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Provide information on the backlog for maintenance work orders and how work is prioritized and addressed.

Question#: 6

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: Chapter 6 - 77

ANSWER:

The Division of Maintenance receives and processes about 60,000 to 65,000 customer-generated work orders per fiscal year. Of the total received, approximately 95 percent are completed, and about five percent are cancelled or denied for various reasons.

The total number of work orders in progress at any given time (approved and waiting to be performed by the maintenance trade shops) is referred to as backlog. The actual backlog of open work orders at any given time of year will vary among the respective trade shops, but collectively averages about 10 percent of the total number of work orders being processed.

Every MCPS school is aligned with one of three maintenance depots: Bethesda, Clarksburg, or Randolph -- and submits electronic work orders directly to them. The depots each receive 80-140 new work orders per day, depending on the time of year. The three maintenance depots process and assign priorities to incoming work orders based on urgency of need and the potential impact on the school and its occupants. Serious facility emergencies are assigned the highest priority and performed immediately, day or night, as quickly as maintenance staff members can respond. Conversely, minor problems that have little or no impact on the schools are assigned a lower priority and scheduled for performance as soon as practicable.

Limited staff size at the various trade shops, position vacancies, personnel available for duty on any given day, high demand for work, and changing priorities combine to limit how quickly maintenance staff can respond to a specific facility problem. Work that has already been scheduled can often be interrupted by newly arriving work orders that are determined to be more critical. For example, during the typically high-demand air conditioning (A/C) season, a school with no A/C in one or two rooms may have to wait until mechanics can service another school with no A/C in an entire wing of the facility. The annual A/C season, characterized by multiple and concurrent demands for repair services, combined with a limited number of available A/C mechanics can create a frustrating experience for customers and mechanics alike.

The Division of Maintenance is committed to providing the highest level and quality of service commensurate with available resources. All schools are encouraged to maintain regular, collaborative working relationships with their respective supporting maintenance depots as a means to get the best possible service and to better appreciate the constraints in maintenance services that occur during the year.

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