Rosenthal Legislation Mandating Increased Scrutiny of Large City Capital Contracts Gets Public Hearing
City Council member Helen Rosenthal’s (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square) legislation requiring more thorough tracking of changes to large-scale capital contracts will be reviewed at a City Council Hearing today.
On Tuesday, the Council’s Contracts Committee will review Rosenthal’s legislation, Int 1238-A, which mandates additional reporting when modifications of 20% or more of the original value are made to capital contracts over $10 million.
The additional reporting will include detailed explanatory language, a requirement designed to hold both the contracting City agency and the vendor accountable. In order to further prevent delays, waste, and abuse, the bill also shines a light on vendors with multiple contracts who request large contract modifications.
The new documentation will appear in the Cost Overruns Report currently required by Local Law 18 of 2012. It will include a detailed accounting of the total number of proposals submitted to the City prior to its awarding of the contract under review, and whether the selected vendor had any other contracts with City agencies which were similarly delayed.
The measure also adds new disclosure requirements to the Local Law 18 “secondary report,” which would be triggered for any contract modifications that are at least 10% of the revised contract value, or are at least $10 million in size — whichever dollar figure is lower. The legislation also requires simultaneous disclosure to the City Council and the Comptroller for contracts that exceed their original maximum expenditures by 20% or more.
The hearing is slated for 1 p.m., today, April 16, at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.
Speaker Johnson Sends Condolences Following Fire At Notre Dame Cathedral
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) yesterday sent his sympathies to France and those in Paris following the devastating fire at Notre Dame cathedral.
On Monday, the 850-gothic cathedral was ravaged by a fire that lasted nearly 12 hours and collapsed the famed building’s spire, and tore through the roof of the iconic structure.
A “forest” of wooden latticework fueled the blaze which consumed the building’s roof, whose framework dates back to the 13th century, according to Msgr. Patrick Chauvet, the cathedral’s rector. The Paris Fire Brigade tweeted that the cathedral’s stone construction has been “saved,” as have the “main works of art.” As more information emerges, what has been rescued from Notre Dame is becoming apparent, according to initial reports.
“I am heartbroken to hear of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. This is a tragedy for not just the French people, but many faithful Christians at the start of Holy Week. On behalf of all of the City Council, we extend our deepest condolences to France,” said Johnson.
Gillibrand Legislation Would Update First Responders Federal Benefits
U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) yesterday announced bipartisan legislation to update the first responders federal benefits program so that first responders and their families can receive the full benefits they deserve.
The Protecting America’s First Responders Act would allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to change the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program, which provides death benefits to the survivors of officers who die or are disabled in the line of duty, so that awards are calculated based on the date of award, regardless of the date of injury.
This legislation would help ensure that 9/11 first responders and their families, who are currently considered “injured” on September 11, 2001, can receive the current allocated amount of funding.
“Our first responders have a dangerous job and they take extraordinary risks to keep the rest of us safe. When tragedy strikes and a first responder loses their life or becomes disabled because of their heroic work, Congress has a responsibility to look out for their family in return,” said Gillibrand. “I am proud to join Senator Grassley in introducing the bipartisan Protecting America’s First Responders Act. This bill would make sure that the families of our fallen 9/11 heroes and so many other brave first responders are receiving compensation from the government that reflects what they and their children need. I urge my colleagues to do the right thing, fight with me for our first responders, and quickly pass this bipartisan bill.”
Brewer Applauds De Blasio Appointment To Protect Tenants
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer (D) yesterday applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio appointment of Jackie Bray as Director of The Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants.
Bray currently serves as the First Deputy Commissioner at the New York City Department of Homeless Services. The Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants will spearhead the City’s anti-harassment initiatives, enhance interagency enforcement and closely engage with tenants and advocates.
The office will:
- Serve as central point of contact for advocacy groups and tenants to raise issues and get results from agencies
- Lead policy development to strengthen tenant protections and better target problematic buildings and owners
- Bring government and advocate task forces together to address challenges
- Convene and coordinate activities of key city agencies including Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Department of Buildings, Human Resources Administration, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, Law Department, Department of Finance, Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, the Commission on Human Rights, and the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics
- Strengthen the Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force
- Track outreach efforts across agencies and metrics at a building and neighborhood level
“Jackie Bray has had a thankless job and has done it with intelligence and grace,” said Brewer. “She has represented her homeless clients ably and has worked hard to address community concerns as New York City has moved to shelter its homeless population. I believe she will be a fierce tenant advocate and I look forward to working with her in her new position.”
Gottfried Applauds Cuomo Investment Combatting Maternal Mortality & Racial Disparities
Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Murray Hill, Midtown, part of the Lincoln Center), yesterday applauded Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement that in the Enacted 2019-20 Budget was the inclusion of an $8 million investment to support initiatives recommended over the last year by the New York State Taskforce on Maternal Mortality and Disparate Racial Outcomes.
The announcement comes during Black Maternal Health Week, which the Black Mamas Matter Alliance created. The alliance is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance to advocate for Black maternal health, rights and justice. Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17) is an opportunity to engage in the national conversation on Black maternal health policy, research and the reproductive and birth justice movements.
“New York’s maternal mortality rates are higher than they should be, with glaring racial disparities that must be addressed,” said Gottfried. “Expanding access to maternal health professionals, improving provider training, and ensuring comprehensive data collection are important steps towards fixing this critical problem.”