June 17, 2003
Governor orders disclosure of lobbying in state procurement efforts
State agencies and public authorities must track lobbying efforts by those seeking state contracts under a new executive order announced June 15 by Governor George Pataki.
The Business Council is evaluating the executive order to determine its likely effects on members that sell goods and services to New York State.
Under the "procurement executive order," bids submitted to state agencies and authorities must include names of anyone who will contact the agency or authority on the bidder's behalf. Persons or subcontractors later retained must also be identified to the agency or authority in writing. Agencies are not required to learn how much advocates are being paid.
State entities must get the same information when anyone not listed in bid documents contacts the agency about a pending procurement. And state entities must also keep public records on anyone advocating on a particular procurement, including whether the advocate has a financial interest in the procurement.
The rules apply to all contracts with estimated value of $15,000 or more, except those that must go to the lowest responsible bidder.
Compliance with the order will be a factor in the awarding of bids, and contracts will be awarded to vendors that fail to comply only if the award is deemed "in the best interests of the state." Failures to comply will be considered by the state in future procurements.
State employees who fail to comply are subject to discipline and potential referral to the state Inspector General and the state Ethics Commission.
The state state Office of General Services (OGS) must develop within 45 days detailed guidelines to help agencies and authorities implement the order, and the order will apply to any contracts let beginning 60 days after the June 15.