Committee on Oversight and Investigations

Feb 27, 2024

·

01:00 PM

3 hr 1 min

A hearing addressing the corruption scandal within the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), focusing on proposed improvements to its micro-purchase contracting process amidst allegations of rampa… Show More A hearing addressing the corruption scandal within the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), focusing on proposed improvements to its micro-purchase contracting process amidst allegations of rampant bribery among employees. Features testimony from NYCHA officials and the Department of Investigation, alongside testimonies from NYCHA residents and advocates for public housing. Show Less

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REMARKS

# Opening Remarks by Council Member Chris Banks, Chair of the Committee on Public Housing,

0:00:26

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3 min

Council Member Chris Banks initiates a joint hearing to scrutinize the corruption scandal within the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

  • Banks chairs the first joint session alongside the committees on contracts and oversight and investigation, focusing on NYCHA corruption. - Expresses disappointment that his inaugural hearing as chair addresses allegations of bribery, extortion, and improper contract awards in NYCHA. - Aims to delve into NYCHA's response to these allegations, the acceptance of specific recommendations from the Department of Investigation, and the gaps in oversight. - Seeks to understand measures for rebuilding NYCHA residents’ trust post-scandal. - Acknowledges his team and the Public Housing Committee staff for their dedication to organizing the hearing.

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REMARKS

# Open Remarks by Council Member Gale Brewer, Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Investigations

0:03:42

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3 min

Council Member Gale Brewer leads a joint hearing on NYCHA's response to recent corruption, focusing on oversight and bribery related to micro purchase contracts.

  • Brewer emphasizes the urgency of addressing NYCHA's corruption, particularly regarding bribery and extortion in micro purchase contracts.
  • She highlights the history of abuse and the lack of oversight in NYCHA, making it prone to fraud.
  • Recommendations by the Department of Investigation were initially ignored by NYCHA until the arrest of 70 employees.
  • The hearing aims to explore solutions to ensure repair needs of public housing residents are met without corruption.
  • Brewer also acknowledges whistleblowers coming forward with similar complaints, demonstrating ongoing issues within NYCHA.

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REMARKS

# Opening Remarks by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

0:07:39

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4 min

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams addresses NYCHA's profound challenges, including systemic corruption, inadequate funding for repairs, and dire living conditions, at a city council hearing.

  • Williams highlights the extensive issues plaguing NYCHA, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • He underscores the recent indictments of NYCHA workers as indicative of deep-rooted corruption affecting residents and the organization's morale.
  • The advocate criticizes NYCHA's persistent management failures in addressing critical repairs and combating corruption.
  • Williams mentions a report by his office outlining NYCHA's hazardous living conditions and calls for improved contractor hiring processes.
  • He emphasizes the urgent need for systemic changes to ensure safe, healthy housing for NYCHA residents.

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REMARKS

# Open Remarks by Council Member Julie Won, Chair of the Committee on Contracts

0:12:17

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3 min

Council Member Julie Won addresses contract corruption within the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), highlighting the implications of a widespread bribery scheme.

  • Initiated by Won and her colleagues, the joint oversight hearing seeks to examine corruption and mismanagement in NYCHA’s micro purchasing contracting.
  • 70 current and former NYCHA staff across nearly 100 developments implicated in the bribery scheme, indicating a pervasive pay-to-play culture.
  • Won emphasizes the committee’s role in ensuring enhanced accountability, oversight, and transparency in NYCHA contracting processes.
  • The hearing aims to discuss the factors enabling corruption, identify solutions to restore integrity, and detect action points to prevent future fraud.
  • Testimonies from NYCHA, the Department of Investigation (DOI), and residents will provide needed context around the recent indictments.

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TESTIMONY

# Resident from NYCHA Community on Concerns Regarding Representation and Strategy

0:16:30

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38 sec

A NYCHA community resident voices concerns about representation on the council board and questions the strategy for effecting change.

  • Expresses gratitude towards the council for listening to their concerns.
  • Raises questions about how strategies will be implemented to address issues within NYCHA communities.
  • Inquires about the number of NYCHA residents on the council board for resident perspective inclusion.
  • Thanks the council for their time.

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TESTIMONY

# Jocelyn Strauber, Commissioner of the Department of Investigation, on Recommendations to Reform NYCHA's Micro Purchase No Bid Contracts Process

0:18:25

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11 min

Jocelyn Strauber discusses DOI's investigation into NYCHA's micro purchase no bid contracts, uncovering corruption, and proposes reforms to tackle vulnerabilities.

  • Strauber reveals findings from a joint investigation with the Brooklyn district attorney, showing bribery in NYCHA's contracting process.
  • DOI recommends centralizing procurement, lowering the vendor screening threshold, and conducting integrity screenings to counter corruption.
  • Despite implementing one recommendation, NYCHA rejects several others, albeit taking steps to improve procurement process controls.
  • NYCHA's CEO fully supports DOI's latest set of 14 recommendations aiming to strengthen oversight and controls, with plans for implementation within a year.
  • The testimony underscores the critical need for transparency, accountability, and public involvement to ensure integrity in NYCHA's procurement process.

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QUESTION

# What recommendations has the Department of Investigation made to NYCHA regarding micro-purchases, and were any declined?

0:30:14

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51 sec

The Department of Investigation summarizes its 14 recommendations to NYCHA regarding micro-purchases, noting 3 similar to past suggestions, and confirms no additional declined recommendations.

  • 14 recommendations were made to NYCHA regarding micro-purchases.
  • 3 out of the 14 recommendations were similar to those made previously in 2021.
  • The DOI believes that these three are of continued relevance and significance.
  • There were no additional recommendations made in 2021 that NYCHA declined or failed to adopt.

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QUESTION

# How has NYCHA responded to the 2020 Department of Investigation's recommendations about micro purchase contracts?

0:31:05

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76 sec

NYCHA has not fully implemented the 2020 Department of Investigation's recommendations on micro purchase contracts but plans to implement them now.

  • The recommendation to restructure the micro purchase process was not initially accepted but is now planned for implementation.
  • Establishing a cost schedule for micro purchases to control overbilling was also not implemented, but plans are underway.
  • A recommendation for the upload of work verification, such as photographs and invoices, to a central portal for review before payment has not been implemented but is expected to be now.

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QUESTION

# Why did the NYCHA not fully implement the DOI's recommendations, and were their reasons deemed acceptable?

0:32:22

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78 sec

The NYCHA did not fully implement the Department of Investigation's recommendations on restructuring the micro purchase process due to the perceived radical nature of the changes and instead proposed alternative measures.

  • The Department of Investigation (DOI) presses for their recommendations to be accepted, but agencies ultimately decide what they can implement.
  • The NYCHA considered the recommended restructuring of the micro purchase process too radical.
  • As alternatives, the NYCHA proposed better training for housing development staff and a new template for vendor quotes to control overbilling.
  • Despite these alternatives, the DOI viewed them as insufficient compared to the original recommendations.

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QUESTION

# What is the Department of Investigation's recommendation for NYCHA's micro purchase process staffing model?

0:33:40

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75 sec

The Department of Investigation recommends NYCHA identifies and implements a specialized staffing model for micro purchases but does not specify a staff number or qualifications.

  • Recommends removing micro purchase responsibilities from housing development staff.
  • Suggests centralizing the responsibility to specialized staff with procurement expertise.
  • Avoids specifying an exact number of staff required for the new unit.
  • Advises NYCHA to determine the specifics based on its expertise.

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QUESTION

# How can staff initiatives address tension between central and local housing development staff?

0:35:01

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136 sec

Centralizing contracting authority while involving field staff in proposals aims to reduce inefficiencies and tension.

  • Field staff will maintain a role in proposing necessary work but will not control contracting.
  • The centralized procurement process is designed to avoid delays in vendor selection.
  • Recommendations from field staff aim to facilitate efficient vendor identification by centralized staff.
  • Introducing a prequalified vendor list, vetted in advance, is expected to streamline the process.
  • The approach seeks to deliver services efficiently to residents and alleviate previous issues.

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QUESTION

# How should vendor prequalification be conducted and improved in NYC?

0:37:16

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111 sec

The current prequalification process for vendors in NYC does not include sufficient checks, necessitating a revised or new list with rigorous, routine screening.

  • Currently, the prequalification process lacks comprehensive checks, involving only basic evaluations like Dun and Bradstreet checks and reviews in the city's contracting database.
  • Routine and comprehensive checks are recommended to ensure vendors remain qualified over time.
  • A revamped or new prequalified vendor list is suggested, subjecting existing and potential vendors to additional scrutiny.
  • The Department of Investigation recommends enhancing vetting procedures to address issues with vendors on existing lists.

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QUESTION

# What are the recommended practices to improve NYCHA's micro purchase contracting process?

0:39:08

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114 sec

The Department of Investigation recommends centralizing contracting, implementing a cost estimate schedule, and verifying completed work to improve NYCHA's micro purchase contracting process.

  • Centralizing contracting responsibilities away from housing development staff.
  • Implementing a cost estimate schedule for the top goods and services, requiring written explanations for costs exceeding the schedule.
  • Verifying work completion with before and after photos and having services and invoices reviewed by someone outside the housing development staff.

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QUESTION

# How can technology and data analytics help detect and prevent fraud in the micro purchase program?

0:41:06

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45 sec

Data analytics can detect significant price discrepancies for similar items across different contracts and vendors, serving as a red flag for potential fraud.

  • Using data analytics to review expenditure across different contracts and vendors reveals potential fraud.
  • The comparison of prices for similar items identifies significant discrepancies.
  • Recognizing such discrepancies acts as a red flag, indicating potential fraud.
  • This approach highlights the role of technology and data analytics in enhancing program integrity.

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QUESTION

# How frequently does the Department of Investigation (DOI) communicate with NYCHA, and are various issues discussed?

0:41:51

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41 sec

The Department of Investigation maintains ongoing, robust communication with NYCHA on a variety of issues.

  • There is an ongoing, robust dialogue between the Department of Investigation and NYCHA staff.
  • This communication is not limited to contract issues but extends to various concerns.
  • The dialogue is described as good and includes discussions beyond the recommendations and agreement to them by NYCHA.

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QUESTION

# Will the new monitor focus solely on mold and lead issues?

0:42:33

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32 sec

The monitor's mandate remains unchanged, focusing on mold and lead issues, but also covers other aspects impacting residents' quality of life.

  • The monitorship's focus remains on mold and lead issues.
  • The monitor is also responsible for overseeing aspects that affect residents' quality of life.
  • Any issue affecting the work's completion or quality, as well as financial implications, falls under the monitor's purview.

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QUESTION

# Does the DOI recommend adopting a requirement contracts model for micro purchases?

0:43:05

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18 sec

The Department of Investigation (DOI) does not recommend adopting a requirement contracts model for micro purchases.

  • DOI is not proposing a specific type of contract model for micro purchases.
  • The suggestion for a requirement contracts model is not included in the DOI's list of recommendations.
  • The DOI focuses on general guidelines rather than specific contract types.
  • This question was addressed during a hearing on a NYCHA bribery scheme.

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QUESTION

# Who is responsible for ongoing monitoring to safeguard against contract corruption at NYCHA?

0:43:23

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58 sec

The Department of Investigation recommends semi-annual audits by NYCHA’s quality assurance and compliance departments to safeguard against contract corruption, with findings to be made public.

  • A specific audit requirement is put forward for semi-annual audits of micro-purchase data by NYCHA’s quality assurance and compliance departments.
  • These audit findings are required to be posted publicly to ensure transparency.
  • Oversight is also provided by the monitor's oversight and the Department of Investigation (DOI) which encompasses these issues.
  • NYCHA is recommended to report any irregularities or concerns to the Department of Investigation.

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QUESTION

# How does NYCHA's procurement process differ from other city agencies?

0:44:31

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50 sec

The Department of Investigation Commissioner defers the question on NYCHA's procurement process as compared to other city agencies, citing a lack of specifics.

  • The Commissioner suggests the question would be better answered by NYCHA directly.
  • NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) is noted to have its own stand-alone procurement process.
  • The Mayor's Office of Contract Services does not oversee NYCHA's procurement process.
  • A comparison between NYCHA and other city agencies regarding procurement was sought but not provided.

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QUESTION

# What are the differences between NYCHA's and the city's micro purchasing processes?

0:45:22

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69 sec

The Department of Investigation's Commissioner is unable to detail differences between NYCHA's and the city's micro purchasing processes, but mentions NYCHA's no-bid process is designed for quick work without extensive bidding.

