July 29, 2022
Video available at: https://youtu.be/WQYYrJQ3k4s
More Than 2600 Previously Unregistered Contracts Have Now Been Registered or Submitted for Registration, Allowing Nonprofits to Get Paid More Quickly
Initiative Fulfills Key Recommendation of Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time Convened by Mayor and Comptroller
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) today announced more than $4.2 billion in contractual dollars unlocked through the ‘Clear the Backlog’ initiative, a key recommendation of the Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time. Launched on May 9th, this 12-week initiative to clear the existing backlog has resulted in 2600 previously unregistered, retroactive contract actions being registered or submitted for registration, helping 451 providers. Earlier this year, Mayor Adams and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander released “A Better Contract for New York: A Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time,” which identified concrete steps to reform and improve the city’s procurement process, particularly for human services providers. Among the key recommendations was an initiative to clear the backlog of unregistered, retroactive contracts and amendments to allow nonprofits who are owed considerable funds to begin invoicing as expeditiously as possible.
“For too long, non-profits have been crushed by the boulder of bureaucracy and rolls of red tape, but we are clearing the backlog and finally giving non-profits the resources they’re owed to continue delivering the services New Yorkers have come to rely on,” said Mayor Adams. “Non-profits handle some of our city’s most pressing issues, but our city's inefficiency has forced some providers to take out loans in order to pay staff and to keep the lights on. Over the last 12 weeks, however, we’ve cleared the backlog and unlocked over $4.2 billion dollars for more than 460 large and small providers. And we are putting new streamlined processes into place so we don’t get bogged down in backlogs again — now or in the future. This is a textbook example of ‘Getting Stuff Done,’ and I thank MOCS for their tireless work on this issue.”
“Nonprofit providers deliver essential services to New Yorkers every day, yet bureaucratic inertia and archaic processes have prevented the city from making good on its obligations to them; however, this administration is committed to treating its providers as the true partners they are,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “We are committed to tackling this backlog problem in a collaborative way, working in partnership with agency heads, the comptroller's office, and the commissioner-appointed project managers at each agency. This initiative is a testament to what can be done when you break down agency silos, provide executive support and accountability, and align collaborative planning with strategic action. Put simply: This is how you ‘Get Stuff Done.’”
“For too long, our valued nonprofit partners have provided services to kids, families, individuals, and communities across NYC, while being unsure about when their next paycheck would come from the city,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “Under the Adams administration, we are setting a new standard by paying providers in a more efficient and timely fashion. Thank you to our government partners, particularly MOCS, and to all our service provider partners - we rely on you, we appreciate you, and we thank you for all you do to support your fellow New Yorkers.”
“Today’s announcement proves our city is moving in the right direction under the leadership of Mayor Adams and his administration,” said Mayor’s Office of Contract Services Director Lisa M. Flores. “More than just a recommendation from the Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time, the ‘Clear the Backlog’ Initiative has become a path for New York City to rebuild its relationships with and reaffirm its commitment to our nonprofit partners serving New Yorkers across the five boroughs. What we accomplished over the last few weeks in partnership with the mayor and Comptroller Lander is just the beginning.”
“Even before day one, Mayor Adams and I were working together to address the roadblocks, speed bumps and snags in the contracting process that stymies the critical work of organizations providing essential services for New Yorkers,” said Comptroller Brad Lander. “Our mission has been to achieve timely payments to responsible contractors, while maintaining appropriate oversight to prevent abuses. I’m proud to announce that our office has registered over 12,000 contracts since January and will continue to work in partnership with city agencies and City Hall to clear the backlog and ensure nonprofit providers can continue providing everything from early childhood education to senior center lunches.”
This groundbreaking initiative was made possible by the intense coordination and commitment of resources by various city agencies, oversight bodies, and partners. This includes agencies impacted by the backlog: the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, the New York City Department for the Aging, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the New York City Department of Probation, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Department of Education, the New York City Department of Homeless Services, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Oversight entities, such as the New York City Law Department, the New York City Office of Management and Budget, and MOCS have devoted their efforts and staff to streamlining approvals.
The process was spearheaded by Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom, in partnership with Comptroller Lander.
Earlier this year, Mayor Adams and MOCS announced the beta launch of PASSPort Public, a data transparency portal that provides unprecedented insight into the city’s main procurement system. PASSPort Public beta makes current information, at all stages of the procurement process, available to city vendors, not-for-profits, and the public, fulfilling another recommendation of the Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time and to build transparency and accountability among all stages of the contracting and procurement process.
