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Procurement Lobbying Legislation State Finance Law Provisions. February 2, 2006. What is the Procurement Lobbying Law?. Two separate amendments in Chapter 1 of the Laws of 2005, amended by Chapter 596 of the Laws of 2005

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Procurement lobbying legislation state finance law provisions l.jpg

Procurement Lobbying LegislationState Finance Law Provisions

February 2, 2006


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What is the Procurement Lobbying Law?

Two separate amendments in Chapter 1 of the

Laws of 2005, amended by Chapter 596 of the

Laws of 2005

  • Legislative Law – interpreted and enforced by the NYS Temporary Commission on Lobbying

    • also establishes Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying

    • State Finance Law §139-j and §139-k – addresses actions of governmental entities and the business community


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The Purpose of the Procurement Lobbying Law (cont.)

  • Builds on the pre-existing requirements governing procurement activities, such as State Finance Law Articles 9 and 11, the Freedom of Information Law, the Open Meeting Law, Public Officers Law Code of Conduct and Executive Order Number 127

  • Formalizes practices already in place documenting the procurement process and clarifies responsibilities and expectations when expending public funds


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The Purpose of the Procurement Lobbying Law (cont.)

  • Reemphasizes the values of the government procurement process described in State Finance Law.

    • Prudent use of public money

    • Efficient and timely acquisitions of commodities and services

    • Highest quality purchases at the lowest practicable cost

    • Emphasis on open, transparent, and fair procurement process


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The Purpose of the Procurement Lobbying Law (cont.)

  • The new statutory requirements supplement the obligations under Executive Order Number 127

  • Covered entities, such as State agencies, will need to comply with both sets of requirements

  • Be mindful of the differences between the two requirements


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The Purpose of the Procurement Lobbying Law (cont)

  • While both use a threshold of $15,000 annualized value, EO 127 only applies to contracts awarded on basis other than lowest responsible price

  • EO 127 requirements are triggered earlier in the process

  • SFL regulates who can receive certain communications

  • Differences in the records to be maintained


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What are the SFL Changes?

  • Obligates Governmental Entities and Offerers to undertake specific actions as part of the procurement process

  • Sets forth specific requirements regarding communications during the procurement process

  • Establishes specific contractual requirements

  • Imposes new consequences if Offerers have impermissible communications


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What are the SFL Changes? (cont.)

  • Record of Contact - Requires disclosure by officials and employees of communications that attempt to influence a procurement

  • Impermissible contacts or providing inaccurate or untruthful certification may result in a finding of non-responsibility and debarment of the Offerer from state contracts for four years


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The Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying

  • Created by Legislative Law §1-t

  • Eleven members, chaired by Office of General Services

  • Three general obligations of Council

    • Reports

    • Guidance

    • Advice to Lobbying Commission on procurement lobbying


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The Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying (cont.)

  • Reports

    • Preliminary report due December 31, 2005 on potential implementation issues regarding those provisions that take effect January 1, 2006.

    • Annual report to Legislature on problems in implementing the provisions relating to procurement lobbying and including recommendations to increase effectiveness.

    • Second report due October 30, 2007 on potential changes to Procurement Lobbying provisions.


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The Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying (cont)

  • Guidance on the State Finance Law provisions

    • Authorized to establish model guidelines for permissible contacts during the “restricted period”

    • Developed model forms and language for implementation of and compliance with the State Finance Law


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The Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying (cont.)

  • Guidance developed by the Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying, and other materials, are present on the internet at

    http://www.ogs.state.ny.us/aboutOgs/

    regulations/defaultAdvisoryCouncil.html


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The Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying (cont.)

  • Provide advice to Lobbying Commission on Procurement Lobbying


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Applicability of State Finance Law Provisions

  • Every State Agency

  • Public Authorities of which at least one member is appointed by the Governor

  • Unified Court System

  • Legislature

  • Certain Industrial Development Agencies

  • Public Benefit Corporations


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Types of Contracts Subject to the Law

  • Construction

  • Procurement (commodities, services and technology)

  • Real Estate (Purchase, Sale, Lease of Real Property including interest therein.)

  • Certain Revenue Contracts

  • Assignments, renewals, extensions and certain amendments

    When the estimated annualized expenditure will

    exceed $15,000


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Types of Contracts Subject to the Law (cont)

  • Definition of Procurement Contract expressly exempts the following

    • Grants

    • SFL Article 11-B contracts

    • Intergovernmental agreements

    • Railroad and utility force accounts

    • Utility relocation agreements

    • Eminent domain transactions


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State Finance Law Provisions

  • General Rule is:

    • State Finance Law restricts and directs communications by Offerers with government entities about procurement contracts

    • However, it also recognizes that some communications are necessary to the conduct of government procurement


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law

  • Restricted Period:

    • Represents the time period from the earliest solicitation of a proposal to the final approval of the contract

    • Start point differs based on the nature of the contract. For example, with a single source contract it appears to start when the Governmental Entity asks for a proposal


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law (cont.)

