MINEOLA, NY—Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today announced an executive order establishing a zero-tolerance policy for gift-giving between vendors and county employees and introduced a new administrative program to promote standards of ethical contracting within the procurement process.
“Nassau county government has been plagued by a culture of corruption and favoritism due to a lack of controls on the county’s contracting and procurement,” said County Executive Curran. “No longer is that the case in Nassau County. My administration is dedicated to promoting a culture of transparency and accountability, free of corruption and fraud.”
County Executive Curran’s order applies to county employees who participate in the contracting and procurement process and prohibits vendors, their representative, or representative association from giving gifts of any value, including meals, holiday gifts, holiday baskets, gift cards, tickets to golf outings, tickets to sporting events, currency of any kind, or anything of value to either to a Nassau County employee, or a member of their family.
“There’s an old saying that ‘business gets done on the golf course.’ Today we say, not in Nassau County. Not anymore,” said Curran.
As part of a broader contracting reform package, Curran also introduced several administrative measures to establish ethical standards and transparency within the contracting process itself. Such measures include the immediate mandating of annual compliance training to be required of all contracting officers.
The reforms also end a prior policy of having only one person at the executive level approve contracts going through the system. Instead, it relies on the Deputy County Executive management structure put in place by County Executive Curran.
“One person should not have the decision-making power,” said Curran. “My administration’s management structure eliminates that possibility.”
As part of the countywide reorganization of contract and procurement procedures Deputy County Executive for Compliance John Chiara will also oversee the integration of reverse online auctions to achieve across-the-board savings and identify solicitations where the county is likely to achieve cost reductions.
“These measures, taken together, serve as another level of checks and balances on a county contracting and procurement process that oversees more than $1.3 billion in annual contracts,” Curran said.