“Under the leadership of Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright and Director Lisa Flores of the Office of Contract Services and through the hard work of all of our agency partners, the administration has been able to clear many of the hurdles that have created challenges for non-profits that deliver essential services to New Yorkers," said First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo.
“Non-profits are, and continue to be, vital to our students, families and city, consistently working to improve the lives of our youngest New Yorkers,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “Through the Clear the Backlog Initiative, the Department of Education has had the opportunity to make improvements to ensure efficient processing on non-profit related items, and we are looking forward to continuing this work beyond this initiative.”
“Nonprofits are the backbone of our city. They know their communities and deliver critical services to New Yorkers in need. Especially for housing, partnerships with nonprofits allow us to build homes that are shaped for the neighborhood and residents that need it,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “For too long though, big bureaucracy failed these vital partners by delaying payments and forcing them to operate without necessary dollars. I am proud of our partners in government for coming together to recognize that our New York City must elevate and strengthen nonprofits and for clearing out this backlog. Congratulations to everyone for achieving this major milestone.”
“Strong partnership and the services provided by ACS’s nonprofit providers are essential to keeping children safe and families supported. ACS is grateful to Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Wright, Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom, MOCS Commissioner Flores, and Comptroller Lander for this concentrated effort to clear the backlog so contracts could be registered,” said Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. “ACS has cleared our entire backlog during this 12 week period and so I also want to thank the ACS team from ACCO, Legal and Finance for leading the agency’s efforts.”
“Mayor Adams’ commitment to a fair, equitable, and efficient procurement system that works for the city is only one example of the promises made and promises kept to our nonprofit partners,” said Deanna Logan, director, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “Clearing the backlog under the leadership of Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright acknowledges the essential services and supports our partners provide to New York City. It is an important first step in resetting the problems that have plagued City contracting for decades, but it is just that — a first step. We continue to work seamlessly as one city to implement the goals of the Joint Task Force and to reform procurement to ensure a better sustainable process that benefits everyone in the city of New York.”
“I’m proud to be part of an administration that is committed to reducing the administrative burdens that keep the city from serving families in the best way possible, said Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “From helping New Yorkers secure affordable housing, to protecting homeowners, or providing critical services to the neediest families, community organizations are indispensable to delivering on our affordable housing goals. We can't allow red-tape to get in the way of our mission to create a better city.”
“For the Department for the Aging, the ‘Clear the Backlog’ initiative was a reminder of the importance to re-envision an efficient procurement system for our network of community-based partners and providers, who are at the forefront of delivering critical services to older New Yorkers,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. “Providing a more efficient approach to contract registration, for example, helps our partners to better fulfill their mission as well as our mutual goal of providing quality, community-based care to older adults. We are proud to be a part of this groundbreaking task force and the city’s renewed commitment to its community partners.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of the DYCD team who rolled up their sleeves and helped the city reach this momentous milestone in clearing the contract backlog. As an agency that processes a large number of contracts and supports community-based organizations whose very survival depends on contract timeliness, we know the importance of the Clear the Backlog initiative in building a more efficient procurement system. Thank you to Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayors Wright and Williams-Isom, Comptroller Lander, the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and Director Lisa Flores, and all our sister agencies for making this a priority—and sending a message to our nonprofit community that they are a valued partner in creating a more equitable New York City for all,” said Department for Youth and Community Development Commissioner Keith Howard.
“Our incredible network of not-for-profit provider-partners forms the backbone of this agency, and the ‘Clear the Backlog’ initiative demonstrates this administration’s commitment to truly prioritizing these vital partnerships,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “We are so grateful that Mayor Adams and Comptroller Lander wasted no time in taking action to address long-overlooked procurement issues and backlogs which have adversely impacted human service providers for years. We recognize the invaluable dedication and sacrifices of social service workers, and supporting our provider-partners every which way we can is critical to our mission of serving New Yorkers in need with care and compassion.”
“From providing mental health resources to connecting New Yorkers to vaccination and health care, our city’s non-profit partners are a critical pillar of our public health system and provide much needed services for our neighbors,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “As a former nonprofit executive here in NYC, I know how important timely government contracting and payment is to sustain life-saving work. Thank you to the Mayor for clearing the backlog and allowing vital services to reach more New Yorkers.”
