New York State Comptroller audit found that Ulster County fostered honest competition in order to obtain quality commodities and services at the lowest possible prices.
Kingston, NY – The Office of the New York State Comptroller, in its audit report released today, “Federal Stimulus Program – Procurement for Local Highway Projects in the Hudson Valley” reported that eight Hudson Valley municipalities’ procurement procedures, including Ulster County, the City of Kingston and the Village of Ellenville all followed sound procurement procedures when awarding contracts funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), also known as the federal stimulus program.
“I have consistently emphasized the importance of spending taxpayers’ money as I would my own. Whether it is federal, state or local funds, it all comes from the same taxpayers. Ulster County works hard to get the most value for every dollar,” stated County Executive Michael P. Hein.
The County Executive praised the efforts of staff in the County’s Purchasing Department, the Department of Finance, the County Attorney’s office, the Department of Public Works and others who worked cooperatively in order to ensure that NYS’s competitive bidding law was followed. The staff worked under tight deadlines imposed by the ARRA so that transportation infrastructure improvements could begin as soon as possible. County employees’ hard work led Ulster County to be one of the first to be certified for its allocation of stimulus funding in the region. Their focus on performance was exceptional throughout the process: from the allocation of funds through design and bid documents to the advertisement and award phases. Staff from numerous departments worked as a team, resulting in the Comptroller’s finding of “honest competition.” This ability to work together produced the start of construction of a new bridge, and purchase of new buses that will improve the quality of life for the people of Ulster County. “Ulster County employees’ diligent and tireless efforts also resulted in Ulster County’s eligibility for an additional $8.3 million of stimulus funding that will be used for re-paving large sections of Route 28,” said County Executive Hein.
According to the NYS Comptroller’s report, “One of the goals of using sound procurement procedures is to foster honest competition so that local governments obtain quality commodities and services at the lowest possible prices. Competitive bidding, one method of fostering such competition, also guards against favoritism, extravagance, and fraud, and allows interested vendors a fair and equal opportunity to compete. We found that the local governments followed sound procurement procedures when awarding contracts funded by ARRA funds. Specifically, the eight local governments audited adhered to bidding laws and appropriately awarded their ARRA highway projects to the lowest responsible bidders. We also found the local governments had taken reasonable measures to ensure that only responsible vendors were awarded contracts.”
A copy of the report will be available on the NYS Comptroller’s website at: