Gotham Gazette

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contracting

contracting

  • To Address Corruption Risks and Boost MWBE Contracting, Comptroller Asks Mayor to Convene Procurement Board

    Mayor Adams, Comptroller Lander, & others (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In a letter to City Hall last month, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander called on Mayor Eric Adams to make changes to the city's procurement rules to prevent corruption and fraud in nonprofit human services contracts.

    In the October 19 letter, Lander asked Adams to convene the Procurement Policy Board (PPB) to take steps to increase contract procurement for minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) and address...

  • ‘What We Don't Measure We Don't Manage’: Brad Lander on Top Priorities as the New NYC Comptroller

    Comptroller Lander and Mayor Adams in their prior roles (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, a progressive Brooklyn Democrat, is getting situated in his new role, which he calls the city’s “chief accountability officer.” As the comptroller, Lander’s citywide perch gives him a series of largely fiscal responsibilities mandated by the city Charter, including as a fiduciary to the public pension funds, a watchdog over city government finances, and the auditor-in-chief of city agencies.

    A New Normal for Our City’s Essential Nonprofits?

    Emergency food (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In the beginning of the pandemic, we longed to return to normal. However, after months of lock down, a racial justice reckoning, and a growing realization that concerns about political incivility needed to be replaced with legitimate fears about the stability of our polarized democracy, we started to think about all the reasons that going back to normal was no longer a viable option. It has become abundantly clear that “normal” never worked for everyone, and that this is by design. Our society’s definition of normal was built

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Comptroller Brad Lander on the City Budget, Nonprofit Contracting & More

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    Comptroller Brad Lander (photo: Susan Watts/Office of New York City Comptroller)


    February 16, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Comptroller Brad Lander on the City Budget & Improving Nonprofit Contracting

    New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, a Democrat just seven weeks into his first term in the citywide position, joined the show to discuss his initial reactions to Mayor Eric Adams' preliminary budget plan, promised changes to nonprofit contracting, the city's infrastructure spending, his transition into the office and

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  • We All Rely on Nonprofits — New York Must Value Them

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    New York nonprofits do it all (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    You've probably never heard of "National Nonprofit Day." The date, August 17, is pegged to the anniversary of a tariff bill passed in 1894 that outlined foundational requirements for tax-exempt status. A holiday based on the tax code has not exactly caught the public's imagination. There aren't even greeting cards.

    But most New Yorkers rely on nonprofits every single day without really thinking about it. So this year, let's use this obscure holiday to appreciate and

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  • Government Keeps Failing Social Service Providers, Now We’re Passing the Buck to Labor

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    Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    I am proud to support and fight for workers in the human services sector. The city’s 125,000-plus social service workers provide essential services to 2.5 million New Yorkers, especially seniors, children, people with disabilities, and our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Most recently, they have been absolutely central to New York City’s response to the pandemic, ensuring that the most vulnerable do not fall through the cracks.

    Human

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  • The New City Budget Fails Human Services Workers

    3 failed human services

    Mayor de Blasio handing out food (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Human services workers are the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 response, and the new city budget has failed them.

    Many New Yorkers may not know that most social services are delivered by nonprofit
    organizations under city and state government contracts that consistently set poverty level wages for workers.

    Throughout the pandemic, when we heard about lines wrapping around the block outside of
    food pantries, childcare being provided for

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  • They Provide Essential City Services. They Deserve More

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    Providing city services (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As COVID-19 swept across our city, nonprofit human services workers were a beacon of hope, providing a safe haven for New Yorkers from all walks of life. While others were told to stay home, these workers--who are predominantly women and people of color--were deemed essential and showed up in public-facing roles to help carry New Yorkers through an unprecedented crisis. They provided assistance to those who found themselves newly in need of access to food, shelter, and other

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  • Lives On The Line: The Critical Need to Preserve Funding for Domestic Violence Programs

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    A domestic violence hotline (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the dangers facing domestic violence survivors.

