City of Houston

City Of Houston To Start Over Airport Contract Bidding

City Controller says there are many unanswered questions for how the contracts were awarded.

City Controller Chris Brown, the city’s elected financial officer, has told the mayor and city council that he has many unanswered questions about how contracts for the airport renovation were chosen.

In a memo to them, he recommended that the bidding process be started over.

“It’s a huge contract, in the end $1.5 billion,” Brown told News 88.7. “And given the particularly challenging economic times we have at the city, we want to make sure not only that the process is transparent but also that we’re spending every dollar as wisely and efficiently as possible.”

Brown noted several areas of concern about the bidding, including potential violations of the quiet period — when bidders and city officials are not allowed to communicate — and inconsistencies in contract prices and the evaluation process.

Brown’s predecessor, Ron Green, had previously held up approval of the contracts, asking for detailed information about the bidding process.

Brown, who took office on Jan. 4th, said he has now reviewed the documents, which led him to his recommendation.

Mayor Turner said starting over is the right thing to do.

“I think the easiest thing to do and the most transparent thing to do, even though the city attorneys didn’t find anything wrong, legally, with the process, was simply to be just to put it out and restart it,” he said.  

Restarting the process will cost the city, but Brown hopes that there will be savings in the end because of a more competitive bidding process.

The five contracts are part of a major renovation project that will lead to a new international terminal at Bush Intercontinental.

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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