MINEOLA - Nassau County is revamping how it awards some contracts after an independent review of its practices.
The county's contracting practices first came under fire several months ago. Federal investigators are looking into a $12 million contract awarded to a company that employs the son of state Sen. Dean Skelos. The state senator and his son were arrested earlier this year on extortion and bribery charges.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has also taken some heat for awarding contracts just under $25,000, which means they don't have to be submitted to the Legislature for approval.
The proposed reforms include independent auditors to oversee the county's contracting system, mandatory disclosure of political donations from vendors and more public information about those contracts that are less than $25,000. Mangano says he's on board with the proposed changes.
"It increases transparency, which in turn should increase confidence in the system," says Mangano.
Norma Gonsalves, the Legislature's presiding officer, says that she intends to "give the panel's recommendations and the county executive's proposals our closest scrutiny."
Mangano says the proposal will soon be submitted to lawmakers.