  • During the Restricted Period, the Offerer is limited in whom it can communication with in an attempt to influence the procurement

  • It is only within the Restricted Period that a prohibited communication can take place

  • Restricted Period ends when the contract receives all the necessary approvals


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law (cont.)

  • Contact

    • oral, written or electronic communication with governmental entity under circumstances where a reasonable person would infer that the communication was intended to influence the governmental procurement


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law (cont.)

  • Number of factors to consider

    • “Reasonable person” standard

    • Consider totality of the circumstance


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law (cont.)

  • Factual exchanges of information are generally not Contacts

    • When is the bid due?

    • Where is the bid due?

    • I am missing pages 38 – 47 from the RFP. Can you please send to me?


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law (cont.)

  • Communications that a reasonable person would probably consider an attempt to influence

    • You should award the bid to my company because …

    • You shouldn’t award the contract to Company X because …


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law (cont.)

  • Designated Contact

    • SFL requires the Governmental Entity to identify a person or persons who may be contacted by Offerers about a procurement

    • The Designated Contact may receive all communications from Offerers, including attempts to influence

    • Communications to Designated Contact are limited by Public Officers Law and Penal Law (ie., bribery)


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law (cont.)

  • There can be more than one designated contact for a procurement

  • Best practice would be to have at least two designated contacts to facilitate responsiveness to the Offerers


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Most Important Definitions in State Finance Law (cont.)

  • Permissible Subject Matter Contacts - State Finance Law §139-j(3)(a) recognizes a specific series of communications and contacts that can go to other than the Designated Contacts

  • Important that Offerer’s Contacts be limited to the specific subject matter


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Permissible Subject Matter Contacts - #1

  • The submission of written proposals in response to a request for proposals, invitation for bids or any other method for soliciting a response from offerers intending to result in a procurement contract.


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Permissible Subject Matter Contacts - #2

  • The submission of written questions to a designated contact set forth in a request for proposals, or invitation for bids, or any other method for soliciting a response from offerers intending to result in a procurement contract, when all written questions and responses are to be disseminated to all offerers who have expressed an interest in the request for proposals, or invitation for bids, or any other method for soliciting a response from offerers intending to result in a procurement contract.


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Permissible Subject Matter Contacts - #3

  • Participation in a conference provided for in a request for proposals, invitation for bids, or any other method for soliciting a response from offerers intending to result in the procurement contract.

    • Appears that term “conference” can be broadly interpreted to include all types of pre-proposal activities that are provided for under a written solicitation


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Permissible Subject Matter Contacts - #4

  • Complaints by an Offerer regarding the failure of the person or persons designated by the procuring governmental entity pursuant to this section to respond in a timely manner to authorized Offerer contacts made in writing to the office of general counsel of the procuring governmental entity, provided that any such written complaints shall become a part of the procurement record.


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Permissible Subject Matter Contacts - #5

  • Offerers who have been tentatively awarded a contract and are engaged in communication with a governmental entity solely for the purpose of negotiating the terms of the procurement contract after being notified of tentative award.

    • Additional personnel can be involved in the negotiation process


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Permissible Subject Matter Contacts - #6

  • Contacts between designated governmental entity staff of the procuring governmental entity and an Offerer to request the review of a procurement contract award.

    • Debriefing are covered by this category


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Permissible Subject Matter Contacts #7 (a) – (d)

  • Contacts by offerers in protests, appeals or other review proceedings (including the apparent successful bidder or proposer and his or her representatives) before the governmental entity conducting the procurement seeking a final administrative determination, or in a subsequent judicial proceeding.

  • Complaints of alleged improper conduct in a governmental procurement to the attorney general, inspector general, district attorney, or court of competent jurisdiction.


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Permissible Subject Matter Contacts - #7 (a) – (d) (cont.)

  • Written protests, appeals or complaints to the state comptroller’s office during the process of contract approval, where the state comptroller’s approval is required by law, and where such communications and any response thereto are made in writing and shall be entered in the procurement record pursuant to section one hundred sixty-three of the state finance law.

  • Complaints of alleged improper conduct in a governmental procurement conducted by a municipal agency or local legislative body to the state comptroller’s office


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Impact on Offerers

  • Offerer is limited on who can be Contacted about specific topics

    • Designated Contacts – communications and Contacts okay

    • Permissible Subject Matter Contacts – only the specific subject matter


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Impact on Offerers (cont.)

Cannot Contact other entities unless falls

within one of the permissible subject matter

(SFL §139-j(4))

  • For example, okay to file written protest or complaint with OSC, but not to otherwise contact

  • Cannot Contact DOB to complain about a procurement


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Impact on Offerers (cont.)

