Letter: Curran Comments On Manganos

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Today is a sad reminder that for too long, Nassau County’s taxpayers paid a high price for a government that did not work for them. Our residents have footed the bill for a culture of corruption that has been allowed to permeate throughout our county government, enriching the few while betraying the many.

Today I want our residents to know this: Nassau has turned the page.

I took office with a simple promise to restore trust and fiscal integrity in Nassau, and I’m proud that my administration is delivering on that promise:

• I signed an executive order banning county employees involved in procurement or contracting from accepting gifts of any kind from county vendors, no matter how small.

• I signed into law an ordinance to remove an anti-competitive fee for vendors seeking to do business with Nassau, so that county business (totaling over $1B) didn’t stay in the hands of a few well-connected vendors. We got rid of the fee on Jan. 1, 2019, and since then the number of vendors registered has risen from 960 to 1,727—an 80 percent increase.

• We revised county ethics policies to make it clear that all procurement professionals are responsible not only for conducting themselves with integrity, but also reporting any observed act of criminality, waste, fraud or abuse in any procurement.

• We worked to develop an online workflow that allows our vendors to submit claims online and have them reviewed and approved electronically. These changes bring more efficiency into the claims process, while providing additional oversight and audit trails.

• We collaborated with the Comptroller’s Office to develop Open Checkbook, a new cloud-based web portal that creates for the first time an easy to-read online checkbook detailing more than a billion dollars of annual County outside expenditures.

• We announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Exiger, a leading risk and compliance firm, to ensure that the county spends every dollar on its contracts wisely. Nassau now has access to the Insight 3PM platform, which streamlines due diligence research on our current and potential vendors. At no cost to taxpayers, Nassau County is the first municipality in the nation to use this artificial intelligence technology to vet its vendors.

We are doing the right things for the right reasons because for far too long our leaders did the wrong things for their own reasons. My administration is moving full-steam ahead on my anti-corruption agenda, which will entail additional reforms to bring more transparency and oversight into how we spend taxpayer money. There will be daunting challenges ahead, but we are well on our way to restoring integrity to Nassau County government.

—Nassau County Executive Laura Curran


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