ALBANY,N.Y. (NEWS10)– New York City’s comptroller is sending back the city’s 432 million dollar contract with DocGo.
New York City’s comptroller said it is exceedingly rare for his office not to approve contracts, sharing with Jamie DeLine the reasoning behind his decision.
“This contract just raised too many questions about its budget, about its vendor integrity, about its subcontractors, and in particular , about how they were chosen given that they didn’t have any experience providing shelter or services to immigrants or asylum seekers previously,” explained Brad Lander, New York City’s Comptroller.
When asked what this means going forward, Lander said, “So, the ball is now back in the City’s court. What we did here is essentially return the contract to the city’s department of housing and preservation development, and we said you might want to reconsider given all of these concerns we have articulated whether DocGo is an appropriate contractor.”
New York City Hall now has three options to choose from: withdraw and pay what’s owed, answer the comptroller’s concerns, or option three explained by Lander.
“The mayor does have a path way for pushing the contract into payment even despite our objections, concerns, and decision not to approve the contract.”
The comptroller’s decision comes after a number of inquiries and reviews of DocGo. Those include the New York Attorney General’s Office and most recently, the New York Department of State’s audit of security firms hired by DocGo. The investigation is ongoing after finding “several significant violations of law.”
DocGo responded to the most recent audit from the Department of State saying DocGo launched an investigation and that, “ Should the investigation substantiate these claims, we will take immediate corrective action…”
As for what happens next with the contract, DocGo said, “We have received assurance from the Mayor’s office that NYC intends to fully pay DocGo for the services delivered under this contract, both historically and going forward.”
The New York City Mayor’s Office said they have strategically used emergency contracts like these over the past year to provide assistance for the mass influx of asylum seekers. They say they hope their partners with the comptroller’s office will work with them to keep families from sleeping in the streets.