Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Councilmember Johnson's statement on the issue of MWBE Contracting in the City of Houston

We must begin a new era at City Hall it is simply unacceptable to continue the status Quo. Small Business produces ninety percent of the new jobs in the nation today. In spite of this fact, the City of Houston is still not utilizing the contractual opportunities that they have to work at its true capacity. Contract after contract the same scenario happens the city extends an old contract and keeps the old contractor without employing the RFP process and creating new contractual opportunities for small and minority business owners.

During the August 12 Council Session the meeting was brought to a halt as I voiced my displeasure with the manner in which the City of Houston has been utilizing old contractors and not creating new contracting opportunities for small and minority & women owned businesses.

I said to the Mayor and my fellow Council Members “I do not understand how we can just label a company a Sole Source Purchaser and claim that they do not have to purchase any parts from someone other than themselves. We have an opportunity to work at our true capacity as a major contracting agency”.

Why are we extending contracts if the contractors have not complied with all the terms of the contract. Many of these Prime Contractors have previously agreed to achieve the MWBE participation goal as a tem of their contract. Yet well after the contract is completed they have not fulfilled that commitment.

We must ensure that every term is met in order to ensure fairness and transparency for all companies seeking to do business with the City of Houston. As a City Council Member I can no longer sit idly by and do nothing. I will vote my conscious.

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