Since the mid-1950's, the city's private trade waste and wholesale market industries and their associated unions were heavily subject to the influence of corruption primarily from organized crime. Anti-competitive forces used a variety of tactics; some violent, to extort, control and drive out competition and ultimately leave customers with no choices. For example, the trade waste industry was characterized by the "property rights" system, a mechanism for local county associations (typically run by a borough’s dominant organized crime family) to dictate supply and demand.
In 1996, the City Council passed Local Law 42, in response to a 114-count indictment by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office of various trade waste license actors. Local Law 42 created the Trade Waste Commission (TWC) to oversee and regulate the industry. In 2001, via charter revision, the TWC was combined with the Markets Division at Small Business Service and the Gambling Commission and renamed Business Integrity Commission. The City's wholesale markets and gambling industries have had long-standing influence from organized crime and corruption. Merging administrative oversight of these industries into one agency was done to leverage the collective data, knowledge and expertise and combat similar patterns of criminality that characterized these sectors.
Increasingly, BIC has seen anti-competitive forces take shape in financial, tax, and other types of corporate fraud and has adapted to with fervor. While BIC has successfully prevented the wide-scale reemergence of organized crime in these industries, the influence and appearance of these actors and behaviors remains. Clearly, there is still the strong need for investigation, enforcement, and vigilance to prevent theft, fraud, and other manipulation of the industry. BIC's goal is to ensure that the trade waste and wholesale market industries remain a level playing field for honest companies and their customers.
The mission of the Business Integrity Commission (BIC) is to eliminate organized crime and other forms of corruption and criminality from the industries it regulates. BIC's goals are numerous: to ensure that the regulated businesses are able to compete fairly; that the marketplaces remain free from violence, fraud, rackets, and threats; that customers receive fair treatment; and that the businesses which are allowed to operate in these industries always conduct their affairs with honesty and integrity.
The Commissioner and Chair of BIC is responsible for the direction, management and operations of BIC. The Commission's board consists of the Chair of BIC, the Commissioners of the New York City Department of Police, the New York City Department of Investigation, the New York City Department of Sanitation, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, and the New York City Department of Small Business Services.
Board members gather three to five times a year to make decisions on the companies doing business in the trade waste and wholesale markets industries. The Board makes final determinations on the approval or denial of applicants' licenses and registrations. These decisions are based on a comprehensive review of the application, and information from an in-depth analysis by BIC's background investigations, legal, investigations, and audit units.