Friday, May 12, 2017

Push for Procurement Reforms

This week the League, ReInvent Albany, NYPIRG, Citizens Union, Fiscal Policy Institute, and the Citizens Budget Commission held a press conference in Albany pushing for reforms to our state contracting system. Last year there were several state and federal indictments related to a major state contract bid rigging scandal that cost tax payers an estimates $800 million. This scandal arose after oversight authority of state contracts was taken from the State Comptroller. Our organizations are supporting legislation that will increase transparency and government accountability when contracts are awarded. We are supporting the following 5 reforms:

  1. Require competitive and transparent contracting for the award of state funds by all state agencies, authorities, and affiliates. Use existing agency procurement guidelines as a uniform minimum standard.
  2. Transfer responsibility for awarding all economic development awards to Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and end awards by state non-profits and SUNY.
  3. Empower the Comptroller to review and approve all state contracts over $250k.
  4. Prohibit state authorities, state corporations, and state non-profits from doing business with their board members.

  1. Create a ‘Database of Deals’ that allows the public to see the total value of all forms of subsidies awarded to a business – as six states have done.

The Senate has already passed legislation enacting these reforms. The League and our good government partners will be lobbying this legislation in the Assembly over the coming weeks. We hope to see this bill passed in the Assembly and signed into law before session ends.

No comments: