Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Awarding and Monitoring of Consultant Contracts

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates and maintains various transportation-related facilities in the metropolitan New York City area. The Authority frequently hires engineers, architects and other consultants. We examined the Authority’s practices for awarding and monitoring consultant contracts. We found that the Authority appropriately monitored and evaluated contractor performance to ensure that it received what it paid for. However, we identified a number of significant weaknesses in the Authority’s contract award practices.

For example, proposals from prospective contractors were not properly accounted for, were opened as they arrived (rather than all at one time), and were not always evaluated in a consistent manner. In some instances, the method to be used in evaluating proposals was not documented, and in other instances the method was changed without the required management approval. We also identified instances in which only one firm was asked to submit a proposal. Moreover, in some of these instances, a cost estimate was not prepared in advance to compare to the proposal. We further determined that the Authority’s contract award guidelines were not always followed and did not include certain critical controls. We recommended that a number of improvements be made in the Authority’s contract award practices.

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