Taskforce recommendations will cut years off capital process: NYC Mayor

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New York Construction Report staff writer

Reforms introduced this week by a NYC task force will save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars every year and take years off the capital process,” says Mayor Eric Adams.

The Capital Process Reform Task Force, a group representing the construction industry, labor, and Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) released a year-end report with 22 recommendations.

“For far too long, we have betrayed taxpayers when it comes to building public infrastructure,” Adams said. “Now is the time to overhaul the slow and expensive process we go through to build public facilities so we can ‘Get Stuff Done’ for all New Yorkers — reconstructing streets, repairing bridges, bringing water to people’s homes, creating parks and libraries, and more.”

The task force will champion a nine-part state legislative package to modernize the procurement process, mitigate insurance barriers faced by M/WBEs, increase the city’s opportunities to grow M/WBE capacity, and improve access to procurement and project delivery tools that were successful during the COVID pandemic.

“New Yorkers across the board will benefit from the close coordination and accelerated timelines on capital projects across the city that these recommendations will achieve,” said Shari C. Hyman, vice-president of public affairs, Turner Construction Company. “I congratulate Mayor Adams, his team, and my industry colleagues for their work on this task force, and I look forward to working together to ensure these reforms are enacted.”

The package also establishes DDC as a public authority, similar to other large public construction entities in New York state – reducing administrative burdens, streamlining procurement processes, creating access to faster, cheaper, and more varied modes of project delivery.

Reforms will improve scoping and planning, cut down project initiation time, remove redundant reviews from procurement, increase M/WBE participation, manage projects more effectively, cut down on change orders, standardize and streamline invoicing and payment, improve the delivery of projects for libraries and cultural institutions, and support implementation of a citywide capital project tracker mandated by Local Law 37 of 2020.

“As DDC takes on more and more responsibility, including billions of dollars in urgent coastal resiliency and green infrastructure programs, the task force’s recommendation to create a streamlined design and construction authority couldn’t come at a better time,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. A new design and construction authority will save precious time and money and restore New Yorkers’ faith in ‘Getting Stuff Done.

“Emergency events, like our incredible COVID response, have allowed our talented team to throw out the old rulebook and do things innovatively, while still protecting public funds and reaching record levels of M/WBE participation.

The General Contractors Association of New York commends the Capital Process Reform Task Force for proposing some of the most thoughtful changes to the way the city builds capital projects in decades.

Gus Sanoulis, vice-president of construction at Con Edison is a member of the task force.

“Con Edison is appreciative of being included in the Capital Process Reform Task Force’s important work,” he said. “We support Mayor Adams’ efforts to modernize this process to better serve New Yorkers.”

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