  • NYCHA's no-bid process aims to expedite work without an extensive bidding process.
  • The city has other more efficient contracting processes like negotiated acquisitions.
  • The Commissioner offers to gather more information upon request.
  • The Commissioner acknowledges a lack of detailed knowledge on the subject.

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QUESTION

# What is the timeline for soliciting a contractor for a micro purchasing contract?

0:46:31

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12 sec

The timeline for the superintendent or property manager to solicit a contractor for a micro-purchasing contract is unknown.

  • Jocelyn Strauber, Commissioner of the Department of Investigation, does not have the exact timeline.
  • Council Member Julie Won asks about the process of soliciting contractors for micro-purchasing contracts.
  • The specific timeline for identifying a need and soliciting a contractor remains unclear.

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QUESTION

# Who has the authority to review or audit micro purchasing contracts outside the superintendent or property manager?

0:46:45

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42 sec

Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber discusses adding another level of review to the micro purchase process, acknowledging existing auditing capabilities while suggesting improvements.

  • Jocelyn Strauber suggests the insertion of an additional review level into the micro purchase process.
  • Current auditing and review mechanisms exist but are deemed insufficient.
  • Proposed changes aim to enhance transparency and accountability in micro purchasing.
  • The Department of Investigation recommends new auditing and review requirements.

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QUESTION

# How is NYCHA attracting micro-purchasing contracts?

0:47:27

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30 sec

The Department of Investigation Commissioner explains the information on NYCHA's micro-purchasing contracts is stored electronically and available centrally, but lacks specific details on the process.

  • Information related to vendors, purchase amounts, and housing developments is electronically stored by NYTRO.
  • Details about stored data fields and the exact attraction methods for micro-purchasing contracts are not provided.
  • The Commissioner is unable to provide specific details on how NYCHA attracts these micro-purchasing contracts.

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QUESTION

# How much funding is allocated per development for micro purchasing contracts?

0:48:00

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8 sec

Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber of the Department of Investigation does not know the amount of funding allocated per development for micro-purchasing contracts.

  • Council Member Julie Won asks about funding for micro-purchase contracts per development.
  • Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber responds with uncertainty.
  • No specific funding details are provided.

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QUESTION

# What training do property managers and superintendents receive for handling micro purchasing contracts, and how often?

0:48:09

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53 sec

Property managers, superintendents, and assistant superintendents receive training on managing micro purchasing contracts, focusing on vendor checks, anti-corruption, and identifying corruption risks, implemented based on 2021 recommendations.

  • Training includes how to manage micro purchasing contracts, focusing on vendor checks and identifying corruption risks.
  • The training was implemented following recommendations made in 2021.
  • Additional training is recommended to further educate on corruption risks.
  • The frequency of these training sessions is unknown, but further information may be acquired from NYCHA.

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QUESTION

# What is the status of the NYCHA's repair backlog, and has the micro purchasing procurement rule change expedited repairs?

0:49:03

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47 sec

Council Member Julie Won questions the effectiveness of the micro purchasing procurement rule changes in expediting the New York City Housing Authority's (NYCHA) repair backlog, but receives no specific answer.

  • Council Member Won underscores the significance of swift repairs and queries the current backlog status.
  • She emphasizes complaints from residents about unchanged waiting times and negligence in handling repair orders.
  • Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber admits to lacking detailed information on the backlog.
  • Strauber suggests Knight might have the answer or promises to furnish the information later.

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QUESTION

# What issues were faced with implementing the 2021 recommendations for the Department of Investigation?

0:50:24

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48 sec

Jocelyn Strauber explains that the implementation challenges of the 2021 recommendations were financial and structural.

  • The recommendations were made before Strauber's tenure, and she did not have direct conversations about them at the time.
  • Implementation challenges included the financial cost and time required to restructure entire processes.
  • Concerns about maintaining efficiency in development work were also identified as an issue.

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QUESTION

# Did changes made after 2021 investigations aid in improving efficiency and preventing corruption?

0:51:12

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40 sec

Jocelyn Strauber responds that changes made post-2021 investigations primarily targeted corruption risks rather than efficiency improvements and had limited effectiveness in preventing corruption, highlighted by seventy recent arrests.

  • Changes made aimed to mitigate corruption risks, with a secondary focus on efficiency improvements.
  • The alterations may have had some impact on curbing corruption.
  • Despite these efforts, the measures did not go far enough as evidenced by seventy recent arrests.
  • The primary goal of these changes was to control corruption rather than to speed up work processes.

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QUESTION

# Have the implemented changes slowed down work processes?

0:51:52

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17 sec

Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber acknowledges the lack of data on whether changes have slowed down work processes.

  • Commissioner Strauber admits not seeing any data tracking the timing between requests and implementation.
  • The Department of Investigation has not examined the timing aspects in connection with their investigation.
  • Thus, she cannot confirm if the work processes have been affected in terms of speed.

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QUESTION

# What is the Department of Investigation's plan going forward for efficient repair handling in housing developments?

0:52:15

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54 sec

The Department of Investigation plans to establish a centralized unit to expedite repairs in housing developments by using a prequalified vendor list.

  • A centralized unit is proposed to improve the efficiency of repair handling.
  • The proposed structure aims to promptly address housing development repairs, potentially resembling historical systems.
  • Public Advocate Jumaane Williams raises concerns about the efficiency of centralized systems.
  • The initiative includes compiling a list of prequalified vendors for repairs.

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QUESTION

# Would adopting all recommendations except centralization have prevented the NYCHA bribery scheme?

0:53:10

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67 sec

Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber expresses uncertainty regarding whether adopting all recommendations, excluding centralization, would have prevented the current situation but remains optimistic about their potential effect.

  • Strauber states it's hard to predict the outcome of implementing the recommendations without centralization.
  • She believes the recommendations could have helped avoid the current situation.
  • Centralization is highlighted as crucial for adding a review layer and separating vendor interactions from the approval process.
  • Other measures like prequalified lists and cost estimates are considered helpful.
  • Strauber notes that past authority residing in housing developments has been ineffective despite some changes.

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QUESTION

# Can frequent audit reviews effectively preempt or address problems compared to decentralization?

0:54:21

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81 sec

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams queries if regular audit reviews could match decentralization's effectiveness in preempting or addressing issues, with Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber indicating that, although audits might detect problems earlier, they won't assure total prevention.

