The issuance this week of a request for proposal (RFP) for the potential privatization of county-owned Briscoe Field has been in the works since August according to Gwinnett County Department of Transportation (GDOT) acting director Kim Conroy.
“The Board instructed staff to issue the RFP prior to the end of the year,” Conroy said referring to the . During the August meeting, Beaudreau, who along with Lasseter and Howard , described the lack of action by county staff over the summer to prepare an RFP as “borderline insubordination."
The . The issuance of the RFP came as a surprise to at least one member of the county-created airport .
Member Jim Regan said he believed the county intended to wait until the review committee finished its work before moving forward with the privatization process.
“We did not know not they were about to issue the RFP,” Regan said.
According to the resolution passed in October by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, the committee is tasked with assisting in “evaluating current and potential future uses of the Gwinnett County Airport and to make recommendations for the maintenance and utilization of the Airport with a view toward the best interests of Gwinnett County and its citizens.”
According to Kim Conroy, the citizen review committee work and the RFP process were intended to run at the same time.
“We were instructed to do both,” he said. “I think staff’s interpretation was that it would run simultaneously.”
Conroy said the recommendations of the committee would be reviewed in conjunction with proposals received from .
However, the resolution authorizing the creation of the airport privatization citizen review committee indicated the group could potentially be involved in the RFP issuance process. The resolution stated, “If requested by the Board of Commissioners, the Committee may review and provide comments on any draft Request for Proposal for the privatization of the Gwinnett County Airport.”
Regan said the committee was not asked to review any draft proposal.
According to the RFP, responding companies "may specifically propose the introduction of scheduled passenger service, and/or how the Respondent would position the airport to proceed if and when the County were to approve the seeking of schedule passenger service."
The county has scheduled a news conference regarding the RFPs for Jan. 5, 2012. The full RFP can be viewed on the website.