The president of Calvin, Giordano & Associates, a private firm that provides building inspection, engineering, code enforcement, and other services to local cities, says his company pioneered local government outsourcing, and performs its work ethically.
"We're very careful not to have a conflict," Dennis Giordano says. "We never do any work that we have to review."
Questions arose after The Juice reported that Calvin, Giordano has a monopoly on providing government services in the City of West Park, doing everything from reviewing building plans to engineering and code enforcement. The company plays a similar role in Weston and Sunny Isles Beach. Meanwhile, the firm rakes in multi-million dollar government contracts to build roads, install utilities, and survey land throughout the Broward area.
It was tough to imagine how a private firm, whose bottom line depends on winning such contracts, could be fair and objective in its government inspection role.
Giordano admits that "we do pretty much everything," in West Park. But he sees nothing wrong with it, because his employees are not asked to monitor their own projects.
In fact, he says small cities with low tax revenues depend on
contracted companies such as his to run the government cheaply. "We
provide a quality service at a very fair price. We hire the best people
available," he says.
Meanwhile, in Pembroke Pines, where Calvin, Giordano is in charge of building inspections, but also recently won a $2.7 million contract to overhaul the city's waste-water treatment system, the potential for a conflict of interest is even more worrisome.
But Giordano insists that since his employees are not architects, and don't design buildings, there's no inherent conflict when they review building plans. Fine. But wouldn't they feel pressured to approve, say, a new office complex, if it would generate some kind of engineering or utilties work for them?
"Absolutely not," he says. "We are all guided by a code of ethics. I think you're looking for something that's really not there."