MINEOLA, NY—Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today signed an Executive Order implementing historic contract procurement reforms and putting new controls in place that take aim at ending contract related corruption in Nassau County. This is the fourth Executive Order signed by County Executive Curran that directly addresses and eliminates fraud and corruption in Nassau County government.
“Since my first day in office we have worked to clean up the mess my administration inherited; a mess that eroded public trust in government,” said Curran. “Simply put, Nassau County’s process for procuring outside contracts is flawed and time and again the public has seen arrests, indictments and trials all rooted in the fact that the contracting system is too easily manipulated. It has to stop.”
The County’s systems of internal control regarding the hiring of contractors should provide the residents of Nassau County with assurance that the county’s contracting policies are being enforced and administered in a manner that protects the taxpayers. County Executive Curran’s Executive Order Number Four establishes internal controls designed to assure that taxpayer money is safeguarded and used only for proper purposes.
“These policies must and will be followed to the letter,” said Curran.
As part of the reforms, Curran announced that current Director of Procurement Robert Cleary will be appointed as the Chief Procurement Officer. In addition, each department will have its procurement overseen by a Departmental Chief Contracting Officer who will report to Cleary. Contracts will then be reviewed and approved by Deputy County Executives to the departments they oversee.
To better track contracts moving through the county system a new electronic monitoring system will be expanded to include the tracking of solicitations, which is the step in the contract process most vulnerable to corruption. A new vendor database, will also be compiled.
Curran also announced that the county is working, with the cooperation of law enforcement, to ensure independent investigations into current contracts with HAKS and Dvirka & Bartilucci. Recently HAKS and D&B were named in a New York State indictment regarding work performed in New York City.
“Questions remain about HAKS and D&B but they are still providing important services to Nassau County through existing contracts,” said Curran. “We need to ensure that the job gets done and at the same time eliminate any questions about the procurement of their existing contracts.”
“Based on the discovery of potential conflicts the administration is also in discussions with representatives from contractor Nelson & Pope and negotiating an integrity monitoring agreement,” said Curran.
“If there are any issues discovered we have a plan for cancellation of any and all contracts held by HAKS, D&B or any contractor that is under indictment,” said Curran.
“We have conferred with Nassau DA Madeline Singas’ office regarding this review and certification, and provided the DA with an overview of our new procurement reforms,” said Curran. “The DA has agreed to make themselves available for further guidance.”
“It’s time to clean up the mess. We need to restore faith in this government and to do that the system has to be rebuilt from the ground up.”