The dispute about the audit of Shreveport's water and sewer department has become a bit of a controversy in the Mayor's race.
Several Councilmembers have told KEEL News they did not know an audit was underway. And during an August Mayoral Forum, Tyler responded to a question from the moderator who asked if she would call for an audit of the water and sewer department. From that forum:
"My administration is very transparent. More transparent than anybody else," Tyler proclaimed at the Southern Hills Business Association forum on August 6.
But on that same day the city was sued over water and sewer, Tyler also told voters she would only order an external audit of the water department after she's re-elected, and only on condition that there were problems. Yet it turns out, an outside audit of the water department was already under way."
Tyler's office sent this statement to KEEL on Friday:
The Mayor and her staff mentioned that she was calling for an audit of the Water & Sewer billing a number of times in 2016 and 2017 following the original tiered rate water billing issues. This was done publically, through the media, depositions, as well as in executive session to the Council and through e-mails (see attached Mayor’s November 4, 2016 e-mail to Council titled “Audit of Water and Sewerage Department” and Mayor’s April 3, 2017 e-mail to Council titled “Update on Water and Sewerage Audit from April 3, 2017”)Two Council members (Chair and one other selected by Council) were involved in the discussions as part of the audit RFP review group and were provided information, invited to meetings, and asked to score the audit RFP (see attached e-mails from Water & Sewerage Director Barbara Featherston to group members on September 28, 1 and August 28, 2017 titled “RE: RFP 17-811 Compliance & Efficiency Review”)In 2017 the first “public” RFP for a Department of Water and Sewerage Operational Compliance Efficiency Audit was issued on Feb. 21, 2017 (see attached “RFP 17-804 DWS Operational Compliance and Efficiency Audit” pdf)There was a Department of Water and Sewerage Operational Compliance Efficiency Audit mandatory Pre-Proposal meeting on March 24, 2017 where the Council’s Internal Auditor Leanis Stewart was present (see attached “17-804 Addendum” pdf and “RFP 17-804 Pre-Proposal Sign In Sheet” pdf)
After clarification, the second “public” Department of Water and Sewerage Operational Compliance Efficiency Audit RFP was issued on July 7, 2017 (see attached “RFP 17-811 Operational Compliance Efficiency” pdf).
The contract was executed on March 6, 2018 to the only responsive bidder, Carr, Riggs & Ingram with expected completion by year’s end. Click here to read the full contract which was signed in March.