  • Williams questions the efficacy of centralization for problem-solving and proposes exploring other review mechanisms.
  • Strauber suggests that audits can potentially catch issues earlier but do not guarantee complete problem prevention.
  • Williams expresses concern about the impact of re-centralization on the implementation speed of recommendations.
  • He explores alternatives to centralized decision-making, including involving higher-level personnel in the decision process.
  • Despite potential for early detection through audits, Strauber acknowledges that this method does not ensure complete problem prevention.

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QUESTION

# Why does NYCHA continue to outsource contracts despite in-house specialists, and what changes are recommended to address this?

0:57:03

·

3 min

The Department of Investigation suggests multiple changes to NYCHA's contracting and procurement processes, emphasizing the need for better corruption risk training, vendor checks, and data analysis on trivial purchases.

  • Council Member Althea V. Stevens questions the rationale behind NYCHA's continued outsourcing despite available in-house units for tasks such as painting.
  • Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber points out previous oversight in cost estimates and inadequate anti-corruption measures as part of the problem.
  • Recommended improvements include thorough vendor scrutiny, detailed itemization of work and costs, and effective use of data analysis to identify discrepancies in trivial purchases.
  • The challenge of detecting certain misconducts due to purchases falling under the $10,000 threshold is highlighted, suggesting centralization as a potential solution.
  • Despite the recommended changes, there is concern about over-correction and the potential for slowing down processes for NYCHA residents.

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QUESTION

# What is the projected timeline for implementing reforms following the NYCHA bribery scheme, and how can transparency with residents be increased?

1:00:39

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3 min

The Department of Investigation plans to implement reforms on a rolling basis, aiming to complete them within a year, while enhancing transparency for NYCHA residents.

  • Reforms are expected to be rolled out progressively with a target completion within one year, given the extensive recommendations.
  • Interim measures will be in place to prevent fraud during the transition towards fully centralized processes.
  • The actual timeframe for completing the investigation into the bribery scheme cannot be provided, emphasizing the ongoing nature of the investigation.
  • Recommendations and audit findings related to the bribery scheme and reform efforts are made public to ensure residents are aware of efforts to improve processes.
  • Engaging in more public and resident interactions, and making audit findings publicly available are suggested to increase transparency and information sharing with NYCHA residents.

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TESTIMONY

# Lisa Bova Hiatt, Chief Executive Officer, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) on Addressing NYCHA's Bribery Charges and Transformative Efforts

1:05:18

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13 min

Lisa Bova Hiatt details NYCHA's response to bribery charges and transformative changes to improve operations and service.

  • Emphasizes zero tolerance for illegal activities and outlines steps taken against implicated employees.
  • Discusses the significant milestones achieved by NYCHA in the past five years, including improvements to business practices and procurement processes.
  • Highlights the collaboration with law enforcement and other agencies to ensure integrity and compliance.
  • Details specific actions taken to reform micro purchase processes, reduce fraud, and implement Department of Investigation's recommendations.
  • Stresses the importance of transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement in serving NYCHA residents and the larger NYC community.

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QUESTION

# What is the micro purchase process within the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA)?

1:19:23

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81 sec

The NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) outlines the micro purchase process, starting from need identification to the issuance of a purchase order.

  • A need is identified within a certain development area.
  • A vendor is selected, who then provides a quote and outlines labor, supplies, overhead, and profit.
  • The vendor's quote is uploaded in a requisition system, reviewed, and approved.
  • Central procurement checks all required documentation such as licensing and insurance.
  • Finally, the purchase order is issued, allowing work to commence with the chosen vendor.

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QUESTION

# How long does the micro purchase process take for superintendents to solicit contractors?

1:20:44

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34 sec

Sergio Paneque explains that superintendents can typically determine the scope for services and select a vendor within 1 to 3 days using the micro purchase process.

  • The timeframe can vary based on development, supervisor, and circumstances.
  • Generally, the process allows for the determination of services' scope and vendor selection in 1 to 3 days.
  • The micro purchase process is designed to streamline the procurement procedure.

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QUESTION

# When should the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) utilize outside contractors or micro purchase contracts?

1:21:19

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153 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) opts for outside contractors when specific skill sets, such as fencing, mechanical work, or apartment clear-outs, are required beyond what their skilled trades department can handle.

  • NYCHA properties have the option to engage with the in-house skilled trades department, which includes plumbers, painters, and bricklayers, for most apartment-related work.
  • For certain tasks, especially those related to ground maintenance or requiring specialized equipment, NYCHA relies on vendors.
  • The introduction of IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity) contracts has led to a decrease in the use of micro purchase contracts, transitioning towards more competitively procured options.
  • The decision to use outside contractors can be initiated at the property level but requires central department approval for procurement.

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QUESTION

# How are NYCHA's micro purchase contracts reviewed and audited beyond the property management level?

1:23:52

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144 sec

Micro purchase contracts at NYCHA undergo a multi-stage review and audit process involving program requisitions, matching of service statements with invoices, and on-site monitoring by the compliance department.

  • Different program areas are responsible for establishing requisitions, determining the need, and starting the process.
  • After vendor performance, a statement of service is generated and reviewed, followed by a match between the invoice, purchase order, and statement of service for payment approval.
  • Brad Greenberg's compliance team conducts document reviews, interviews property staff, inspects completed work, and includes findings in reports to executive staff.
  • Since 2020, the compliance department has implemented an on-site monitoring program, and in 2022 undertook a comprehensive review following a 2021 investigation.

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QUESTION

# What role does NYCHA's central office play in the micro purchase contracts process?

1:26:26

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28 sec

Multiple NYCHA business units are involved in the micro purchase contracts process, including procurement and compliance.

  • NYCHA's central office operations are part of the process.
  • Procurement, compliance, and quality assurance units are involved.
  • The involvement spans multiple business units within NYCHA.

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QUESTION

# How does NYCHA track micro purchase Contracts?

1:26:58

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119 sec

NYCHA utilizes its Oracle system and data analytics to track micro purchase Contracts, ensuring compliance and identifying trends.

