Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) said Monday that the council's questions about contracts have expanded beyond those awarded by the D.C. Housing Authority.
The council is now looking at whether the administration of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has bypassed the legislative body in other ways -- from awarding option year contracts without council approval to failing to seek retroactive approval for contracts.
Gray addressed the issue at a news briefing Monday.
In an Oct. 31 letter to Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi, Gray said he has "become increasingly concerned that the Executive is not following contract and procurement law across multiple agencies."
Gray's budget staff has also found a possible change in the way the administration has been handling contracts that for some reason did not get council approval. In the last council legislative period, the administration sent 85 contracts for "retroactive payment authorization," meaning the council authorized contracts that may have been for over $1 million or needed council approval but did not get it.
"In 2009, the Council has received only 8 contracts for retroactive payment authorization, indicating either a drastic improvement in the contracting process or the failure to submit retroactive contracts to the Council," Gray wrote.
-- Nikita Stewart