19:29 PM

Statement from MIA Director Lester Sola regarding airport baggage handling system agreement

I appreciate and welcome the report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) regarding the baggage handling system operation and maintenance (O&M) agreement at Miami International Airport. The OIG’s investigation into the selection process for this contract - which started in 2012 and was completed in 2015 - brings to light deficiencies discovered at the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. Since my appointment as Aviation Director in 2018, a top-to-bottom assessment of our procurement processes has been performed, and stringent policies and procedures have been instituted. Ethics training is underway for all employees, as well as selection committee training for supervisory-level employees.

We have taken aggressive action in direct response to these findings. Specifically, we terminated the contract of the consultant involved. We have also decided to not extend the O&M agreement and have begun developing a new solicitation for a new contract. Moving forward, no selection committee panel will include contractors or consultants as voting members, and all recommended selection committees must be reviewed by senior staff before being approved by the County’s Internal Services Department (ISD).

As the former Director of ISD, which included the County’s centralized procurement division, and as a 27-year veteran of Miami-Dade County government, I will ensure that under my leadership, MDAD will uphold the highest ethical standards and provide a fair and competitive process for all procurements.

To request materials in accessible format, Sign Language Interpreters, CART services and/or any accommodation to participate in any Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) public meetings and events please email the ADA Office at ADAcoordinator@miami-airport.com or call the office in 305-876-7747 five days in advance to initiate your request. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).