  • NYCHA's Oracle system manages all procurement from requisition to payment, aided by a performance management unit established over the last 2 years.
  • Data analytics tools extract information from the Oracle Financial System, analyzing trends and spend patterns among vendors and developments.
  • Compliance reviews and monthly meetings are conducted to assess risks and ensure quality assurance within the procurement program.
  • The tracking process involves collaboration between the procurement and compliance teams to enhance oversight and efficiency.

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QUESTION

# What is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) doing to address overpricing in contracts, and can restitution be obtained?

1:29:07

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75 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) acknowledges overpricing issues and explores restitution efforts.

  • NYCHA has implemented procurement changes to limit overhead costs and requires detailed itemization of costs.
  • Challenges exist in addressing past overpricing, with current focus on future precautions.
  • Restitution questions are directed to the District Attorney's office, indicating legal considerations for recovery.
  • Efforts are underway to seek restitution from both overcharging vendors and complicit employees through legal channels.

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QUESTION

# What steps are taken to reexamine current prequalified vendors for micro contracts?

1:30:23

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3 min

NYC Housing Authority explains the process and measures for reexamining prequalified vendors, focusing on ensuring vendor competence and integrity.

  • The prequalification lists address challenges related to sealed bids and lowest price requirements.
  • Vendors must meet specific competencies, such as experience, licensing, and the provision of references.
  • The Department of Investigation (DOI) recommendations are incorporated to enhance vendor integrity at the start of the prequalification process.
  • The process was initiated around two years ago, aiming to manage vendors from micro to larger contracts effectively.

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QUESTION

# How do NYCHA's procurement roles differ from other city agencies, and what is the relationship with MOCS?

1:33:40

·

109 sec

NYCHA operates under unique procurement guidelines not applicable to other city agencies and has a distinct relationship with MOCS.

  • NYCHA is governed by federal and state requirements, specifically 2 CFR 200 and PHI 151.
  • Unlike other city agencies, NYCHA is not subject to the PPP or relevant provisions in the city charter due to it not being a city agency.
  • NYCHA's micro purchase limit is $10,000, and its small acquisition method limit is $250,000, contrasting with the city's higher micro purchase and MWE limits.
  • The discussion highlights NYCHA's unique governance structure and procurement rules, distinct from other city entities.

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QUESTION

# Are the implicated employees still receiving a salary from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)?

1:35:31

·

21 sec

The implicated employees are currently suspended without pay from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

  • Council Member Julie Won inquires about the current pay status of employees implicated in earlier testimony.
  • Lisa Bova Hiatt, CEO of NYCHA, confirms the employees are suspended without pay.
  • The exchange clarifies the financial status of the implicated employees.

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QUESTION

# How many micro purchases per contractor were made in fiscal years 2022 and 2023?

1:35:54

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48 sec

The Chief Procurement Officer reports the total number of micro purchases per contractor for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

  • In fiscal year 2022, there were 13,883 purchase orders totaling $74,195,66.18.
  • In fiscal year 2023, there were 16,771 purchase orders totaling $60,268,100,2.
  • The question was asked by Council Member Julie Won and answered by Sergio Paneque, Chief Procurement Officer.
  • The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) oversees these financial transactions.

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QUESTION

# How many unique contractors received micro purchases in fiscal years 2022 and 2023?

1:36:46

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21 sec

In fiscal years 2022 and 2023, 948 and 766 unique contractors, respectively, received micro purchases.

  • The unique contractor count for fiscal year 2022 was 948.
  • In fiscal year 2023, the count decreased to 766.
  • These figures include contractors providing both commodities and services.

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QUESTION

# How many vendors from the two fiscal years have not been part of the investigation?

1:37:09

·

19 sec

Lisa Bova Hiatt, CEO of NYCHA, admits they do not have an answer regarding the number of vendors from the two fiscal years that have not been part of the investigation.

  • Council Member Julie Won raises concerns about potential vendors from two fiscal years that may not yet be implicated.
  • The inquiry points to concerns over the accuracy of the current investigation's scope.
  • Lisa Bova Hiatt, CEO of NYCHA, states they lack information on the matter.

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QUESTION

# How does the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) distinguish bid splitting from the use of microcontracts for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) goals, and what training is provided?

1:38:12

·

100 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) distinguishes prohibited bid splitting from leveraging microcontracts for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) goals by incorporating ethics training and creating procurement policies.

  • Bid splitting is clearly prohibited in the procurement policy manual, with violations addressed via ethics training.
  • NYCHA's procurement policy manual, updated in 2021, includes a section on leveraging microcontracts for MWBE goals, differentiating it from bid splitting.
  • An MWBE First Policy was established in 2021, which requires prioritizing MWDBEs or Section 3 businesses before non-MWBEs.
  • Staff acknowledgements of the procurement policy manual are mandated, emphasizing the importance of adhering to these guidelines.

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QUESTION

# Does NYCHA’s Oracle ERP system flag repeated micro purchase quotes?

1:39:51

·

53 sec

NYCHA's Oracle ERP does not automatically flag repeated micro purchase quotes, but the authority is developing tools for monthly review.

  • NYCHA is building data tools to review repeated micro purchase quotes.
  • These reviews happen collaboratively with compliance and operations on a monthly basis.
  • Data from Oracle is extracted for analytical purposes using dashboards.
  • This approach aids in detailed examination of requisitions and purchases over specific periods.

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QUESTION

# How is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building its internal dashboards, and what efforts are being made to address gaps in tracking financial abuses?

1:40:44

·

93 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is actively developing in-house dashboards to better track financial management and has made significant efforts to address previous gaps in tracking abuses and mismanagement of funds.

  • NYCHA has been focusing on building the capability to monitor financial abuses more closely for a few years, with some dashboards already built in-house.
  • Efforts include the hiring of staff for performance management, including data scientists in the compliance department who work extensively with data.
  • In 2021, NYCHA's compliance and quality assurance units discovered risks associated with micro purchases, leading to a comprehensive review and report on these purchases.
  • Following the review, NYCHA issued a compliance advisory alert to all employees, updated micro purchase protocols, and implemented safeguards, resulting in a significant reduction in spending on micro purchases for services in 2022.

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QUESTION

# Will the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) implement a public dashboard for transparency in auditing and accountability?

1:42:28

·

87 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) confirms plans for a public transparency dashboard, including data analytics on spending and performance against requirements.

