Economic Development Contracts Changing in New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - For nearly a year, good government watchdog groups have been urging lawmakers in Albany to change how the state evaluates and awards contracts for economic development.

That push is heightened after nine were indicted on potential bid-rigging charges last year.

“The meeting went well, we’ve been in communication with the Comptroller about our priorities in terms of clean contracting,” Alex Camarda, Senior Policy Consultant Reinvent Albany, said.

A meeting with top officials in the New York Comptroller’s Office has good government watchdog group, Reinvent Albany, optimistic change will be around the corner.

“We were really talking about the particular components of the bill and how we can help move it forward in the legislature. It was productive and we think that’s important in terms of advancing the legislation.

The group stands behind a five-point plan that could change how the state approves future contracts, most importantly giving back power to the comptroller to see SUNY/CUNY contracts before a deal is final.

Measures to restore that power has seen movement in the Senate, passing through the finance committee, while nothing publicly has happened in the Assembly.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says talks are ongoing in his conference but have yet to discuss details with Senate Leader John Flanagan.

“It’s really incumbent on them to restore that public confidence and pass these common sense measures that will improve the system and reduce the likelihood of corruption,” Camarda said.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, Reinvent Albany is encouraged the ongoing talks will finally turn into action.

“I think you’re going to see movement in that regard shortly.”


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