Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ravenstahl Shines Light on Contracts

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has created the “Pittsburgh Contracting Best Practices Commission” with the charge tat it study the city’s contract and bidding system. The Mayor has filled it with not only members of the administration and city council but also executives from the private sector. He says it is important to have that third party prospective. Ravenstahl says this is not a result of the recent controversy involving contracts let by the urban redevelopment authority but he wants to make sure questions brought up then are not brought up again. Ravenstahl says he will implement all the recommendations from the commission even if it includes campaign donation disclosure rules similar to the ones that prompted him to veto a council bill earlier this year. Ravenstahl has already signed an executive order requiring a justification form to be filed out every time a contract is awarded and that the forms be posted on the Internet. The commission is expected to meet in the next 30 days and issues a report within 6 months. Ravenstahl says he hopes the commission will also look at ways to open the contract process to more new bidders including companies owned by minorities and women.

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