Changes in con­tract­ing

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “A costly con­tract­ing limit,” Ed­i­to­rial, Aug. 6

I agree that AB 1250 is an un­work­able plan.

It would make it nearly im­pos­si­ble for Los An­ge­les County to con­tract out nec­es­sary work to non­prof­its and health pro­fes­sion­als. How­ever, the sta­tus quo is un­ac­cept­able.

Since join­ing the Board of Su­per­vi­sors, I’ve been shocked how of­ten we are asked to ap­prove mil­lion­dol­lar con­tracts for ser­vices county em­ploy­ees could do.

Con­tract­ing pro­pos­als that go through so-called “Prop A anal­y­sis” in­evitably de­ter­mine that con­tract­ing will save the county money.

But too of­ten, con­tracts go to com­pa­nies that over­work low-wage work­ers. Oc­ca­sion­ally, con­tracted com­pa­nies act ir­re­spon­si­bly, and we spend more clean­ing up their mess.

This is chang­ing. My fel­low su­per­vi­sors and I are bring­ing jobs in-house.

Last month, we re­placed 70 con­trac­tors with 57 county em­ploy­ees in our build­ing and safety di­vi­sion and brought 191 nurse as­sis­tants in-house.

Progress is slow, but soon un­nec­es­sary con­tract­ing will be a thing of the past. Janice Hahn San Pe­dro The writer is an L.A. County su­per­vi­sor for the 4th District

Your ed­i­to­rial ac­cu­rately de­scribed the prob­lem with AB 1250: the state’s ef­fort to limit the county’s abil­ity to con­tract for vi­tal ser­vices.

I fully sup­port our ded­i­cated team of county em­ploy­ees who are com­mit­ted to pub­lic ser­vice and pro­vid­ing top-notch pro­grams and ser­vices.

How­ever, as your ed­i­to­rial sug­gests, it doesn’t al­ways make sense to have this county hand­cuffed in its ef­fort to ad­e­quately serve its 10 mil­lion res­i­dents with­out the abil­ity to con­tract out some of these crit­i­cal func­tions.

The sup­port and ex­per­tise pro­vided to our county agen­cies and de­part­ments in health­care, men­tal health and so­cial ser­vices by the mul­ti­tude of qual­i­fied con­trac­tors and con­tract agen­cies oper­at­ing ef­fi­ciently in the pri­vate sec­tor are cru­cial to our mu­tual goal to as­sist the most vul­ner­a­ble.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in op­er­a­tional costs as­so­ci­ated with this mea­sure would re­sult in sub­stan­tial in­creased costs to county tax­pay­ers. Kathryn Barger

San Marino The writer is an L.A. County su­per­vi­sor for the 5th District

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