Big Nitty Gritty Transparency Step for NYC: First city to report payments to subcontractors

March 19, 2013

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Comptroller John C. Liu and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that New York City will become the first municipality in the country to establish a comprehensive subcontracting database and publicly report payments made by prime contractors to subcontractors, which will greatly enhance the City’s – and the public’s – ability to monitor billions of dollars worth of contract activity. The new reforms will also strengthen the City’s capacity to detect and address potentially fraudulent billing practices, further ensure the timeliness of payments from contractors to subcontractors and more seamlessly track the utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses on subcontracted City work. The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the Comptroller’s Office have been working on this subcontracting initiative for more than a year, and recently began a pilot program with vendors serving as initial testers.

“Congratulations to Mayor Bloomberg and Controller Liu,” said John Kaehny, Executive Director of Reinvent Albany and Co-Chair of the NYC Transparency Working Group. “Digitizing and reporting subcontractor payments is a huge leap forward in accountability and transparency. Though somewhat dry and esoteric, this new reporting system has big implications for reducing corruption and improving efficiency, and when fully in place, will make New York City one of the most fiscally transparent cities in the world. When the subcontractor data is put into the Checkbook NYC platform, it will become instantly available for the rest of government and the public to use.”