  • However, statute does permit Offerer to contact Legislature about governmental procurements (unless Legislature is conducting the procurement) and the Legislature may contact the procuring agency (in its official capacity)


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Impact on Offerers (cont.)

  • Offerer shall not attempt to influence the governmental procurement in a manner that would result in a violation or an attempted violation of Public Officers Law sections 73 or 74 (or equivalent law)


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Impact on Offerers (cont.)

  • Offerer must provide written affirmation on understanding of and agreement to an agency’s policy on permissible contacts

  • Offerer must disclose additional information about prior findings of non-responsibility


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Impact on Offerers (cont.)

  • Offerer must certify that the information provided under SFL section 139-k is complete, true and accurate

  • Offerer must agree to the inclusion of specific termination clause in contract


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Consequences to Offerer

  • Failure to timely disclose accurate and complete information equals no award.

  • Failure to cooperate equals no award.

  • Finding of non-responsibility equals no award and the Offerer is listed on the OGS maintained list of bidders determined to be non-responsible under this statute.


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Consequences to Offerer (cont.)

  • If there is a finding that an Offerer knowingly and willfully violated the requirements about permissible contacts, no award

  • This determination can only be made after Offerer is given reasonable notice that an investigation is ongoing and an opportunity to be heard


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Consequences to Offerer (cont)

  • Second finding of non-responsibility equals debarment absent compelling governmental interest (public property, public health or safety) and sole source status

  • Offerer is listed on the OGS maintained list of bidders debarred sue to violations of this statute


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Agency Obligations

  • Designate Contact Person or Persons

  • Incorporate the required information into your procurement process (both competitive and noncompetitive)

  • Establish the necessary policies and procedures regarding permissible contacts, and the reporting of possible violations of the permissible contacts requirements.

  • Record Contact and file in Procurement Record.


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Agency Obligations (cont.)

  • Establish a process for reviewing and investigating allegations of violations of the permissible contacts requirements and imposition of sanctions

  • Notify OGS about all determinations of non-responsibility or debarment under this statute


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Agency Obligations (cont.)

  • Record all Contacts (including the permissible subject matter contacts)

  • Place in Procurement Record

  • Determine if the Contact must be reported for investigation as a violation of the permissible contacts requirements


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Agency Obligations (cont.)

  • Whether a Contact must be reported for investigation depends on the role in the procurement

  • Brief review of the major possible roles


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Agency Roles During a Restricted Period

  • Designated Contact(s) – those employees specifically named to receive all communications from the Offerers during the Restricted Period

  • Permissible subject matter contacts – those employees who may receive only specific subject matter communications during Restricted Period

  • All other employees – may only receive factual inquiries (not Contacts)

  • Control agency contacts – only may receive specific subject matter communications during the restricted period


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Reporting of Contacts

  • Designated Contact – would only need to report a Contact that was in violation of Public Officers Law or Penal Law (ie., bribery)

  • A Record of Contact by a Designated Contact is filed in the Procurement Record


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Reporting of Contacts (cont.)

  • Permissible Subject Matter Contacts – must report any Contact that is outside of the specific subject matter

  • A Record of Contact by a Permissible Subject Matter Contact must be filed in the Procurement Record maintained by the Procuring Agency


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Reporting of Contacts (cont.)

  • All Other Employees of the Procuring Governmental Entity – report all Contacts

  • The Record of Contact must be filed in the Procurement Record


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Reporting of Contacts (cont.)

  • Control agency or other non-procuring agency communications

    • SFL section 139-j(3) specifies limited instances when a control agency or other agency can be Contacted during the Restricted Period

    • If the Contact is not within the permissible subject matter area, the Contact must be immediately reported to the official at that agency responsible for investigations


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Reporting of Contacts (cont.)

  • Such official shall in turn notify the ethics officer, IG or other official at the procuring agency that is responsible for reviewing or investigating, who shall conduct an investigation

  • The Record of Contact must be filed in the Procurement Record maintained by the Procuring Agency


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Example of Restricted Period for a Competitively Bid State Agency Contract

Restricted Period

(limits who can

receive communications)

Approval of

contract

by OSC

Definition of

business need

Ad in Contract

Reporter


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Example of Restricted Period for a Competitively Bid State Agency Contract (cont.)

For example, certain

amendments will

trigger a new

restricted period

(no restricted period)

Contract administration

(no restricted period)

New restricted

period

Approval

by OSC


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Draft Model Language and Forms

  • The Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying recently approved the posting of draft model language and forms to comply with the new State Finance Law requirements.

  • Available at http://www.ogs.state.ny.us/aboutogs/regulations/ AdvisoryCouncil/ModelLang.html.