“Last year, the city procured $12 billion in human services, accounting for 40 percent of the city’s procured goods and services, yet the city’s cumbersome contracting process hindered many nonprofits’ abilities to deliver these critical services,” said Deputy Comptroller for Contracts and Procurement Charlette Hamamgian. “Our city’s nonprofits provide essential human services to thousands of New Yorkers—from violence interrupters to housing the homeless, and their contracts should be paid on time through a transparent process. The Bureau of Contracts Administration is up to the challenge to streamline the contract registration process while ensuring accountability and oversight.”
“Today’s announcement and initiative to clear the backlog is necessary to increase transparency and contractual efficiency,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. “I commend New York City Mayor Adams and Comptroller Lander for taking this vital step to fund services to clear the backlog. Nonprofit organizations support a variety of causes throughout our city and clearing the backlog will help ensure providers receive funds in a timely manner so they may continue to provide services to individuals in need around our city.”
“I would like to thank Mayor Adams for understanding the need for these funds to flow, said New York State Senator Diane Savino. “Nonprofits more often than not do the work of government, while they wait for funding. The city should be knocking down barriers and that's exactly what they are doing here.”
“Nonprofit providers can't do their jobs and help New Yorkers unless they are paid predictably and on time,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I'm glad Mayor Adams and Comptroller Lander are taking this problem seriously. Clearing the backlog will ultimately result in better services for our constituents. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this important initiative."
“Nonprofits provide the essential services that keep New Yorkers of all ages thriving and in their communities; it is important that their contracts are signed and paid on time,” said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, chair, Committee on Social Services. “Clearing the backlogs will help nonprofits focus on their collective mission to uplift New Yorkers.”
“So many people in our city depend on nonprofit organizations to provide them with essential daily services, yet the nonprofits themselves have been treated less than fairly and often have to wait an extraordinarily long time for their contracts to go through the procurement process,” said New York State Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz. “I commend Mayor Adams for making a commitment to finally end this practice so that nonprofits can be paid within a reasonable time frame.”
“Our human service providers dedicate themselves to aiding the New Yorkers in greatest need, but for too long the city has been giving them an IOU: in Fiscal Year 2022, over 75% of the city’s contracts with nonprofits were not even registered until after the provider began offering services,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “In just his first year in office, Mayor Adams is fixing this longstanding problem. These nonprofit organizations grapple everyday with the challenges of uplifting children, immigrants, and vulnerable New Yorkers. We cannot allow them to also grapple with the challenges of bureaucratic inertia. Under the mayor’s new Clear the Backlog Initiative, we will cut through the red tape and deliver nonprofits the funding they are owed. This initiative perfectly embodies Mayor Adams’ Get Stuff Done mentality.”
“Given the fact that non-profits have contributed so much to the development of the city, I am rejoiced to see that Mayor Adams is taking the appropriate steps to ensure that they get paid,” said New York State Assemblymember Yudelka Tapia. “There is still more to do, but this is a necessary first step in ensuring that we continue to have opportunities. I'm glad to see mayor Adams commitment in ensuring that our nonprofits can continue to thrive and contribute to great culture that is New York City.”
“New York City is able to offer so many of its services because of the hard work of our nonprofit partners,” said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. “It’s unacceptable that these partners are not getting paid on time, especially when so many nonprofits already run on razor-thin budgets. This initiative is a much-needed step towards ensuring our fellow colleagues who work every day to make New York a better city are treated fairly and paid on time.”
“We should always look for ways to make our government processes more transparent and efficient, and work for the people we serve above all else. The early success of our ‘Clear the Backlog Initiative’ is an example of this, which is literally getting organizations and New Yorkers paid,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Thank you to Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayors Wright and Williams-Isom, and Comptroller Lander for their stewardship on this important initiative.”
“Our local nonprofits and human services providers have seen great hurdles in addressing the needs of some of our most vulnerable constituents as a result of the city’s nebulous procurement process, causing delays that put the most vulnerable New Yorkers at risk of receiving vital services,” said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “The Clear the Backlog Initiative does just that; providing an unbridled pathway for essential organizations across New York to register or submit contracts for registration that provide critical services. I applaud Mayor Adams’ commitment to cut through the red tape, unlocking more than $4.2 billion in allocated contractual dollars for 451 providers across the city.”
