Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Broome County is taking more time to sign a contractor for an expansion of the county correctional facility. 

The County Executive's office had moved to waive the bid process and award the contract to LaBella Associates P.C. or Rochester for a $5.7 million project to reduce overcrowding at the jail. 

The legislature, however, dropped the waiver idea after the county came under fire for not following the practice of open bidding for government contracts. 

Under the county’s charter, officials are to make a public announcement when it is looking to enter into an agreement for architectural and engineering services that would cost more than $15,000.  Three of the best bids would be selected for discussion and public hearings would be scheduled before a vote is held on awarding a contract.

A report earlier this week indicated that the County Executive's office had wanted to use a waiver to quickly award the contract, but legislators say they were not aware of a waiver request.