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Saldaña raises contract issues

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 by Courtney Griffin

Austin Independent School District Board Member Paul Saldaña pulled the majority of items from the consent agenda at the board’s June 22 regular meeting for comment or discussion. Saldaña pointed out that many construction contracts under $50,000 were showing up on the board agendas later with requests for additional funding. The board granted Superintendent Paul Cruz administrative approval to oversee transactions for $50,000 or less, but “now the contracts are being doubled or sometimes more,” said Saldaña, adding that he wanted to express his concern. Saldaña also asked if AISD’s historically underutilized business policy was applicable to the contracts in question. After staff said it was not, he asked for further clarification. The board has a HUB policy relating to facilities and bonds as well as a HUB policy relating to purchasing and acquisition, but the overall policy seems to encapsulate the questioned contracts, he said. AISD Director of Facilities Paul Turner said the district simply hasn’t had the funding in the past to track HUB participation in any other area than bond projects.

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