Projections of future space needs.
  • Space utilization analysis.
  • Development and maintenance of space allocations and utilization standards.
  • Equipment budgeting standards
  • Operating budget workload measures
  • Scheduling of maintenance, alterations, and custodial services.
  • Insurance and risk management.
  • Determination of the building use component of the indirect cost rate. External reporting, audits, and contractual accountability requirements (federal, state, and regional).
  • Provides building information to be used by the FIRM database

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Operation and maintenance of plant (OMP) is a program that has a special relationship with other University departments, organizations, and services. An example of a special relationship is the role of physical plant and facilities units have in project design and subsequent construction. To be effective, OMP needs to work cooperatively and efficiently with the Campus Design and Construction Unit.

OMP's Plant Administration function handles most contact with the following units, for the items specified after each unit (not all units and associated items are listed):

Campus Accounting Office: Cost accounting, recharges

Campus Budget Office: Inventories, space accountability.

Campus Committees: Development of recharge rates, Campus environment issues, accessibility issues, and other issues as needed

Campus Auxiliaries: Non state-eligible programs, such as Housing, Dining, and other auxiliaries that make use of facilities services on a recharge basis

Campus Planning: Space requirements, environmental impact statements and reports.

Capital Planning: Special Repairs, Capital Improvement Projects.

Environmental Health and Safety: Workplace safety, hazardous waste handling and disposal, emergency planning and response, EPA compliance

Capital Projects: Design, value engineering, construction, post-construction warranties and guarantees, project support such as shutdowns, etc.

General Counsel. Construction defects and deficiencies report (see Volume 4 Section 9 of Facilities Manual).

Materiel Management: Selection of goods and materials, contracting for services.

Office of the President: Policies and procedures, various reports (see Volume 4 Section 8 of Facilities Manual).

Personnel: Employee relations, job descriptions, labor relations.

University Relations: Campus community functions, athletic events.

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- "Recovery for Construction and Design Deficiencies in University Buildings," University of California, Office of General Counsel, letter to chancellors and laboratory directors, Berkeley, CA, April 17, 1975.

The information in this article applies to defects and deficiencies associated with all facilities owned by or under the control of the University which the University has constructed or modified.

The purpose of this section is to encourage timely reporting of defects or deficiencies and to provide guidance in determining responsibility for design and construction defects or deficiencies.

In order to maximize the University's chances of recovery when contractors or architects refuse to accept responsibility for defects, General Counsel should be contacted early, before action is taken to correct the defect. If the defects are not reported, or reports are delayed, then the chances for recovery are lessened.

Two factors account for the majority of delays or failures to report defects or deficiencies to Counsel:

  1. Problems are observed but are not recognized as being serious and therefore are not reported. In some cases, remedial work is undertaken which alters conditions and compromises legal recovery efforts.
  2. Defects are observed and are recognized as being serious but are not reported because of the erroneous assumption that the University has no further rights since the guarantee period or statute of limitations period has expired.

4.5.1 Guidelines for Reporting Defects and Deficiencies

Initial Evaluation. Discuss defects and deficiencies among staff, and as soon as possible, contact General Counsel for advice. The following steps should then be taken:

  • Using technically competent Facility personnel or outside experts, evaluate the seriousness of the defect.
  • Have University of California General Counsel (OGC) prepare suitable demand letters.

Note that some defects present an emergency situation where remedial measures must be accomplished immediately. The Facility administrator must decide how to proceed to protect life and property; however, if recovery is to be effected, the procedures listed in this section should be followed as closely as possible.

Responsibility Refusal by Design Professional or Contractor. If a building deficiency is determined to be serious, and neither the design professional nor the contractor accepts responsibility for its correction, General Counsel should be contacted and provided with an adequate background statement of the problem.

