Back in May, City Limits reported that the the de Blasio administration was hoping the third time is the charm when it comes to getting Albany to ease contracting rules so more minority- and women-owned firms can get city work.
When it comes to the Assembly and Senate, the hope was fulfilled: Both legislative houses have passed a law that would increase from $20,000 to $150,000 the threshold above which the city would have to use a formal competitive process when awarding contracts to certified MWBE firms. That’s lower than the $200,000 floor the city wanted and the state currently uses, but still a significant boost, according to the de Blasio administration.
Administration sources say the change will simplify the complicated bidding process that has discouraged MWBEs for applying for contracts with the City. It will also allow the city to consider a firm’s MWBE status, and its labor and safety record, in determining which contractors offer best value.
The bill passed the Senate on June 20 by a vote of 62 to 1, with Republican John DeFrancisco as the only dissenter. The Assembly passed it a day later. It was delivered to Gov. Cuomo’s desk in late December and signed on the last Friday of the year.
The change was a major goal of Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, who is leaving the administration.