LOS ANGELES: A subcontractor on Fleishman-Hillard's controversial contract with the Department of Water and Power (DWP) found itself caught in the media spotlight last week.
Consensus Planning Group was featured in a front-page story in the Los Angeles Business Journal, with the accusation that the firm "billed Fleishman-Hillard for DWP work at rates charged to private and corporate clients, forgoing the industry practice of cutting billable rates for government clients."
Fleishman's contract with the DWP required that a certain percentage of the work be done by women- or minority-owned agencies.
Consensus Planning is a woman-owned firm and performed "grassroots communications," among other projects, said company principal Julie Gertler.
Gertler responded to the Journal article by saying it contained "some errors" and quoted former employees who left the firm a number of years ago.
"There is no news here. Nothing has happened," she said. "My message is the rates have been fully transparent, fully disclosed, listed in our contract with Fleishman, and paid without question for over a year."
Rob Wilcox, communications director for city controller Laura Chick, who is auditing the DWP contract, said all six subcontractors to Fleishman are included in the audit.