  • A public report will be added to the NYCHA website on a six-month cycle.
  • The report will include data analytics on spending, performance against record-keeping requirements, and progress on recommendations.
  • NYCHA already has transparency features on its website, including dashboards on outages.
  • Council Member Julie Won emphasizes the importance of a real-time, public-facing dashboard for residents and workers to track procurement processes and work orders.

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QUESTION

# Do micro purchasing contract vendors undergo a passport check?

1:43:56

·

71 sec

Micro purchasing contract vendors at NYCHA do not currently undergo a passport check but will undergo a vendor integrity check similar to passports for contracts over $250,000.

  • Vendors currently do not go through a passport check but will face a vendor integrity check similar to passports at a threshold of $250,000.
  • The new integrity check is in response to recommendations from the Department of Investigation (DOI).
  • Most top vendors for commodities and services already have a valid Vendor Name Check (VNC).
  • The process for micro purchase vendors includes VNC checks, reflecting the majority already comply.

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QUESTION

# What are NYCHA’s strategies for addressing repair backlogs and vacancies, and how are staff performance evaluations being improved?

1:45:15

·

7 min

NYCHA outlines strategies for reducing repair backlogs and vacancies among property managers, superintendents, and assistant superintendents, and discusses improvements in staff performance evaluations.

  • NYCHA targets critical areas for backlog reduction, focusing on plumbing and painting work orders.
  • The authority has seen a decrease in the overall work order backlog, from 650,000 in May 2023 to 584,000, by prioritizing health and safety repairs.
  • Efforts include reallocating painting resources to boroughs and verifying older paint work orders through 'Operation Paint the Town.'
  • Staff performance evaluation processes are limited by contractual terms, with ongoing efforts to implement a more structured system.
  • Almost all current vacancies for property managers, superintendents, and assistant superintendents have identified candidates starting soon.

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QUESTION

# How has the bribery and corruption scandal affected NYCHA's work order completions and repair times?

1:54:25

·

151 sec

Daniel Greene clarifies that the bribery and corruption scandal has not affected NYCHA’s work order completions or repair times.

  • Greene states that progress is being made in closing work orders with substantial work being completed, as opposed to past practices of closing orders without action.
  • New controls have significantly reduced instances of closing work orders without visiting apartments to about 4%.
  • Micro-purchases, primarily focusing on public spaces and infrastructure repairs, do not slow down repair times.
  • Acknowledging that repair times need improvement, Greene asserts this issue is unrelated to the bribery and corruption scandal and mentions ongoing reforms to address it.

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QUESTION

# What steps is NYCHA taking to improve accountability and safety following the DOJ investigation?

1:57:01

·

4 min

Brad Greenberg, NYCHA's Chief Compliance Officer, outlines the implementation and progress of recommendations following a DOJ investigation, including staff training, procedural changes, and new compliance measures.

  • Recommendations include an alternative staffing model, compliance advisory alerts, a prequalified list, and IT enhancements.
  • Training programs are developed for both NYCHA staff and vendors, emphasizing the importance of compliance.
  • A schedule of cost estimates for the top 15 most used services is being established to improve financial transparency.
  • Data analytics tools and regular executive meetings are in use to provide oversight and ensure program integrity.
  • Completed actions comprise the issuance of compliance advisory alerts, creation of signage to promote ethics, and implementation of system enhancements to prevent corrupt practices.

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QUESTION

# How are residents engaged in NYCHA decision-making, and what measures are taken to rebuild trust?

2:02:17

·

3 min

NYCHA officials describe communication efforts with Tenant Association leaders and residents, but Council Member Stevens calls for more direct inclusion of resident recommendations in decisions.

  • NYCHA Chief Executive Officer mentions proactive communication efforts with Tenant Association leaders through calls and letters.
  • Council Member Stevens highlights the necessity of including residents' actual recommendations and feedback in the decision-making process and ensuring their active participation.
  • Concerns are raised about the lack of residents' voices in recommendations and the need for their perspectives to thoroughly evaluate and improve processes.
  • Council Member Stevens queries about actions aimed at rebuilding trust with NYCHA residents, pointing out the importance of restoring confidence after repeated issues.

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QUESTION

# How is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) improving trust and services for residents?

2:05:20

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137 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is undertaking efforts to rebuild trust with residents through better communication and service delivery, including addressing top concerns like broken doors and improving vendor accountability.

  • NYCHA officials engage in dialogues with staff and residents to understand and address their concerns.
  • Executive VP for Property Management highlights the importance of completing work efficiently and maintaining open communication, specifically addressing broken doors as a major resident complaint.
  • NYCHA is focused on enhancing vendor accountability and service timeliness, especially regarding lobby door repairs.
  • The Letter of Haven program, which involves relocating residents to hotels during apartment renovations, is part of NYCHA's initiatives aimed at improving resident experiences despite receiving mixed feedback.

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QUESTION

# How does the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) communicate with its residents, and is there a newsletter?

2:07:39

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133 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) utilizes various communication methods, including a weekly newsletter, to keep residents informed.

  • NYCHA communicates through robocalls, meetings, and direct outreach to convey important information to residents.
  • A weekly newsletter is distributed by NYCHA's resident engagement department, in addition to meetings with the Comprehensive Community Aging Program (CCAP) every Thursday.
  • Continuous efforts are made to improve communication, ensuring residents are aware of developments and receive necessary updates.
  • Council Member Althea V. Stevens emphasizes the need for NYCHA to consider residents' feedback in its communications and decision-making processes.

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QUESTION

# How does the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) evaluate job performance for supers, property managers, and assistant supers?

2:10:00

·

3 min

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) outlines the limited evaluation and disciplinary processes for supers, property managers, and assistant supers, highlighting the need for a structured system.

  • Initial evaluations occur during a probationary period of about a year, with no structured evaluation process afterwards.
  • Discipline-based evaluations include instructional and counseling memos, local hearings for multiple infractions, or general trials for serious offenses.
  • Civil service laws and union agreements pose significant challenges to implementing a robust evaluation system.
  • Executive VP Daniel Greene acknowledges the urgent need for a more rigid and frequent evaluation framework.
  • NYCHA is considering updates to its employee oversight processes to enable more frequent evaluations.

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QUESTION

# How is increased staff supervision achieved, and does it require collective bargaining?

2:14:15

·

31 sec

Council Member Gale Brewer learns that achieving greater staff supervision within NYCHA requires collective bargaining, not a contract amendment or an executive order.

