Construction Industry Council update

May 31, 2017
Johnny Evers

Business Council files Amicus Curiae for AGC in MWBE lawsuit

On May 25th The Business Council has submitted an Amicus Curiae brief in support of the Associated General Contractors of New York State, Inc. (AGC) in its Article 78 lawsuit against New York State regarding access to the records utilized by a number of state agencies in regards to MWBE issues on public works. The lawsuit argues that New York State, specifically the Dormitory Authority, Environmental Conservation, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Department of Transportation, and New York State Insurance Fund, have routinely denied access to the petitioner (AGC) to information used in agency determinations on the “specifications imposing specific New York State certified minority business enterprise (“MBE”) and women business enterprise (“WBE”)” participation goals on public works.  The AGC has filled multiple Freedom of Information (FOIL) requests only to be denied access to the information upon which decisions have been made regarding MWBE levels and requirements.

In filing the Amicus The Business Council supports AGC in its attempts to gather the information regarding MWBE levels at these agencies and the rationale for decisions being made in regards to compliance. Hundreds of millions of dollars in public construction is impacted by these decisions and full access to this information under FOIL would shed light on the rational for the decisions made regarding MWBE issues on public works, approval and denials of waivers, and the overall levels of MWBE participation on specific projects and in state-sponsored building programs overall.