The objective of the background information is to get an overview of the problem early enough to maximize the effective alternatives available. An adequate background statement includes the following information:

  1. A brief description of the nature and scope of the deficiency.
  2. A concise summary of the design history of the problem: i.e., the specific program given to the design professional, whether any design recommendations for the deficient areas were vetoed for budget or other reasons, what the construction documents required, what the contractor installed, the extent of the design professional's approval of shop drawing submittals, substitution requests, and field changes, and the installation made.
  3. A copy of all specification provisions and pertinent drawings applicable to the deficiency (including any applicable general or special guarantee provision) and a brief explanation in layman's terms of technical portions of the construction documents transmitted.
  4. A concise statement of the construction history of the defect including the approximate time of installation, when the deficiency first developed, a brief outline summary of any pertinent correspondence, job meetings, minutes, and inspector's reports bearing on the problem (with full copies of such documents attached), the date of project acceptance, and the duration of any guarantee applicable to the deficiency.
  5. A description of the extent of any corrective action attempted indicating what it was, who recommended it, who performed it, and when.
  6. A description of the present condition of the deficiency.
  7. A description and statement of estimated cost for corrections which will probably be required.
  8. An expression of Facility opinion as to the responsibility for and cause of the defect coupled with a brief statement of the facts supporting that conclusion. 

Expressing Opinion on Responsible Cause. The initial expression of opinion as to who is responsible for a defect or deficiency should be made by Facility personnel if they have the technical competence. In cases when employment of an outside expert is necessary to augment Facility capabilities, General Counsel should have an advance opportunity to evaluate the potential forensic ability of such an expert. If such an expert is not retained by or at the request of Counsel, the expert's report on the problem probably cannot be kept confidential in the event of litigation, and the expert may be subject to being deposed as a witness.

Preservation and Documentation of Evidence. If litigation is a possibility, evidence of building defects or deficiencies must be preserved or documented and safeguarded. If not, there should be no expectation of recovery of damages by a lawsuit. Preserve and document evidence by:

  • Retaining defective material.
  • Taking photographs.
  • Having a competent person examine the defect and express a technical opinion as to its cause.
  • Retaining relevant correspondence and documents.

Confidentiality of Evidence. Parties to a lawsuit have broad rights to examine the files of their opponents. Most communications including memoranda to file which are not sent from a University employee to University Counsel may be inspected and used as evidence to oppose the University's case. To prevent this evidence from being revealed to the University's detriment, follow these guidelines:

  • Take care not to make any damaging admissions or reveal any weaknesses in the potential case.
  • Evaluation of the University's prospects for recovery in potential litigation shall be made only by General Counsel.
  • With the exception of item 8, above, avoid writing memoranda which contain admissions that may be against the University's interest, which include allocation of responsibility or explanations of or reasons for defects or deficiencies, or which comment on consultants' reports. When such memoranda are necessary, draft copies shall be sent to General Counsel for comment and for transmittal at Counsel's option.

4.5.2 Preventing Building Deficiencies

If design professionals and contractors whose past performance is unsatisfactory are excluded from participating on University projects, then an effort will have been made "up front" to prevent defects and deficiencies.

The deficient past performance of a design professional should be considered when selecting a design professional (see FM, Volume 3). Unsatisfactory past performance of contractors should be considered when bid documents are issued (see FM, Volume 5).

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• Office of the President “Policy on Safeguards, Security, and Emergency Management,” 2006

• California Office of Emergency Services (OES) SEMS/NIMS Integration

• Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Incident Management System guidelines

• National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 1600 Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs

This section discusses earthquake hazards, but emergency management principles apply to all types of natural, human-caused, or technological disasters and emergencies.

After a major earthquake, a Facility must plan for the disruptions of utilities, communications and essential services such as power, water, sewer, telecommunications and transportation networks, fire and medical services, and food supplies and services. Facilities should also anticipate building structural and non-structural damage, hazardous materials spills, fires, and the need to provide emergency medical care as well as mass care and shelter. Facilities must assume that no outside assistance will be available for at least 72 hours. Local emergency response agencies that would normally respond may not be available because of overwhelming demands. Conversely, a Facility may be a focal point where emergency responders from outside agencies, volunteers, and the general public spontaneously converge.