  • Gale Brewer inquires about the method required to increase staff supervision.
  • Brad Greenberg, Chief Compliance Officer, confirms that collective bargaining is necessary.
  • Brewer asks for the date of the next contract negotiation, indicating the process involves collective bargaining agreements.
  • Brad Greenberg and Lisa Bova Hiatt, CEO of NYCHA, do not provide the date of the next contract negotiation during the session.

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QUESTION

# How many referrals have been made to the Department of Investigation (DOI) by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)?

2:14:54

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18 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) does not have an exact number of referrals made to the Department of Investigation (DOI).

  • NYCHA is in constant communication with the DOI regarding this program and others.
  • Brad Greenberg, Chief Compliance Officer at NYCHA, states they do not have the precise number of referrals.
  • Greenberg mentions the need to get back with an exact number of referrals made.

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QUESTION

# Are there rules for NYC Housing Authority contractors owned by employees or retired employees?

2:15:34

·

34 sec

Lisa Bova Hiatt, CEO of NYCHA, states they do not have immediate information on rules for contractors owned by employees or retired employees and suggests seeking a waiver from COIB.

  • The question about NYCHA's rules for contractors owned by employees or retirees is raised.
  • Lisa Bova Hiatt admits to lacking immediate information on the subject.
  • It is suggested that contractors may need to seek a waiver from the Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB).
  • NYCHA commits to providing a follow-up response for clarification.

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QUESTION

# How does NYCHA verify and vet vendors and their ownership?

2:16:08

·

68 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is modifying its vendor verification and vetting process in accordance with Department of Education (DOE) recommendations.

  • The vetting process, part of the vendor integrity program, will now include checks on ownership, corporate structure, and related parties.
  • Vendors must submit a passport filing disclosing their structure, related parties, and companies during the Vendor Name Check (VNC) passport process.
  • The Department of Education conducts a name check and notifies NYCHA of any potential discriminatory issues.
  • Changes to the process are aimed at ensuring vendors doing business with NYCHA meet certain integrity and transparency standards.

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QUESTION

# What training has been provided for NYCHA property managers and superintendents on managing micro-purchase contracts?

2:17:16

·

47 sec

Trainings have been developed for NYCHA property managers, superintendents, and assistant superintendents on managing micro-purchase contracts through the Oracle system and other tools.

  • Training development began in November 2022.
  • Trainings include ethics policy, Dun and Bradstreet policy, and management tools.
  • These trainings are being implemented into NYCHA’s learning management system following Department of Education recommendations.
  • The initiative aims at improving contract management and ethical standards.

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QUESTION

# What is the cost estimate for the new centralized unit for controlling NYCHA's operating deficit, and will it be funded by Nitro's budget?

2:18:04

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36 sec

The cost for the new centralized unit is estimated at $6,100,000, though staffing has not been finalized.

  • Lisa Bova Hiatt states the cost is approximately $6.1 million.
  • Staffing details for the new unit are still under review.
  • The funding specifics from Nitro's budget are not confirmed in her response.

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QUESTION

# What additional resources does NYCHA need for enhanced fraud prevention in micro-purchasing?

2:18:57

·

56 sec

NYCHA requires collaboration and support from council members, the public advocate, and the DOE for enhanced fraud prevention in micro-purchasing.

  • Collaboration and support from council members, the public advocate, and the DOE are essential.
  • A more detailed plan will be discussed in a forthcoming meeting about NYCHA's preliminary budget.
  • The need to implement changes to prevent fraud and misconduct is emphasized.
  • All parties are urged to work together to eliminate any "bad actors" within the procurement process.

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QUESTION

# What measures is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) taking to reform its organizational culture and regain trust?

2:19:57

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117 sec

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) aims to transform its organizational culture through compliance, service, and targeted training programs.

  • NYCHA is under a federal monitor since 2019 and bases its transformation plan on achieving compliance and fostering a culture of service.
  • Initiatives include a new project to increase computer access, an Operations Leadership Institute for best practices training, and a coaching and mentoring leadership academy.
  • Continued communication efforts are undertaken to promote a culture of compliance, collaboration, and ethics, aiming to eliminate historical misconduct.

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TESTIMONY

# Alexa on NYCHA's Management of Section 9 and Concerns with Private Development Agreements

2:23:22

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70 sec

Alexa, a resident of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) community since 1969, addresses issues regarding Section 9 and interactions with private developers.

  • Expresses frustration with the lack of accountability in NYCHA and issues surrounding mismanaged funds by employees.
  • Highlights the inefficiency of district managers in providing information or responding to queries about NYCHA's operations.
  • Emphasizes the need to preserve Section 9 for NYCHA residents due to the impermanence of agreements with private developers, which only last 20 years.
  • Points out the potential risk to housing security after the 20-year contracts with private developers end, leaving residents without protection.

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TESTIMONY

# Celines Miranda, Resident of Elliott-Chelsea Houses, on the Threats of Demolition, Privatization, and Lack of Accountability in NYCHA

2:24:44

·

4 min

Testifying before the NYC City Council, Celines Miranda expresses significant concerns regarding the potential demolition of public housing, the privatization efforts, and the urgent need for accountability within the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

  • Miranda highlights the critical role of public housing in preventing homelessness and supporting low-income earners.
  • She criticizes the mismanagement within NYCHA, particularly the false justification of privatization through lower-level employee arrests.
  • The testimony points out the misallocation of NYCHA funds, including overcharging for minor repairs, leading to systemic neglect of public housing units.
  • Miranda warns against the demolition of sturdy, well-built public housing based on alleged deterioration and deceptive practices.
  • She urges a stop to the privatization efforts and calls for holding NYCHA to higher standards to regain tenants' trust.

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TESTIMONY

# Joel Kupferman, Executive Director, Environment Justice Initiative on Environmental Hazards in NYCHA Housing and the Need for External Oversight

2:29:11

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4 min

Joel Kupferman discusses the environmental hazards in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) properties and urges for external oversight.

  • Kupferman emphasizes the worsening environmental conditions in NYCHA housing and the ineffective response from agencies.
  • He highlights the health risks posed by poor construction and renovation practices, including increased COVID-19 mortality among residents.
  • Kupferman criticizes NYCHA for ignoring external agencies with resources to help and advocates for their involvement.
  • The testimony calls out the diversion of complaints away from responsible city agencies, undermining residents' ability to seek help.
  • Finally, Kupferman underlines the importance of strengthening whistleblower protections to support workers exposing unsafe practices.

