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Monday, Jan 30, 2023
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LAX Contracting Procedures Could Be Better, Audit Says

Los Angeles World Airports, which operates Los Angeles International Airport, has improved its procedures for awarding contracts but continues to operate under a policy in which “ambiguity still rules the day,” according to an audit released Wednesday by City Controller Laura Chick.


The report was a follow-up to a 2003 audit in which Chick found inadequate contracting policies and documentation to explain why particular companies received contracts for work at LAX and the city department’s other three airports. That audit lead to an investigation by Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and the U.S. Attorney’s Office into whether airport contracts were awarded to political contributors.


“The Airports’ revamping of its procurement and contracting activities is not complete,” wrote Chick in a letter to Mayor James Hahn, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and members of the City Council.


The new audit said the airport agency improved its contracting policies in the past 16 months and eliminated members of the Board of Airport Commissioners from the evaluation committees, which now keep documentation. However, the contracting procedures need refinement, such as by clarifying the roles of staff members in the selection of contractors. Chick also recommended creating a records-retention policy and that a person be assigned to review board reports.


The audit also said leasing practices at Van Nuys Airport have improved but that high turnover in L.A. World Airport’s property management and business division has caused other leases to remain unadjusted.

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