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Sun., May. 3
Serving the community of Ogdensburg, New York
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Fiscal Irresponsibility

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To The Editor:

It is common knowledge that over the years, New York State, as well as other governmental agencies, have gone the extra mile to give minority businesses preferential treatment. That’s all fine until it goes over the line and instead of creating a level playing it creates a business environment that shuts out local non-minority businesses.

In January 2013 the Department of Corrections sent out a package that stated all the correctional facilities must purchase from Minority and Women Based Enterprises (M/WBE). The directions are clear that they must use an M/WBE; and if they don’t, they have to “document why they did not use an M/WBE.”

The most egregious aspect of this directive is that they are told to use these vendors in spite of the fact they may change more for the same product as a non M/WBE vendor. NYC Corrections Department says they must use an M/WBE unless they do not meet their specific needs or there cost is prohibitive. The problem is there is no definition of what is a “prohibitive” price. Procurement acknowledges that this will cost more.

This is fiscal irresponsibility at its max. When our state is in debt to the order of billions of dollars, for them to facilitate a program that they acknowledge costs us more is ridiculous. It also lends itself to corruption where an M/WBE might be inclined to try and gain an advantage and the person placing the order may be incented to give one vendor the order over another vendor.

All procurement over a certain amount should be put out to bid and not subject to this minority filter. You either compete based on price or unique service or you don’t. Politically correct pandering to minorities is costing the taxpayers of this state billions of our tax dollars for no reason other than to advance the career of the politicians.

If you agree with this point of view contact your state representatives and the Governor, and state your objection to this practice.

Jon Harrington


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