In The News › Planning contract was awarded appropriately

May 11, 2006

Source: Times-Picayune

Planning contract was awarded appropriately

Planning contract was awarded appropriately
Thursday, May 11, 2006

Re: “Planning contract process under fire,” Metro, May 9.

The Bureau of Governmental Research is unfounded in its criticism of the New Orleans City Council’s process in awarding a contract to Lambert Advisory for neighborhood planning.

In 2004, the council competitively procured a team of national and local consultants to provide miscellaneous “advice to the City Council and its Budget/Audit/Board of Review Committee on Housing Matters.”

Miscellaneous consulting procurements are very common throughout the United States and at all levels of government precisely so that government can have expert services available to quickly respond to unforeseen events. This increases government efficiency, particularly during times when budget cuts create staff shortages.

The council recognized early after Katrina that a citizen-driven neighborhood planning process was needed to frame and drive redevelopment and housing revitalization. We are pleased that the Lambert Advisory team has brought together local and national experts in neighborhood planning, housing policy, finance and development. Team members have already begun working in the many devastated neighborhoods and have been well-received by residents.

The BGR’s suggestion that in awarding the contract to Lambert Advisory the council ignored the City Charter and its own rules is simply incorrect, and any suggestions that the neighborhood planning process was not in keeping with both the spirit and letter of the procurement only serves to confuse the public and slow down a critical process that is directly tied to the release of federal and state revitalization funds.

Oliver M. Thomas Jr.

Eddie L. Sapir

Councilmembers-at-Large

New Orleans

May 11, 2006

Source: Times-Picayune

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