    Survivors are facing escalating violence, increased isolation, and economic insecurity. And there are new and formidable barriers to finding safety. Tragically, three domestic violence victims in New York City - Vanessa Pierre, Ai Min, and Jessica Mitcham - lost their lives at the hands of abusive partners in recent days.

    At this critical time, the programs domestic violence survivors depend

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  • New York City Covid Spending Tops $4 Billion, Virtually All Covered by Federal Funds

    4 city has billions

    Mayor de Blasio inspects school cleaning (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has cost more than $4 billion in direct New York City expenses through mid-October, almost all of which the city expects to pay for with federal dollars.

    Of the total spending, $4.08 billion has been registered in contracts, according to a report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Almost two-thirds of that

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  • In Dire Condition, Nonprofit Human Services Sector Launches Recovery Effort

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    Human services providers struggle due to covid (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Nonprofits that provide human services have played an additionally vital role during the coronavirus pandemic in feeding, sheltering, and caring for New Yorkers. But the sector, which was already facing dire financial straits in recent years, has been devastated as fundraising has ground to a halt, city funding has been cut, and state contract payments have been put on hold. The Human Services Council, an organization that represents more than 170 providers in the state, is convening

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  • Human Services Workers are Essential Workers: It’s Time for the City to Treat Us That Way

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    Workers at Project Hospitality move meals (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Like health care workers, first responders, grocery workers, delivery workers, and more, human services workers are essential workers during COVID-19 and beyond. We are always essential.

    We serve the most vulnerable where they are and according to what they need. We help seniors get meals and medications delivered and staff residential facilities, homeless shelters, and food banks.

    We provide home care to at-risk communities, keeping them from overwhelming hospitals. We help

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  • It’s More Important Than Ever for the City to Take Care of Those Who Care for the Most Vulnerable New Yorkers

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    Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    To address the coronavirus crisis and save lives, New York City government and New Yorkers are mobilizing in ways never seen before. The City swiftly sent an unprecedented message to our human services sector -- the 250,000-plus employees who provide housing access, child and elder care, shelters, emergency food relief, mental health counseling, and disaster response. These workers -- traditionally undervalued, underpaid, and unappreciated -- were told that

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  • Amid Outbreak Volatility, City Takes Steps to Stabilize Human Services Nonprofits That Constitute Much of Social Safety Net

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    Human Services Nonprofits provide essential staff and programming to the city (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Social service organizations in recent days have been scrambling for clarity from government officials on how they will continue to get paid as they carry out essential city services for the most vulnerable populations and take up positions on the frontlines of public health, safety, and crisis management amid the coronavirus outbreak.

    On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he was designated roughly 40,000 workers from human services

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  • New York City Must Act Immediately to Strengthen Our Nonprofit Social Safety Net

    social services food pantries

    Amid coronavirus outbreak, the social safety net must hold (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Daily home-delivered meals for home-bound seniors. Case-management to help make sure people have medicine and essential supplies, and reduce the harm of social isolation. Emergency food for people who are unemployed or homeless. Child care for those who still have to go to work.

    All services we utterly need right now. And all provided by New York City’s remarkable network of not-for-profit human service providers.

    These

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  • City's $20 Billion in Contracting Takes Another Step into Modernity

    comptroller dinapoli event

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City government spends roughly $20 billion per year on goods and services through contracts with non-governmental vendors, including thousands of opportunities for companies of all types and sizes to work with the city. But the contracting process has long been arduous for vendors to navigate and difficult for watchdogs to closely monitor. Officials say that is now changing as a multi-step effort has unfolded over the past few years to modernize the technical infrastructure and databases that

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  • Final Signature Allows Implementation of Cuomo-DiNapoli Agreement to Restore Certain Contract Oversight Powers

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    Cuomo & DiNapoli (photo: Governor's Office)


    A resolution has finally been reached around how to deal with a thorny issue involving Governor Andrew Cuomo, contracting oversight, and the corruption that plagued some of the governor’s biggest economic development initiatives.

