Ulster comptroller makes county contracts transparent

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The Wappingers Central School District has signed a five-year contract with its nurses.

KINGSTON – Ulster County Comptroller March Gallagher has begun sharing with the general public all contracts and contract amendments that her office has approved.

It is part of her pledge to enhance transparency and accountability across county operations.

“Ulster County taxpayers have a right to see the wheels of government turning,” she said. “Timely sharing information about contracts and contract amendments will help people understand the work of county government. Contracts transparency can prevent conflicts of interest from arising and can build trust between the community and government.”

As of June 30, 2020, the comptroller’s office has approved a total of 330 contracts – 294 dollar-limited contracts – $30.1 million in spending contracts and $6.6 million in revenue contracts with another 36 rate-based spending contracts.

During the COVID-19 emergency, the comptroller’s office identified three contracts that bypassed traditional procurement and approval processes including those for Accucare for public health nursing, Edible Independence for meal preparation, and Ellenville Regional Hospital for testing.

Lynn Archer, chairwoman of the county legislature’s Ways and Means Committee, commended Gallagher for “prioritizing greater transparency. The legislature shares fiduciary responsibility to approve many contracts for services and projects that are important to our residents and county – and the more information available to the legislature the better we can act in the public’s interest.”