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American Shipper

Seattle port names Huey as head of new procurement office

Seattle port names Huey as head of new procurement office

The Port of Seattle has named a King County prosecutor and former U.S. General Services Administration attorney as director of the port authority's newly created Central Procurement Office.

   Nora Huey will oversee all procurement for the port, including construction contracting and professional and personal service agreements. Huey, who is King County's Construction Project Control Officer responsible for procurement of the County's design and construction contracts, will start at the port on June 30. A licensed attorney in several states, Huey also served in the King County Prosecutor's Office specializing in procurement and contracting issues. She previously served with the U.S. General Services Administration as house counsel, focusing on procurement, contract administration and contract resolution.

   The Central Procurement Office is part of the port's new capital development division that was created earlier this year in response to a state audit that found numerous contracting problems at the port.

   The nine-month state audit, released late last year, covered port operations from 2004 to 2007. It found nearly 50 indications of financial and contracting irregularities or fraud. In addition, the state auditors found that nearly $100 million in taxpayer money was wasted by the port through improper construction contracting. The audit also led to an ongoing U.S. Justice Department investigation of alleged fraud at the port.

   The port added that as director of the CPO, Huey will also be responsible for implementing the changes required in recent state legislation, which clarifies procurement authority for ports in Washington state.

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