New Law Allows LADWP to Enter Into Contracts of up to $5 Million Without Board Approval

A new law will allow the head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to enter into heftier contracts without getting approval from its board, and gives the board power to greenlight longer contracts without requiring Los Angeles City Council approval.

The City Council voted 12-0 on Tuesday to approve the ordinance, which was touted as a way to save money and make the department more efficient.

A sign for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is pictured here. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

A sign for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is pictured here. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The new ordinance will authorize the head of the agency to sign off on certain contracts of up to $5 million without board approval, a marked increase from the existing limit of $150,000. City ratepayer advocate Fred Pickel, who backed the changes, likened that to a family with a $1,000 monthly budget insisting on a meeting before they spent more than 2 1/2 cents.

The current requirement “constrains operations and involves the board in details instead of policymaking,” board vice president William W. Funderburk Jr. said in a written statement, calling the changes “sensible contracting reforms.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.