Hitch for AATA Consulting Contract

At its Dec. 15, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board withdrew a resolution that would have authorized signing a contract with two consulting firms to review and make recommendations on the internal organization of the AATA.

The two firms are Generator Group, LLC  and D. Kerry Laycock. After responding to an RFP from the AATA for the work, the two firms were identified as the top respondents among the 10 that responded, and were asked by the AATA to partner on a proposal. The partnership was meant to use the different strengths of the two firms. Generator Group, out of Portland, Oregon, has transit experience, while Laycock taps local talent.

Laycock has been previously tapped by the city of Ann Arbor in various reorganizational efforts, including its recent approval of the outsourcing of police dispatching to the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

The AATA’s approved FY 2012 operating budget allocates up to $250,000 for such a project. The contract with Generator Group and Laycock would have amounted to $247,000. The board’s decision to withdraw the authorization for the contract stemmed from concerns about its cost.

Board members encouraged CEO Michael Ford to use his ability to strike contracts for less than $100,000 without board authorization to complete the first phases of the organizational review. At that point, he could return to the board for a request to complete the final phase.

This brief was filed from the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library, where the AATA board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]