Reforming contracting practices in New York to restore public trust.
Our democracy depends on strong enforcement of the laws that are meant to protect it — and us. Those who break the law must face real consequences to deter bad behavior. In September 2016, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, arrested high-level officials in the Governor’s office for rigging economic development contracts worth more than $780 million. Cities like Syracuse have been directly affected by that scandal.
Common Cause New York is working to enforce higher ethical standards in government as we build a democracy that truly works for all of us.
Common Cause New York has joined with Citizens Union, the Citizen Budget Commission, the Fiscal Policy Institute, the League of Women Voters, Reinvent Albany, and NYPIRG to offer five Clean Contracting Reforms:
- 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.
- Transfer responsibility for awarding all economic development awards to Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), and end awards by state non-profits and SUNY.
- Empower the comptroller to review and approve all state contracts over $250K.
- Prohibit state authorities, state corporations and state non-profits from doing business with their board members.
- 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.