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Houston Controller Refuses to Sign Off on Recycling Deal

It’s the latest hiccup for a deal that’s had a lot of ups and downs in recent months.

Houston City Controller Chris Brown said his office will not sign off on the city’s proposed 20-year, $37 million recycling deal with FCC, thrusting the deal into limbo.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Brown cited concerns with the procurement's transparency and the winning bidder's proposed subcontractor.

It’s the latest hiccup for a deal that’s had a lot of ups and downs in recent months.

Two weeks ago, Houston City Council members questioned the length and price of the contract since it changed numerous times.

In July, the council delayed a vote on a proposed $48 million, 20-year recycling contract with FCC Environmental. This action followed Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s recent decision to turn down EcoHub’s One Bin project, despite the fact that Houston was poised to become the pilot city for EcoHub.

The Chronicle has more:

Brown's memo, however, sought to "highlight concerns pertaining to the transparency of the procurement process and the MWBE sub-contractor's status as the defendant in several federal lawsuits."

Specifically, he pointed out that several sets of documents from the initial procurement stages were kept only on paper and were destroyed when Hurricane Harvey flooded City Hall. His staff was able to review procurement documents only after signing "unusual" non-disclosure agreements for which he said "no legal reasoning has been provided," he said.

He also noted that the winning firm's proposed subcontractor, Taylor Smith Consulting, has been named as a defendant in four recent lawsuits, three under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

"In the interest of full transparency, I thought it important to bring these concerns forward," Brown wrote.

Brown gave no estimate for when he expected to complete his review of the item, but his announcement in a Monday afternoon memo means a vote on the recycling contract likely would not occur until early January.

Read the full story here.

TAGS: Recycling
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