At $43b in Contracts, NYC is One of the Largest US Contracting Cities: Report

By A Correspondent
From opening the doors for a homeless shelter to upgrading school facilities, the contract process is one critical way the City gets stuff done. (Pakistan Week photo)

New York City remains one of the largest contracting jurisdictions in the country, procuring $43.23 billion worth of goods, services, and construction, while also entering into revenue agreements worth $112.82 million in FY22, says the latest report on the city’s budget released on Jan 30th.

The annual report on the city’s contracting published by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander the annual report on the City’s contracting, said Comptroller’s office as well as agencies) registered 17,832 new procurement and revenue contracts in FY22. It provides a detailed overview by procurement method and agency of the contracts the City entered into in Fiscal Year 2022.

From opening the doors for a homeless shelter to upgrading school facilities, the contract process is one critical way the City gets stuff done. “Through contracts with vendors, City dollars lift our social services sector, create opportunity for our minority and women-owned businesses, and build essential infrastructure. Taking a 360 view of the last year’s contracts is an important step to ensure our procurement processes generate the best value for New Yorkers and reflect our ideals of fairness, integrity, and equity,” said Comptroller Brad Lander.

According to the report, the largest share of the City’s procurement by value in FY22 was contracted through competitive bidding methods, totaling $19.7 billion, designed to ensure quality goods and services and the best value for the City. Agencies may use limited or non-competitive procurement methods for circumstances when full competition is neither practical or possible, due to time, market, or legal constraints.

It said over 82% of the City’s FY22 procurement dollars went through less than 10 city agencies, with the Department of Education at the top of the list with multi-year agreements for food, classroom supplies, and bussing services. The ten largest contracts by procurement value include goods, services or construction that will be provided over the course of decades, including energy agreements and shelters that will run through the 2050s.

Across Fiscal Years 2020 to 2022, Mayoral agencies (primarily under the previous administration) used emergency executive authority to enact 886 new COVID-19 contracts, valuing $6.24 billion, relating to homeless shelters, emergency hotels, staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE), food, supplies, testing services, and ventilators. Additionally, the administration processed 774 contract modifications and 96 task orders since March 2020.

“I am immensely proud of our team for registering tens of thousands of contract actions in the last fiscal year with an eye towards integrity and opportunity,” said Charlette Hamamgian, Deputy Comptroller for Contracts and Procurement. “This last fiscal year’s registered contracts mean kids get transportation to school, dogs get parks to play in, and older adults get centers for community connection. New York’s contracting process is integral to many of our city’s most vital services and allows New Yorkers to thrive.”

Under the New York City Charter, the Comptroller’s office is responsible for reviewing and approving City contracts and agreements before they are legally effective. Once a contract arrives at the Comptroller’s office for registration, the office has up to 30 days to ensure that appropriate funds exist for the City to pay the vendors, confirm that the City agency followed the procurement rules, and to verify that there was no corruption in the decision-making process.

The Comptroller’s registration authority is separate and distinct from City agency decisions on how to provide contracted goods or services, selecting vendors and determining whether specific vendors are fit to contract with the City (unless the vendor is disbarred or corruption is found in the decision-making process). In addition to a share of new procurement and revenue contracts, the Comptroller’s office also registers contract modifications and task orders, which play a key role in keeping goods and services flowing.

The report includes a primer on City contracting, which provides an overview of the process and vendor selection methods. You can read the Annual Summary of Contracts Report here.

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