Photo Courtesy of Comptroller Stringer’s Office
Stringer spoke about the report and plan over the weekend on Rockaway Beach.
By Forum Staff
City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Saturday released a new report and seven-point plan that he said will save taxpayer dollars, prevent price-gouging on contracts, and ensure that New Yorkers get the help they deserve after an emergency.
According to Stringer, the report, “Fiscal Resiliency: Reforming New York City’s Emergency Procurement System before the Next Storm,” recommends ways to leverage the purchasing power of the City, negotiate costs in advance, and reform emergency procurement.
Stringer said his seven-point plan addresses several of the challenges which arose from the City’s response to Superstorm Sandy five years ago:
Develop and publish a citywide procurement plan: By planning ahead for emergency needs, the City can build capacity to respond to disasters through normal, competitive procurements. The emergency contracting plan should draw on the expertise of multiple agencies and should extend beyond basic items such as water and blankets to more difficult procurements like social services, telecommunication, construction, transportation, and temporary office space, and housing.
Develop a more robust catalogue of requirements or ‘on-call’ contracts: Specifically, there must be a catalogue of on-call contracts for the procurement of emergency goods and services that the City can access in the event of an emergency. On-call contracts allow the City to pre-negotiate rates for specific goods and services that could be needed in an emergency, creating a more cost-effective and reliable pipeline of help in advance of any disaster.
Include “Emergency Contract Riders” – or emergency-specific provisions – allowing access to select services under existing citywide contracts to be activated in an emergency situation: Such language would allow the City the flexibility to access goods and services from existing contracts and a universe of proven responsive and responsible vendors in an emergency.
Learn from complications arising from the City’s Rapid Repairs program and develop an improved model for a home repair program that can be launched when disaster strikes: The City should create a framework for a future home repair program, including model contracts which can be bid out in the immediate aftermath of a storm or disaster, to avoid some of the confusion around billing that came to define the City’s Rapid Repairs program in the months and years after the storm. By memorializing contract terms, scope of work, program requirements, and oversight authority ahead of an emergency, the City can guard against poor-quality work, delayed payments to vendors, and disagreements over billing.
Cooperate more efficiently on the state,