Gotham Gazette

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contracting

contracting

  • 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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  • newly opened house

    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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  • workers food hungry

    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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  • cm helen rosenthal local girl

    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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  • spk qun love

    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • goccuomo con di

    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • mbdb execb

     (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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  • 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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  • 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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  • cm stephlevin ant reynoso

    Council Member Levin (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The new city budget does not do enough to address the tremendous backlog of city contracts with nonprofit groups that have been left languishing by city agencies, the groups say. This comes after a recent report from the city comptroller that shows

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  • stringer podium

    Comptroller (photo via @NYCComptroller)


    New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is modifying the website showing city spending to include more information on sub-vendors, providing an added layer of transparency to the tool that helps shed light on hundreds of billions of dollars in city contracting. Checkbook NYC, the financial accountability portal run by the comptroller’s office with real-time data on the city’s complicated web of spending,

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  • whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 3 -- $780 million, with Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For the third episode of What's The [Data] Point? we were joined by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, the state's chief fiscal watchdog. With hosts Ben Max and Maria Doulis, DiNapoli discusses his thus far unsuccessful efforts to reform the state's contracting processes in the wake of the $780 million bid-rigging scandal that broke last year with federal

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  • 34245950295 dc5da482b5 z

    Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City elected officials and independent watchdogs continue to voice concerns about the Department of Education’s transparency and contract procurement process. The issue became a flashpoint in the debate over mayoral control of New York City schools, which Albany lawmakers have yet to extend despite a June 30 expiration date. Like other powers over the schools, education-related contracting -- totaling billions of dollars per year -- has been

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  • 12331075774 34a53d8c6d z

    Council Member Helen Rosenthal (photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    The City Council’s Committee on Economic Development and the Committee on Contracts held a joint hearing on Thursday to discuss proposed legislation that would create a bill of rights for subcontractors working with the city.

    Intro.1615, sponsored by Council Members Laurie Cumbo,

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  • Cuomo Flanagan Heastie

    Flanagan, Cuomo, Heastie (photo: The Governor's Office)


    With just three scheduled days left in the legislative session and the corruption trial of several close associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo for their roles in a bid-rigging scandal scheduled to commence in October, the Legislature has yet to pass any meaningful legislation to prevent such abuses of the procurement process.

    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has introduced a comprehensive bill to address the issue, which is the basis for a Senate bill sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco, a

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  • Kaloyeros infrastructure

    Alain Kaloyeros in 2016 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    A coalition of budget and transparency watchdog groups are calling on the Legislature to pass, and for Governor Cuomo to sign, comprehensive “clean contracting” legislation in response to the bid-rigging scandal that rocked the state Capitol last year and continues to reverberate.

    Specifically, at a Wednesday press conference the groups called for restoration of reviewing powers to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for all state contracts exceeding $250,000, an end to non-academic

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  • de blasio council budget question

    Mayor & Council members announce budget deal (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)


    In the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s budget agreement between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council, a number of Council members decried what they said was underfunding of top Council priorities including summer youth employment, cultural institutions, libraries, senior services, and more. Consequently, the mayor conceded to most of those

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  • cuomo buffalo billion

    Gov. Cuomo in Buffalo (photo via The Governor's Office)


    As U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office issues a storm of subpoenas to the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo and his close associates in relation to the state’s Buffalo Billion economic development program, the governor and his aides have delivered a consistent message: the investigation targets the dealings of a few bad apples, the governor wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing and he wants to get to the bottom of the situation as quickly as possible.

    “I’ve said to all my people, and I’ve said to

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