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Improving Contracting at the City of Los Angeles Airports, Port, and Department of Water and Power

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The three proprietary departments of the City of Los Angeles-the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the Port of Los Angeles (Port), and the Department of Water and Power (DWP)-together contract for more than a billion dollars worth of goods and services and receive several hundred millions of dollars in lease revenue annually. In 2003 and 2004, the City of Los Angeles Controller issued audit reports on the contracting and leasing practices of all three departments, and in those reports cited a lack of both transparency and documentation in the departments' contracting processes. This documented briefing presents analysis from a 90-day study to find ways to make the purchasing, contracting, and leasing activities of LAWA, Port, and DWP more transparent and efficient while gaining the public trust. The authors analyze the best government and commercial practices for contracting and make a number of recommendations for improving the City of Los Angeles proprietary departments.