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

by Mark Y.D. Wang, Nancy Young Moore, Sarah B. Hunter, Nancy Nicosia


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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.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Background and Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The Current Contracting Environment at the Los Angeles Proprietary Departments

  • Chapter Three

    Best Practices from Government and Industry

  • Chapter Four

    Recommendations for the City of Los Angeles Proprietary Departments

  • Appendix A

    Answers to Blue Ribbon Commission’s Ten Questions

  • Appendix B

    Eight Steps in Strategic Sourcing

The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE) for the City of Los Angeles.

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