Effective Facility emergency preparedness programs will reduce risk and losses, including protecting lives, property, and the environment; minimizing class and research disruption; facilitating efficient coordination with local, state, and federal emergency response agencies; and maximize disaster recovery financial aid.

4.6.1 Emergency Preparedness Program

The University has voluntarily adopted the National Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs (NFPA 1600/ANSI, 2004) as our systemwide programmatic guidance and benchmarking standard for Facility emergency preparedness programs. This collaboratively developed and widely adopted National Standard encompasses mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. In California, the SEMS/ICS emergency management structure is mandated to direct, control, and coordinate response and recovery operations as described in Section 4.6.2. The National Standard establishes the following seventeen (17) general program elements:

1. Program Policy & Administration

  • Executive policy including enabling authority
  • Program goals and objectives
  • Program budget and project schedule/milestones

2. Program Coordinator/Manager

  • Designated/appointed by campus and authorized to administer and maintain program

3. Program Management

  • Advisory committee or other program review and support mechanism
  • Establish performance objectives for all program elements

4. Compliance with UC/State laws/requirements/policies

  • Program shall comply with UC procedures/policies/requirements
  • Program shall comply with State laws/regulations (SEMS – see 4.6.2))

5. Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment

  • Identify hazards and likelihood occurrence on campus
  • Identify vulnerability of campus to various hazards
  • Hazards shall include both natural and human-caused events
  • Conduct impact analysis to determine adverse campus impacts on health and safety; continuity of operations; facilities and infrastructure; financial liabilities; etc.

6. Hazard Mitigation

  • Develop and implement campuswide strategy to eliminate/mitigate hazards
  • Base strategy on Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA); program assessment; operational experience; and cost-benefit analysis
  • Mitigation shall consider building standards; mitigating structures at risk; hazard avoidance/removal/elimination/reduction/modification/segregation/controls; protective systems/equipment; warning and communication procedures; redundancy or duplication of essential personnel/systems/equipment/operations.

Each Facility shall implement a non-structural seismic hazard reduction program to identity and abate hazards .

7. Resource Management

  • Establish objectives consistent with overall program goals and campus hazards
  • Consider personnel, equipment, training, expertise, facilities, funding, materials and the time frames within which they will be needed
  • Consider response time, capability/quantity, limitations, costs, and liabilities associated with using the required resources
  • Identify resource capability shortfalls and steps necessary to remedy shortfalls
  • Maintain current inventory of internal/external resources
  • Address management of voluntary donations

8. Mutual Aid Agreements

  • Need for mutual aid shall be determined and agreements established as needed
  • Agreements shall be referenced in the appropriate program plan

9. Program Plans

  • Strategic Plan – program mission, goals, objectives as it relates to policy
  • Emergency Operations Plan – assign responsibility for specified actions
  • Mitigation Plan – establish interim and long-term actions
  • Recovery Plan – based on short and long-term priorities, processes, vital resources, and acceptable time frames for restoring facilities, infrastructure, and teaching/research programs
  • Continuity Plan – identify critical and time-sensitive functions/processes that must be maintained, and personnel/procedures required to maintain them

10. Direction, Control & Coordination

  • Capability to direct, control, and coordinate response/recovery operations
  • Use SEMS/ICS emergency management system for emergency operations and response, and resource management (see 4.6.2)
  • Establish applicable procedures/policies for coordinating response, continuity, and recovery activities with appropriate authorities and resources

11. Communications & Warning Systems

  • Establish and regularly test communications systems/procedures
  • Develop and maintain notification/alerting capability
  • Develop and periodically test campuswide emergency alerting system
  • Address communications needs/capabilities to support response/recovery plans
  • Address inter-operability of multiple emergency response agencies

12. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Develop, coordinate, and implement operational procedures to support program
  • Address health & safety and protection of property and environment
  • Emergency response and recovery procedures for identified hazards
  • Situation status and damage/resource needs assessment procedures
  • Procedures for initiating recovery and mitigation activities during response
  • Procedures for succession of executive management
  • Procedures for emergency animal care
  • Procedures for utility shutdowns and emergency backup power supplies
  • Procedures for hazardous materials and radiological hazard control

