10:26 AM / Wednesday June 12, 2024

23 Aug 2010

Butkovitz’ investigation uncovers non-compliance with minority contract requirements

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August 23, 2010 Category: Color Of Money Posted by:

A report released by City Controller Alan Butkovitz”s office shows that the recipient of a $36 million Division of Aviation contract failed to comply with the contract’s mandatory minority business provisions of the contract.


Ernest Bock and Sons Inc. was given the S36 million contract by the Division of Aviation and promised to subcontract 12.3 percent of the work to firms owned by minorities and 3.3 percent fo the work to firms owned by women. The contract is part of the Airport’s expansion of terminals D and E.


Butkovitz’s investigation found that the firm had only a 1.3 percent level of minority participation.


“Our investigation revealed a ‘bait- and- switch approach in which Bock and Sons were awarded a contract due in part to their minority participationcommitments but failed to utilize minority vendors according to the commitments that were bid, ” he said.


Butkovitz’s investigation found that the firm reduced or eliminated its pledged diversity commitment after it was awarded the contract, something that had could have effected the Division of Avation’s decision had it happened earlier.


“We believe EBS would not have been awarded this contract if its bid included the level of minority participation that it actually ended up using,” Butkovitz said.


The results of the Controller’s investigation have been sent to city officials for possible legal action. Meanwhile, the agencies involved might want to consider better review policies to keep such a thing from happening again, Butkovitz said.


“The Office of Economic Opportunity is responsible for reviewing compliance with the City’s Anti-Discrimination policy and the Division of Aviation is accountable to the businesses who are awarded their contracts,” he said. “Both agencies need to devise and implement better verification and enforcement procedures for improved monitoring of city-funded contracts and minority participation levels.”

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