Hicks v. Central Point School District

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-22-2015
  • Case #: A151320
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J.; De Muniz, S.J.; Lagesen, J.; & Wollheim, S.J.

Under ORS 279B.033, the required estimate of a potential contractor’s personnel costs is mandatory.

The issues on appeal were (1) whether the cost analysis and subsequent decision to outsource on the part of Respondent Central Point School District (the district) is not reviewable by way of writ of review, but rather is subject to judicial review; and if so, (2) whether the district’s cost analysis complied with the statutory requirements of ORS 279B.033 (the statute). That statute requires (with some exceptions) a state agency – before it can outsource services – to demonstrate either that it is not feasible for the agency to provide those services with its own resources and personnel, or alternatively, that it will cost less to outsource the services but that the lower cost is not due solely to a likelihood that the contractor will pay lower wages and benefits than would be paid to employees of the agency. The trial court ruled in the affirmative on both questions, the first question being the subject of the district’s cross appeal, the second the subject of Plaintiff Hicks’ appeal. Hicks had been laid off from her job as a transportation employee with the district, after the district declared its decision to use a contractor for its transportation services. In its cost-benefit analysis, the district had relied on “assumptions” instead of “estimates” in determining that the wages and benefits of the potential contractor’s employees would not be lower than those of the district’s employees. The Court found that the trial court did have jurisdiction, finding that a writ of review is only available to review decisions made through an adjudicatory process, and that a public agency’s cost-benefit analysis and subsequent decision on the results of that analysis do not qualify as such. On the second issue the Court found that the district’s assumptions omitted data that was central to the district’s determination of costs. It held that the statute’s call for an estimate of a potential contractor’s personnel costs is mandatory. Reversed and remanded.

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