13. Emergency Operations Center (EOC) & Logistics

  • Primary and alternate EOCs shall be equipped, tested, and maintained
  • Establish logistical capability and procedures to handle personnel, resources, materials, and facilities procured or donated 

14. Responder Training

  • Implement training/education curriculum to create awareness and enhance skills required to implement and maintain program
  • Identify frequency and scope of training and maintain training records
  • Emergency response personnel shall be trained in SEMS/ICS

15. Exercises, Evaluations & Corrective Actions

  • Periodically evaluate program objectives, plans, procedures, and capabilities
  • Design annual exercises to test essential or inter-related elements or entire plan(s)
  • Ensure that corrective action is taken on any identified deficiency

16. Crisis Communications & Public Information

  • Procedures to disseminate and respond to requests for info (both internal and external including the media)
  • Establish and maintain disaster/emergency public information capability including media contact; info handling system and method to coordinate and clear info for release; pre-scripted info bulletins; special needs populations; and evacuation or shelter-in-place guidelines
  • Implement public awareness program for identified hazards

17. Emergency Financial Support

  • Develop financial and administrative procedures to support emergency response/recovery
  • Establish procedures to expedite fiscal decisions in accordance with proper authorizations and accounting
  • Define finance responsibilities/authorities; procurement procedures; payroll; and accounting system to track and document costs

4.6.2 Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS)

State law requires all state and local agencies (including the University) to use the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). SEMS is an emergency management organizational structure used by all emergency response agencies statewide to coordinate response to multi-jurisdictional or multi-agency incidents. The intent of SEMS is to improve the coordination of state and local emergency response throughout the state, and to facilitate the flow of information and the rapid mobilization, deployment, and tracking of state and local resources. SEMS also integrates all of the requirements of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

All Facilities shall incorporate the major elements of SEMS into their emergency plans and operations. By incorporating SEMS, each Facility will use the same basic emergency response organizational structure and terminology as all other city, county, and state agencies. This will facilitate smooth communication and coordination with outside agencies for response, resource allocation, and recovery at each Facility during and after a major emergency incident. State disaster assistance programs also require the use of SEMS in order for each Facility to be eligible for full reimbursement of costs related to response.

In order to incorporate SEMS at each Facility, the following are required:

  • Adapt the Incident Command System (ICS) to the existing Facility organizational structure. ICS is a standardized yet flexible emergency response organizational structure that forms the basis for the entire SEMS concept.
  • Establish local interagency agreements as necessary. These are public safety mutual aid agreements for law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services. The agreement could include memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the American Red Cross for mass care and shelter assistance, or with amateur radio organizations for emergency communications support.
  • Provide appropriate training to senior executives and those employees involved in emergency response and recovery as identified in the Facility emergency plan. Staff that shall be trained for response and recovery include lead staff responsible for the physical plant, construction, environmental health & safety, police and fire, telecommunications and information systems, health services, housing and dining, and material management.

4.6.3 Facility Mutual Assistance

The University's facilities and operations are highly specialized, and therefore require highly skilled and trained personnel to deal with emergency response and recovery operations. For this reason, it may be preferable to call upon internal University resources for assistance, rather than outside agencies or contractors.

Each Facility shall be authorized to enter into formal or informal agreements with other University Facilities to share personnel, services, equipment, and supplies during a declared state of emergency, or under other extraordinary conditions or circumstances as required immediately to avert, alleviate, or repair damage to University Facilities, or to maintain the orderly operation of the Facility. A Facility requesting assistance shall exhaust its own resources, or face imminent depletion of its own resources, before calling upon another Facility for assistance. Each Facility shall provide assistance to other University Facilities to the extent operationally possible, based upon the availability and status of its own resources. A Facility requesting assistance shall be responsible for all direct costs incurred by other University Facilities that are related to providing that assistance.

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