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Summary of Policy Included in Solicitation

  • State Finance Law §139-j(6) requires that a Governmental Entity incorporate a summary of its policy and prohibitions regarding permissible contacts during a covered procurement. Draft model language provides an outline of narrative that can be customized for inclusion in a solicitation.


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Draft Model Affirmation

  • Offerer affirms that it understands and agrees to comply with the procedures of the Government Entity relative to permissible contacts as required by State Finance Law §139-j (3) and §139-j (6) (b).


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Draft Model Certification

  • It is recommended that the certification be obtained as early as possible in the process, such as when an Offerer submits its proposal, bid or other form of offer.

  • Example language: I certify that all information provided to the Governmental Entity with respect to State Finance Law §139-k is complete, true and accurate.


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Additional Non-responsibility Question

State Finance Law §139-k(3) mandates consideration of whether an Offerer fails to timely disclose accurate or complete information as part of the responsibility determination. The law further provides that no Procurement Contract shall be awarded to any Offerer that fails to timely disclose accurate or complete information under this section, unless a finding is made that the award of the Procurement Contract to the Offerer is necessary to protect public property or public health safety, and that the Offerer is the only source capable of supplying the required Article of Procurement within the necessary timeframe.


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Draft Model Termination Clause

  • The Governmental Entity reserves the right to terminate this contract in the event it is found that the certification filed by the Offerer in accordance with New York State Finance Law §139-k was intentionally false or intentionally incomplete. Upon such finding, the Governmental Entity may exercise its termination right by providing written notification to the Offerer in accordance with the written notification terms of this contract.


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Draft Model Record of Contact

  • New York State Finance Law §139-k(4) obligates every Governmental Entity during the Restricted Period of a Procurement Contract to make a written record of any Contacts made. The term “Contact” is defined by statute and refers to those oral, written or electronic communications that a reasonable person would infer are attempts to influence the Governmental Procurement.

  • In addition to obtaining the required identifying information, the Governmental Entity must inquire and record whether the person or organization that made the contact was the Offerer or was retained, employed or designated on behalf of the Offerer to appear before or contact the Governmental Entity.


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OGS’s Implementation of New State Finance Law Provisions

  • Staff training

    • Undertaken as a multi-step process

    • Conducted by Business Unit to permit attention to unique issues raised by the different types of procurement contracts undertaken by OGS


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OGS’s Implementation

  • First round of training provided an initial familiarization and introduction to the new State Finance Law requirements

  • Second round of training has focused on drilling down and conforming business practices to the new requirements


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OGS’s Implementation

  • Offerer Training and Outreach

    • In addition to the training provided as support staff for the Advisory Council on Procurement Lobbying, OGS continues to explore ways to provide more information to the business community.


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OGS Implementation (cont.)

  • In-depth Analysis of Business Practices

    • Real Estate Implementation Issues

      • Procurement Contracts dealing with real estate matters raise unique issues

      • Involve long range planning and constant exploration of the market

      • Often involve multiple, simultaneous negotiations

      • Involve agents/brokers and client agencies


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OGS Implementation (cont.)

  • Conducted assessment of real estate lease procurement process

  • Resulted in development of chart to monitor the commencement of Restricted Period

  • Standardized points in time to provide notice to Offerers regarding Restricted Period and Designated Contacts


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OGS’s Implementation (cont.)

  • Development of language for inclusion in solicitations and contracts

  • Customized to meet the business practices of OGS

    • A number of areas are still under review and development

    • For example, procurement contracts undertaken for hosted agencies is still under review

    • Similarly, the business practices regarding client agencies is still under review


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OGS’s Implementation (cont.)

  • State Finance Law requires the development of several governing documents

    • Policy on permissible contacts

    • Process for review by the Ethics Officer for reviewing or investigating any allegations of violations of the permissible contact


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Non-responsible and Debarred Offerer Listings

  • State Finance Law requires that all Governmental Entities notify OGS if it finds an Offerer to be non-responsible or debarred due to violations of section 139-j

  • OGS is required to post this information on the internet

  • Information available at

    http://www.ogs.state.ny.us/aboutogs/regulations/

    advisoryCouncil/NonResponsible.htm


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Non-responsible and Debarred Offerer Listings (cont.)

  • Information is available at: http://www.ogs.state.ny.us/aboutogs/regulations/ advisoryCouncil/NonResponsible.htm (Non-responsible Offerer List)

  • and at: http://www.ogs.state.ny.us/aboutogs/regulations/ advisoryCouncil/Debarred.htm (Debarred Offered List)


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Non-responsible and Debarred Offerer Listings (cont.)

Please immediately notify the General Counsel at

the NYS Office of General Services if you have

determined a bidder as non-responsible or debarred

a pursuant to this law.

Office of the General Counsel

NYS Office of General Services

41st Floor - Corning Tower

Albany, New York 12242

[email protected]

Telephone 518-474-5988

Facsimile 518-473-4973



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