Government Affairs Albany UpdateAugust 8, 2003
- Procurement Lobbying Guidance
- Transportation Committee Update
- Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)
- Systems Benefit Charge (SBC)
The Office of General Services has issued its formal guidelines for implementing Executive Order 127, which requires the disclosure of attempts to influence the awarding of state contracts. The Executive Order, issued on June 16, applies to procurement efforts that commence on or after August 14, 2003.
In summary, the Executive Order requires bidders to identify persons or organizations authorized to lobby contracting agencies on their behalf, and indicate whether they have been found to be in violation of this Executive Order within the previous five years. Affected state agencies are required to record information about persons contacting them in an attempt to influence procurement decisions, and determine whether bidders have been in compliance with the Executive Order.
Executive Order is available online at:
OGS guidelines are available on-line at:
The OGS guidelines are intended to assist both contracting agencies and potential bidders with compliance, and provides additional details regarding the scope and requirements of Executive Order 127. Key features include the following:
- the guidelines include a list of more than 150 agencies and authorities whose procurement efforts are subject to the Executive Order, although OGS cautions that this is not an exhaustive list, and that any other agency that meets the EO criteria (i.e., state agencies, the heads of which or one member of which is appointed by the Governor) is also subject to these requirements. (Note: you can only access this list on-line, through a link on page 4 of the guidance document. It does not appear in the printed document.) The EO applies to state agencies; CUNY, SUNY and their campuses; and a wide range of other state entities such as the Adirondack Park Agency , the State Ethics Commission, and the Office for Technology. Importantly, the EO does not apply to the Department of Law, the Office of the State Comptroller, or the State Education Department.
- the guidelines also include an illustrative, but not exhaustive list of procurement activities that are subject to the Executive Order, as well as a list of exempt procurements. Contracts under $15,000, or that by law must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder (e.g., contracts for public works and construction projects) are generally exempt. Real property transactions, where property is sold to the highest bidder at public auction, are also exempt.
- the document includes model forms that can be used by bidders to identify persons designated to advocate on their behalf, to indicate any prior "non-responsibility determinations, and to certify compliance with Executive Order 127 (this certification must be submitted along with formal bid documents.)
- the OGS document also states that individual agencies can establish procedures for contractors to make periodic submissions of the names of their designated procurement advocates, rather than requiring submission of this information with each procurement bid. However, OGS provides little in the way of specific guidelines on how these periodic submissions would work.
For additional information regarding implementation of the Executive Order or interpretation of these guidelines, you can contact the OGS Legal Services Bureau at 518-474-5607
Divisible Load Permits
The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform (GORR) have invited The Business Council to a meeting in early September to discuss administrative issue regarding divisible load permits. The Business Council, along with The New York State Motor Truck Association and several key member companies, have been working to alleviate these permit issues. We will update the members on the outcome of this meeting and on our continued discussion of superload and overweight permits.
I-87 Multimodal Corridor Study
At the request of Empire State Development, The Business Council has become a member of this study group designed to study and seek greater multimodal improvements on the I-87 corridor. The next meeting will be on August 12th in Albany.
Tappan Zee Bridge
The Business Council has recently been added to the Tappan Zee Bridge / I-287 Environmental Review list and will attend the upcoming meetings regarding this important New York Transportation project. For more information access: www.tzbsite.com/aboutstudy/index.html
"ISTEA Works in New York Coalition" will meet again after the Congress ends its summer session. For updates on ISTEA access: www.dot.state.ny.us/istea/index.html
The Quebec-New York Corridor Coalition. The coalition will meet at the New York State DOT on August 12th. The Business Council will continue to participate in this group as part of its U.S. Borders and Trade ad hoc committee.
The Business Council's Transportation committee will meet later this fall to review and compile its 2004 legislative agenda. In addition to on-going issues and updates, the committee is planning on spending a major part of the fall meeting focusing on issues in the railroad industry. A meeting date and time will be announced in the near future.
The Business Council is in the process of finalizing and submitting comments to the Public Service Commission (PSC) in Case 03-E-0188 - Proceeding on Motion of the Commission Regarding a Retail Renewable Portfolio Standard. This case has been commenced as a result of Executive Order 111, which requires that 25 percent of the state's electric power needs to be met through renewable sources within 10 years. The Business Council will be focusing its comments on two key areas: 1) enabling the PSC to classify renewables in the broadest possible manner and 2) insuring that the RPS does have an averse effect on the overall cost of electric power. Many member companies have contacted us regarding the filing re-enforcing these stipulations. Once comments have been perfected they will be submitted to the active party list and the PSC.
The Systems Benefit Charge Advisory Group met in marathon sessions on July 22 & 23 in NYSERDA's Albany offices. The Business Council has a seat on this Advisory Committee. The meetings were dedicated to reviewing progress to date, expenditures and plans for next three years for the SBC. NYSERDA has committed $663,762,270 of the $930,284,257 allotted by the PSC for the eight year program. The original three year program was re-authorized in 2001 and increased from approximately $78 million per year to $150 million per year. The current program will run through June, 2006. Currently, NYSERDA has committed 71% of the funding with 2 1/2 years left. These programs are funded by rate payers through a charge on their electricity bills. Some discussions were had regarding the timetable for possibly renewing the second phase of the SBC. Once more information is obtained on this it will be deceminated to the membership.