MINEOLA, NY –Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today unveiled Nassau County’s latest initiatives to become more business-friendly and to promote transparency, efficiency, and integrity throughout the county’s business procurement process.
Today’s initiatives include:
The Vendor Portal is a new county website for vendor submissions and information. The portal includes a Vendor Integrity Database similar to New York City’s PASSPort database. The new system will collect vendor disclosure information electronically, eliminating common submission errors, improving efficiency, and allowing for analysis and cross-referencing of vendor integrity data.
“The new portal will modernize our system and make us more business-friendly,” said Curran. “We want to encourage companies to do business with Nassau County and these efforts open Nassau County to new business and make it easier for current vendors.”
Recently, the Nassau County Compliance Department held eight trainings for 164 people representing 99 not-for-profit vendors. Vendor training opportunities, including how to register and file different disclosure forms, will be expanded to all business.
Future plans for the Vendor Portal include a claims submission process, contract warehouse, vendor FAQs, and a library of policies, forms and other commonly-required vendor information. This will allow vendors to track their paperwork and information on the procurement process.
“We look forward to offering even more to Nassau’s businesses in the coming months,” said Curran.
Also today, County Executive Curran signed into law an ordinance to eliminate the $125 annual vendor registration fee. “The elimination of the annual vendor registration fee is consistent with my administration’s on-going efforts to make the procurement process more transparent, efficient, competitive and inclusive,” said Curran.
The fee elimination ordinance was submitted by the County Attorney’s Office on August 28, 2018 and was passed unanimously by the Nassau County Legislature on September 26, 2018. The fee has been imposed by the county since 2014 and was mandatory for all vendors interested in viewing county procurement opportunities--even if they were never selected to participate in a county contract.
The vendor fee greatly diminished the interest of vendors in even bidding on county contracts, thereby reducing the competitiveness of county procurements. The fee was identified as a barrier to entry by small businesses, particularly Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE). By eliminating the fee, the county will spur competition for county contracts.
Curran’s amendment accounts for lost revenue from the registration fee elimination by instituting an administrative services charge to cover contracts and purchase orders that are competitively solicited and awarded by the Commissioner of Shared Services. This cost-neutral practice is an expansion of a 2006 ordinance that charged a processing fee for personal services contracts.
The charges will start at $160.00 and be based on a progressive scale based on the value of the contract award. However, no charges will be incurred unless the contract or purchase order has a value of over $10,000. Approximately seventy percent of purchase orders are less than $10,000.
“We have heard the concerns from the business community and our goal is to advance and promote economic opportunities for all businesses,” said Curran.