Access to City Contracting Information Now Available Online and through Public Access Center
New York, NY –Now information regarding the City’s $20 billion in contracts will be available for the public to inspect at an inspection terminal and online via a new public access platform, courtesy of a partnership between Contracts Committee Chair, Ben Kallos, Council Member Brad Lander and the Mayor’s Office of Contracts (MOCS).
A computerized system designed for tracking information within City contracts and vendors doing business with the City, was created by legislation authored by then City Council Contracts Committee Chair, U.S Congress Member Carolyn Maloney.
Local Law 52 of 1987 was enacted as part of the City Council’s effort to ensure that City contracts go only to responsible vendors and that the City obtain the highest quality and quantity of goods and services.
Maloney’s legislation required a public inspection terminal, which has been available for the past 30 years. When Council Member Kallos became Contracts Chair in May of 2019 one of the first issues he championed was upgrading the Public Access Center to retire data from the City’s legacy VENDEX system and replace it with information from PASSPort, the City’s new Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal. Council Member Kallos worked with MOCS over the past 9 months to upgrade the Center.
During that same time, Council Member Kallos also recognized that Local Law 76-2017, which is sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander and requires that the public inspection terminal be available online, would require a similar effort. Kallos and Lander worked together with MOCS to develop an online platform for accessing information on the City’s contracts, which is now available on the MOCS website.
Now, every single resident of the City of New York and members of the press can use the new PASSPort terminal at 253 Broadway to access information on City contracts without appointment.
“Capturing and sharing reliable procurement data helps the City make smart, strategic decisions and improves service delivery and outcomes for New Yorkers. PASSPort has already made it easier for over 14,000 vendors to directly file disclosure information. In future releases, PASSPort will fully digitize the procurement process and achieve greater transparency into the process for vendors, agencies, and the public,” said Dan Symon, New York City’s Chief Contracting Officer and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. “Maintaining this Public Access Center and online viewing platform exemplifies MOCS’ commitment to transparency, efficiency, and the reliability of contracting information relevant to the public.”
Brandon Chiazza, Chief Technology Officer for MOCS, also offered that “The transparency enabled by reports we publish strengthens public confidence in the work we do and helps partners actively engage in efforts to transform procurement.”
“I want to know how every single dollar of taxpayer dollars is being spent and whether it's coming to the public inspection terminal or searching online, every New Yorker has that right,” said Councilmember Ben Kallos, Contracts Committee Chair. “Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and the Mayor's Office of Contract Services Director Dan Symon, for this collaboration and Councilmember Brad lander for this visionary legislation.”
“Bringing our public contracts into public view is a critical piece of building trust and accountability in local government. When the public inspection terminal and online database of city contracts go live, individuals, watchdog groups, journalists, and oversight officials will gain new access and insight into how public funds are being spent. This kind of transparency is essential to ensuring both confidence and participation in local democracy,” said Council Member Brad Lander.
“I’ve always believed that transparency and accountability in City contracts is critically important to building trust in local government. That’s why, when I was Chair of the City Council Contract Committee, I authored and passed legislation to track City contracts and vendors. I’m so glad access to City contracts will now be available to the public online, which will undoubtedly increase transparency and encourage civic participation,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12).