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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 321-07
September 5, 2007

MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION ESTABLISHING DIRECT-DEPOSIT FOR CITY CONTRACTS $25,000 AND GREATER

Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The first bill before me is Introductory Number 570-A, sponsored at the request of the Administration by Council Members James, Brewer, Dickens, Fidler, Stewart, Jackson, Nelson, Weprin, Recchia, Garodnick, Sears and the Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum.  Introductory Number 570-A requires the City to make payments by electronic funds transfer for contracts of $25,000 and greater. 

"Direct-deposit is long overdue. The City issued more than 400,000 paper checks to its vendors last year. In 1996, the federal government adopted mandatory direct deposit for its vendors. Direct deposit is simply common sense: it is easier, saves time, and eliminates headaches caused by administrative errors like mistyped addresses or delivery problems at the post office.  It also greatly reduces fraud and eliminates the risk of check forging.  In addition to providing convenience to vendors, the bill will bring cost savings - largely in bank fees and postage - to the City.

"Introductory Number 570-A also fulfils one of our GreeNYC initiative's ten "small steps" to create a more environmentally sustainable City.  Among those small steps, we recommended that New Yorkers switch to paperless on-line banking and bill-paying.  The Finance Department will be taking this recommendation to heart: once direct-deposit is in place, almost 15,000 vendors will not only receive payments quickly and safely, they will also be able to view payment and other important contract information online. 

"I would like to thank Finance Commissioner Martha Stark, Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn and Marla Simpson, Director of the Mayor's Office of Contracts Services, and their staffs for their work on this bill.  I would also like Comptroller Bill Thompson and his staff for their assistance and the City Council for approving this legislation."







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Stu Loeser/Matthew Kelly   (212) 788-2958




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