Nassau County Executive Laura Curran signed an Executive Order that implemented contract procurement reforms and put new controls in place designed to end perceived contract-related manipulation in Nassau County. This is the fourth Executive Order signed by County Executive Curran seen as directly addressing – and eliminating – both fraud and the manipulation of contracts for partisan purposes in Nassau County government.
“Since my first day in office we have worked to clean up the mess my administration has inherited that has eroded public trust in its government,” said County Executive Curran in a prepared statement. “Simply put, Nassau County’s process for procuring outside contracts is flawed and time and again the public has seen arrests, indictments and trials all rooted in the fact that the contracting system is too easily manipulated. It has to stop.”
Former County Executive Edward Mangano awaits a jury’s decision over the fate of his trial that alleges he provided, in his capacity as County Executive, restaurateur Harrender Singh with favored no-bid contracts over other county vendors.
Also, indicted former Deputy County Executive Robert Walker also awaits a court date for a trial on allegations he lied to authorities about payments he received from a vendor.
As part of the reforms, County Executive Curran announced that current Director of Procurement Robert Cleary will be appointed as the Chief Procurement Officer. In addition, each department will have its procurement overseen by a Departmental Chief Contracting Officer who will report to Cleary. Contracts will then be reviewed and approved by deputy county executives to the departments they oversee.
To better track contracts moving through the county system a new electronic monitoring system will be expanded to include the tracking of solicitations, which is the step in the contract process most vulnerable to corruption. A new vendor database, will also be compiled.
“We have conferred with Nassau DA Madeline Singas’ office regarding this overview of our new procurement reforms,” concluded County Executive Curran. “The DA has agreed to make the office available for further guidance.”