“Human services nonprofits fill local needs and gaps with targeted services that the city is unable to carry out. It’s unacceptable that these trusted community partners have seen their finances collapse as a result of delays and inefficiencies in the city’s contracting process,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Won, chair, Committee on Contracts. “This initiative from the mayor, MOCS, the comptroller, and our agencies to clear the backlog of $4.2 billion in contracts will get hundreds of providers paid and allow them to provide vital services.”
“With $4.2 billion in contractual funding secured by Mayor Adams and the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, nonprofit service providers - who have shouldered immense burdens providing essential services to underserved and disproportionately impacted communities during the height of the pandemic — will finally receive the support they need from the city to get paid on time,” said New York City Councilmember Linda Lee, chair, Committee on Mental Health Disabilities, and Addictions. “Human service providers supported our communities every step of the way and have continually met their obligations without knowing if they would receive payment on time, or even at all due to the substantial backlog of unregistered contracts. I want to thank New York City Comptroller Brad Lander for helping lay the blueprint to improve our city’s procurement process and commend Mayor Adams, the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, and the Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time for their advocacy in championing nonprofits across New York City.”
“During the height of the pandemic, non-profits played a crucial role in helping New Yorkers access the fundamental resources they need,” said New York City Councilmember Shaun Abreu. “Unfortunately, bureaucratic backlog often made it more difficult for our nonprofit partners to do business with the city of New York. This initiative will resolve city contracting challenges and help make sure payment goes out on time. Our city and our nonprofits will be better for it.”
“For far too long this city has been negatively impacted by a bloated and slow bureaucracy, and this backlog is a symptom of that,” said New York City Councilmember Joann Ariola. “By clearing out this backlog, Mayor Adams is taking a strong first step towards reversing decades of neglect and waste. This will enable so many nonprofits across the five boroughs to finally get the money that they’ve been waiting for, and then put that money to good use by improving the lives of New Yorkers in need.”
“I have spoken to leaders of human services agencies and have learned that they see a huge, positive effort by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services to get more contracts registered,” said New York City Councilmember Gale A. Brewer. “MOCS is being responsive to nonprofit organizations and their strategy is successful in getting rid of the backlog. Now, let’s tackle registration at the Office of the NYC Comptroller and next year’s FY2023 contracts!”
“Human services workers and others employed by nonprofit organizations to serve as vital resources for working class New York communities deserve so much better than they've historically gotten,” said New York City Councilmember Tiffany Caban. “As the daughter of a domestic worker, who cared for other people's children while she raised me, I know first hand how hard this labor force works to meet our neighbors' needs and support New York's families. It is no coincidence that such workers tend to be women, immigrants, and people of color — the easiest people to marginalize, devalue, and dismiss as 'unskilled.' Clearing the backlog is a solid first step toward making the dramatic investments in community services that New Yorkers need and deserve, especially in the midst of this terrible pandemic.”
“For years, I have heard from nonprofits who have a hard time accessing funds that were allocated to them,” said New York City Councilmember David Carr. “Sometimes it takes years for the reimbursement for their needed services to reach them. If the city is going to partner with small, local not-for-profit entities, we owe it to them to pay them on time. I applaud Mayor Adams and his Administration for taking this matter seriously and working to ensure an efficient process for contract registration and fund disbursement.”
“Our city’s nonprofit organizations support and assist countless New Yorkers but none of their vital work can be done without funding and a fair and transparent contracting and procurement process,” said New York City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks. “This initiative is a great collaborative effort between this administration, the Office of the Comptroller, and our city agencies to cut the red tape and ensure that nonprofits receive the funding they are entitled to.”
“For years, nonprofit providers in New York City have been complaining about systematic backlogs and red tape when they tried to deal with the enormous city bureaucracy as well as with massive amount of various instructions and regulations,” said New York City Councilmember Ari Kagan. “It forced many of them to stop providing some of the essential services to their clients, to borrow money from private banks and credit companies or even to lay off their employees. I commend Mayor Eric Adams for his Clear the Backlog Initiative, that will assist non-profit providers with their city contracts by clearing backlogs and streamlining more efficiently. More than $4.2 billion in contractual dollars would be unlocked, allowing non-for-profits to get paid. It will help many New Yorkers who are still struggling from the effects of the pandemic to receive vital services more quickly. It will create jobs and will support an amazing work done by the non-for-profit sector.”
