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US NEWS BAYBRIDGE 2 CC.JPGFollowing the revelation of a costly public relations contract that the Brown administration said it knew nothing about, the California Business, Transportation & Housing Agency said this afternoon that it is requiring departments to obtain administration approval for even relatively small public relations contracts.

Jim Evans, a spokesman for the agency, said in an email that agency officials have told the California Department of Transportation and other departments within the agency that any public relations contract worth more than $100,000 must be approved by the agency's acting secretary, Brian Kelly.

The order follows a The Bee's report on Wednesday that Caltrans agreed to pay a public relations company nearly $10 million for work on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, including hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct tours and produce a video and commemorative book.

The administration ordered the contract's cancellation after The Bee requested documents related to it.

PHOTO CREDIT: Traffic flows on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. (Laura A. Oda/ Oakland Tribune/ MCT)



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