    As of December 31, all relevant parties have agreed to comply with an August agreement between Cuomo and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli restoring the comptroller’s oversight of some large contracts entered into by SUNY and CUNY and their affiliates, and by the Office of General

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  • Letter to the Editor: The City’s Pattern of Evasion on Tech Contract

    roundtable br cityhall

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    To the Editor:

    New York City’s Chief Procurement Officer, Dan Symon, didn’t address any of the questions we’ve been raising about the $30.5 million Ivalua e-procurement contract scandal in his recent Gotham Gazette op-ed responding to my earlier

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  • Taxpayers and Vendors Realizing Great Value from City’s Procurement Overhaul

    ethnic media roundtable

    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The City of New York has embarked on a mission to transform a procurement system that is outmoded, inefficient, and wasteful, and we are proud to have already made monumental progress. This paper-heavy process has been built up over generations, it is overly burdensome, particularly to small vendors, nonprofits and minority- and women-owned businesses, and, for many years, has plagued vendors with delayed approvals, slow payments, and a lack of transparency.

    This reform effort has been underway for a

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  • Taxpayers Fleeced for Nearly $47 Million in Tech Boondoggle But Few City Leaders Notice

    budget hearing joint

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    What if I told you that in an effort to enable 40 New York City government agencies to buy goods and services more cost-effectively, some city officials have put on a tutorial on how not to buy goods and services – and stuck taxpayers with a bill heading toward $47 million? 

    As a New Yorker, you’d probably tell me to “Get the hell outta here!” -- then I’d have to give you details.

    So here’s how the flimflam went down. Three years ago, city government hired an inexperienced French

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  • Fixing the City’s Broken System that Puts the Social Safety Net at Risk

    speaker m mv cm helen westside

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The recently-passed New York City budget greenlights billions of dollars to some of the most vital programs across the five boroughs. These dollars will help to fund homeless shelters, emergency food pantries, senior services, mental health services, and early childcare for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

    The City of New York contracts with over 1,000 community-based organizations (CBOs) to provide these essential human services at a cost of $6 billion annually. But thanks to the City’s broken

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  • Does New York City Need a Chief Diversity Officer?

    mayor office city hall riders

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Many days throughout the year there are people gathered on the steps of City Hall calling on city government to make policy. On March 14, a rally of women and people of color who own businesses, organized by city Comptroller Scott Stringer, focused on a change that could significantly alter the direction of city government and opportunities for those business owners and others in similar positions.

    Those in attendance were backing Stringer’s push to have the 2019 New York

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  • Charter Revision Commission Hears Expert Testimony on City Budgeting and Contracting

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     (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photo Office)


    The 2019 Charter Revision Commission, which is looking at ways to improve the city’s central governing document, heard suggestions on Monday from community-based organizations, fiscal watchdogs, and former and current city officials about potential changes to the city’s byzantine budgeting process.

    Over the course of more than three hours, experts weighed in on the city’s flawed contract procurement system, the severe lack of transparency in spending on capital projects, the possibility of creating a rainy day fund for the city, and

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  • Time for the City to Pay Up

    Justin Brannan

    Justin Brannan, the author (photo: @JustinBrannan)


    Talk is cheap. The city needs to pay up.

    We have all been impacted by the important work of hundreds of human services providers across the city, many of which are deeply rooted in our communities. These vital non-profit organizations deliver services to New York City’s most vulnerable – the poor, the hungry, the homeless, our children, our grandparents. The clear and powerful impact of this sector makes it easy for politicians to praise the services these non-profits provide — but such talk is cheap if you

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  • Fixing the City's Broken Approach to Nonprofit Contracting

    scott stringer

    Comptroller Scott Stringer, a co-author (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    From housing for homeless families to meals for our seniors, non-profit organizations are on the front lines of our city, supporting our most vulnerable neighbors. Yet these groups are surviving hand-to-mouth when it comes to funding and often it’s our own city government that’s stalling the contracting process and delaying payments that thousands of nonprofits rely on.

    In a new report, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office looked at thousands of human service contracts, and found an astounding 90

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