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TESTIMONY

# Christopher Leon Johnson on Council Bias, RAD/PACT, and Mismanagement in NYCHA

2:33:33

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129 sec

Christopher Leon Johnson criticizes council member bias and expresses concerns over RAD/PACT initiatives and NYCHA mismanagement.

  • Johnson accuses council members, particularly due to carpenters' union influence, of supporting RAD/PACT to benefit from reconstruction projects.
  • He questions the integrity of the council and their commitment to saving NYCHA resident apartments.
  • Johnson highlights instances of low-level NYCHA employees being arrested as publicity stunts, calling for accountability at higher levels.
  • He suggests a conflict of interest in the council that favors developers over NYCHA residents, undermining the community's stability.

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TESTIMONY

# Resident of Elliott Houses on NYCHA's Accountability and Inefficacy of Current Solutions

2:35:54

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85 sec

A resident of Elliott Houses criticizes the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for lack of accountability and ineffective solutions to housing challenges.

  • Highlights NYCHA's original goal of providing affordable housing and critiques the efficacy of demolition and outsourcing of work.
  • Expresses concern that current solutions like Pac Rad and the Preservation Trust do not address the core issues.
  • Advocates for employing skill trades within NYCHA to promote a circular economy, instead of outsourcing.
  • Stresses the importance of accountability within NYCHA at city, state, and federal levels, calling it crucial for meaningful change.
  • Argues for the involvement of the broader resident community in decision-making, beyond just resident association leaders.

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TESTIMONY

# Aisha Torres, President, Alfred E. Smith Residents' Association on Resident Exclusion, Rights Violations, and Health Concerns

2:37:49

·

4 min

Aisha Torres testifies on the exclusion of residents from the decision-making process, violations of their rights, and health issues due to the negligence of the regulatory body Nycha.

  • Torres emphasizes the necessity of following regulation 964 to include residents in the decision-making process, which is currently ignored.
  • She details the residents' efforts to secure their rights, including hiring an attorney, amidst health crises like 911 cancer among residents.
  • Torres expresses grievance over the loss of residents to 911 cancer and stresses the impact of environmental issues, like tree removal, on residents with lung diseases.
  • She advocates for resident empowerment in assessing and approving developmental decisions to ensure quality living conditions.
  • Torres highlights the issues with vendors and the lack of responsiveness from the authorities to the residents' concerns.

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TESTIMONY

# Resident Council President of Saint Mary's Park Houses on Questionable Expenses and Vendor Practices in Housing Projects

2:42:53

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5 min

The Resident Council President of Saint Mary's Park Houses discusses the questionable expenses and vendor practices that affect residents' quality of life in housing projects.

  • Highlights issues with vendor contracts, including excessive costs and shoddy work, impacting residents' living conditions.
  • Criticizes the secrecy around budget information, creating transparency problems in housing management.
  • Details specific instances of inefficiency and waste, such as the high costs of door and light bulb replacements and inadequate cleaning services.
  • Shares personal stories of residents affected by delayed repairs, like a senior with no working radiator and a disabled resident awaiting kitchen repairs.
  • Calls for closer examination of expenditures and better engagement with resident leaders to address quality of life issues and improve services.

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TESTIMONY

# Jacqueline Lara, Resident of Fulton (NYCHA Community), on Opposing Demolition and Seeking Accountability

2:49:12

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123 sec

Jacqueline Lara opposes the demolition of Fulton buildings, criticizing elected officials and NYCHA executives for neglect and lack of transparency.

  • Lara, a 22-year resident, questions the need for demolition, highlighting potential broad community impact including health risks.
  • She expresses disappointment with elected officials for their lack of outreach and failure to represent community interests.
  • Lara alleges financial mismanagement among NYCHA executives and criticizes the lack of effective communication regarding housing developments.
  • Emphasizes the recurrent maintenance issues within her apartment, including unaddressed requests for cabinet replacements.
  • Urges for a halt to the proposed demolition and demands better accountability and communication from elected officials.

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TESTIMONY

# Karen Blondel, Resident of NYCHA Community, on NYCHA Transformation and Oversight Challenges

2:51:28

·

167 sec

Karen Blondel, a NYCHA community resident, shares her insights on the NYCHA transformation plan and its oversight challenges.

  • Blondel appreciates Council Member Chris Banks and expresses eagerness to meet him.
  • She discusses her firsthand experience with the NYCHA transformation plan, praising its intent but noting deficiencies in coverage.
  • Highlights her opposition to the Radiological Assistance Program (Rad Pak) but acknowledges some benefits, like preventing overcharging.
  • Asserts the need for NYCHA to be segmented for better management and stresses the urgent implementation of Department of Energy recommendations from 2021.
  • Advocates for more thorough audits, better accountability of emergency contracts, and a more streamlined approach to managerial duties within NYCHA.

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TESTIMONY

# Maria Forbes, Resident Council President, on Accountability and Mismanagement within Housing Authorities

2:54:45

·

160 sec

Maria Forbes provides a powerful testimony on the urgent need for accountability and thorough investigation into the mismanagement within housing authorities.

  • Forbes discusses systemic issues in housing management, including favoritism towards bad employees by unions.
  • She advocates for investigations from the federal level down to city council to address these issues.
  • Forbes recounts her own experiences and perspectives from participating in the United Nations as a representation of public housing residents.
  • She underscores the necessity of investigations into housing management practices to ensure the replacement of bad employees with good ones, aiming to improve overall housing conditions.

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TESTIMONY

# Sevina Willis, Red Hook Resident, on Mismanagement in Public Housing Finances

2:57:39

·

114 sec

Sevina Willis discusses the persistent mismanagement and corruption within public housing finances.

  • Willis emphasizes that the residents of public housing are not to blame for the problems faced by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
  • She mentions instances of exorbitant spending on basic necessities like single burner hot plates provided during gas outages, questioning the oversight of such financial decisions.
  • Willis calls for an ongoing investigation into these financial practices and demands greater oversight by resident councils.
  • She highlights the need for a halt in the conversion of developments until financial irregularities are resolved.
  • Willis stresses the impact on working-class individuals who pay significant rents for substandard services.

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