Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Inspector General Brian Noone today announced plans to enhance background checks on vendors bidding for Town work. Under this initiative designed to protect the taxpaying public, the Town will retain the services of Exiger – a global regulatory risk, compliance and technology company – to automate and integrate a user-friendly monitoring and reporting platform for all vendor data of concern.
Supervisor Saladino stated, “An essential element of awarding public contracts is ensuring that the Town of Oyster Bay does business only with responsible, reputable vendors that have both the ability to perform the required work and the integrity to receive public tax dollars to perform those functions. As a result of our mandate to the Inspector General to strengthen oversight, these actions will expand the Town’s access to municipal and state electronic systems to verify bidders on a daily basis in determining their continued legal standing, thus protecting taxpayers and the integrity, standardization and professionalism of our monitoring and compliance systems.”
To retain these services and achieve these enhanced background checks, a Request-For-Proposals (RFP) was issued earlier this year seeking automated vendor monitoring services that screen current and future vendors for: licenses; bankruptcies; debarments; violations; investigations; indictments; convictions; lawsuits; public liens; environmental issues; labor practice issues; corporate parents; ownership; affiliates; principals; conflicts of interest; contract cancellations; non-responsibility determinations; and other adverse information and reporting. The RFP required responsible bidders to gather, analyze, and report data in real-time to support accurate assessments of individual vendors, networks of related entities and/or individuals, and information within and/or between industries. Bid responses were reviewed by an RFP committee – independent of the Inspector General and Supervisor – and Exiger was selected by the committee. On Tuesday, August 20, the Town Board approved a contract with the company for these services.
Inspector General Noone added, “The Town currently collects vendor data through paper-based questionnaires. We are automating the process to retrieve data intelligence collected from relevant public databases to assess and monitor current and future vendors.”
Under enhanced vendor disclosure requirements created by the Saladino administration in 2018, the Town of Oyster Bay requires vendors to provide information regarding the above areas of potential concern to determine whether the vendor is suitably responsible to be awarded the contract. Subsequent to award, the vendor is obligated to notify the Town whenever new circumstances arise that constitute a material change in the vendor’s disclosures to the Town.
Town Councilman Steve Labriola added, “These enhanced measures help ensure that the Town is awarding contracts and doing business with fully-vetted vendors. I am proud to have worked with Supervisor Saladino and the Inspector General to automate the background check process, analysis, and reporting functions, which will be of significant benefit to the Town in terms of staff time and costs, as well as add a layer of protection for taxpayers.”