Close to $2 Billion in public funds in play
Today’s sweeping indictments by federal and state prosecutors resoundingly confirm that the state’s use of non-profits and SUNY to award billions in state economic development contracts has created huge and systemic opportunities for corruption.
These indictments shine a light on a broken and corrupt system, not a few bad apples. It is a recipe for disaster to allow billions in state funds to be contracted through state controlled non-profits, including SUNY Poly, Fort Schuyler/Fuller Road Management and SUNY Research Foundation – all of which are exempt from the bidding rules for state agencies, and exist in a deliberately designed legal gray area of non-accountability.
Major reforms are needed, and we call for:
- Immediate freeze on new economic development activity by SUNY Poly, Fort Schuyler/Fuller Road Management Corp.;
- Phase-out of use of state controlled non-profits and SUNY as conduits for economic development funds;
- Use of uniform contract award process by state agencies, authorities, SUNY, and all state controlled non-profits;
- “Pay to play” controls which cap contributions from people doing business with New York State entities;
- Creation of “Database of Deals” which clearly reports and provides data for all state subsidies and contracts to a given business;
- Pre-contract review by the State Comptroller of contracts issued by all state entities, including all SUNY, all state non-profits and all state authorities.