When bid-rigging, bribery and extortion charges were suspected and eventually lodged against several individuals and entities, allegedly involved in economic development projects for the State of New York, the perception of a pay-to-play culture and an improper billing scheme were suspected.
Prior to the main indictments being filed, Guidepost was engaged by the State of New York to determine whether ongoing projects, specifically the Buffalo Billions and Nano projects, were improperly and unlawfully solicited and reimbursed, as well as to make recommendations for changes, if necessary, to provide the public with confidence in the integrity of the State’s procurement system.
Guidepost divided the work into two broad areas: procurement and performance. We reviewed and analyzed payments, billing requests, and the processes followed to do so involving more than $417 million and made recommendations concerning each project and reimbursement request presented. We regularly reported our findings regarding the review, recommendation, and inspection process for the authorization to release New York State funds. We also drafted proposed protocols for the staff of the funding agencies to review major areas involved in the funding process, including no-collusion, no bribery certifications from contractors and governmental agencies. Funds were withheld until recommendations were met.
Benefit to the Client
The Guidepost team created fair but rigorous processes for funding agencies to follow in the future. The new processes protect the taxpayers of the State of New York and helps assure transparency, reliability and integrity in the review and payment processes.