“While nonprofits are doing the groundwork to serve in our communities, it is vital that the city provide the necessary support to sustain the longevity and expansion of their services,” said New York City Councilmember Kevin C. Riley. “Having adequate access to funds determines these partners' means to operate successfully and improve services. The “Clear The Backlog Initiative” will strengthen the city’s collaborative work with nonprofit organizations, creating more opportunities to uplift New Yorkers and improve infrastructure that has continued to impede the city’s procurement system.”
“From day one I’ve been an advocate for procurement reform and to ensure that nonprofit organizations are being fully compensated with timely efficiency,” said New York City Councilmember Althea Stevens. “Our nonprofit organizations in our city conduct critical work, making it vital that we support their infrastructure to progress communities in various sectors continuously. I am happy that through the introduction of the joint task force, nonprofit organizations will be able to get compensated on time. Thank you to Mayor Adams and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander for the introduction of the Clear the Backlog Initiative.”
“Especially in large immigrant communities, nonprofits are often the first stop for those New Yorkers most in need,” said New York City Councilmember Sandra Ung. “But if those same nonprofits can’t rely on the city to deliver on its commitments, the uncertainty takes their focus away from the essential services we rely on them to provide. I want to thank the mayor and comptroller for recognizing the importance of this issue, and pledging to deliver city funding to where it will do the most good for the people of New York.”
“As the backlog is cleared, we will see many organizations receive funding to support new contracts throughout the city,” said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velazquez. “This pivotal step will allow active organizations to provide services throughout their respective communities. Mayor Adams’ leadership spearheading this initiative empowers nonprofits to continue working with New York City, as many of these organizations provide critical resources for our communities. This is an important step in establishing strong relationships and clear, consistent financial conversations between the city and nonprofit organizations.”
“I am grateful for Mayor Adams’ and Comptroller Lander’s commitment to a procurement system that works for our city’s nonprofits, instead of working against them,” said Michelle Jackson, executive director, Human Services Council of New York. “It is outrageous that the nonprofits who work tirelessly to make our city better have not been fairly compensated in a timely manner. This task force is an important first step, and the resources committed by the city to clear the backlog demonstrate that our city’s leaders are serious about fixing this issue once and for all. I look forward to our continued partnership in clearing the backlog of contracts that are holding our essential nonprofits back from their full potential.”
“CPC applauds the Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time, co-led by Mayor Adams and Comptroller Lander, for clearing the backlog of contract registrations for city contracted nonprofit organizations,” said Wayne Ho, president and CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council. “CPC alone is still waiting on nearly $7 million from the city for critical services provided last fiscal year to Asian American, immigrant and low-income communities, ranging from child care and youth services to senior programs and pandemic-related services. Ensuring that nonprofit contracts are registered and paid on time will help provide continuous, high-quality services to underserved New Yorkers. We look forward to continuing to work with the mayor and comptroller to deliver these vital services.”
“‘Getting Stuff Done’ just took on a whole new meaning,” said Bob Monahan, president, The Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, Inc. “The accomplishments achieved by Deputy Mayor Wright and her team has breathed new life into the Not-For-Profit world and will allow our organizations to completely focus on serving all New Yorkers without the obstacles created by delayed funding. This is truly a day of celebration!”
“In a time of unprecedented need among the children and families we serve, JCCA deeply appreciates the efforts of the mayor, comptroller, and the Task Force to eliminate administrative backlog and unlock vital funding to nonprofits,” said Ron Richter, CEO, JCCA. “This initiative strengthens organizations like ours so that we can continue to provide life-saving support and stability to New York's most vulnerable young people, their caregivers, and communities.”
“The improvements in the registration contract system at the mayor’s office has enabled us to clear out NYJTL’s backlogged contracts and brought us up to current, real-time payments,” said Udai Tambar, CEO and president, New York Junior Tennis & Learning. “This efficiency considerably and positively impacts our ability to pay our staff in a timely fashion and provide critical services to communities in need.”
“United Way of New York City is proud to have taken a leadership role in coalescing recommendations and reforms to align with Mayor Adams’s commitment to improving non-profit contracting and procurement processes,” said Grace Bonilla, president and CEO, United Way of New York City. “The work of the Joint Task Force is transformative towards ensuring equity, transparency, and reduced inefficiency throughout these systems while improving nonprofits’ capacity and management practices. This is an essential step to ensure our city’s non-profit community is equipped and able to best serve New Yorkers.”