Debarment of Contractors

NY-ADR

6/5/19 N.Y. St. Reg. MTA-23-19-00006-EP
NEW YORK STATE REGISTER
VOLUME XLI, ISSUE 23
June 05, 2019
RULE MAKING ACTIVITIES
METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
EMERGENCY/PROPOSED RULE MAKING
NO HEARING(S) SCHEDULED
 
I.D No. MTA-23-19-00006-EP
Filing No. 520
Filing Date. May. 22, 2019
Effective Date. May. 22, 2019
Debarment of Contractors
PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE State Administrative Procedure Act, NOTICE is hereby given of the following action:
Proposed Action:
Addition of Part 1004 to Title 21 NYCRR.
Statutory authority:
Public Authorities Law, sections 1266(4) and 1279-h
Finding of necessity for emergency rule:
Preservation of general welfare.
Specific reasons underlying the finding of necessity:
The emergency rule is necessary to immediately implement the recent amendment to the Public Authorities Law, enacted as part of the 2020 Budget, which added a new Section 1279-h. That new statutory provision, effective immediately on enactment on April 12, 2019 and applicable to all contracts in effect on or entered into after that date, requires the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to establish “pursuant to regulation” a process for debarment of contractors under certain circumstances specified in the statute.
Subject:
Debarment of contractors.
Purpose:
To comply with Public Authorities Law, section 1279-h, which requires the MTA to establish a debarment process for contractors.
Text of emergency/proposed rule:
A new Part 1004 is added to read as follows:
Section 1004.1 Purpose
(a) This Part establishes rules and regulations governing the debarment of contractors by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its subsidiaries and affiliates, as required by Section 1279-h of the Public Authorities Law, which was enacted on and made effective immediately as of April 12, 2019. Once adopted, it shall apply to all contracts that were in effect on, or entered into after, April 12, 2019.
(b) Nothing in this Part shall preclude or otherwise limit the Authority, as defined below, from assessing the responsibility of any bidder, contractor, subcontractor, or supplier pursuant to its All-Agency Responsibility Guidelines or from prohibiting any bidder, contractor, subcontractor, or supplier found to be not responsible from responding to new and future contract solicitations or from being awarded new and future contracts or subcontracts.
Section 1004.2 Definitions
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless otherwise specified:
(a) Authority means the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Long Island Rail Road Company, the Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company, the Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority, MTA Bus Company, MTA Capital Construction Company, the New York City Transit Authority, the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, or the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, or any combination thereof, as the case may be.
(b) Contract means an enforceable agreement including a task order entered into by a contractor and the Authority for goods or services, including without limitation construction services.
(c) Contractor means any person, partnership, firm, corporation, or association, including any consultant, supplier or vendor, with whom the Authority has entered into a construction, consultant, equipment, supply, or services contract, but shall not include the federal government, a state agency, any public authority or public benefit corporation, or any unit of local government.
(d) Debar or debarment means the prohibition of a contractor from responding to any contract solicitation of or entering into any contract with the Authority for five years from a final debarment determination as provided in section 1004.6 of this Part.
(e) Contract Modification means amendments, change orders, additional work orders, or modifications with respect to a contract that are executed in accordance with the terms and conditions of such contract.
(f) Substantially Complete, unless otherwise defined in the contract at issue, means the contractor’s completion of the work as necessary for the Authority’s beneficial use of the applicable project or improvements or the Authority’s acceptance of those goods or services required to be delivered by a deadline.
(g) Total adjusted time frame means (1) with respect to all work under a contract, the period of time that a contract provides for a contractor to substantially complete the work, as may have been extended or reduced by one or more contract modifications, and (2) with respect to contracts for goods or services, as to any portion of the goods or services that must be delivered by a deadline, the period of time that the contract provides for such delivery, as may have been extended or reduced by one or more contract modifications.
(h) Total adjusted contract value means the original awarded amount of the contract plus or minus the aggregate net amount of all contract modifications.
Section 1004.3 Grounds for Debarment
(a) The Authority, including all contracting personnel therein, must debar a contractor if it makes a final determination that the contractor has:
(1)(i) failed to substantially complete all the work within the total adjusted time frame by more than ten percent of the total adjusted time frame, or (ii) failed to progress the work in a manner so that it will be substantially complete within ten percent of the total adjusted time frame and has refused or in the opinion of the Authority is unable to accelerate the work so that it will be substantially complete within ten percent of the total adjusted time frame, and such refusal or failure is an event of default under the contract; or (iii) with respect to contracts for goods or services, as to any portion of the goods or services that must be delivered by a deadline, materially failed to deliver such goods or services by more than ten percent of the total adjusted time frame.
(2) asserted a claim or claims for payment of additional amounts beyond the total adjusted contract value and one or more of such claims are determined to be invalid under the contract’s dispute resolution process or if no such process is specified in the contract in a final determination made by the chief engineer or otherwise by the Authority, and together the sum of any such invalid claims exceeds by ten percent or more the total adjusted contract value.
(3) The Authority, including all contracting personnel therein, must commence a debarment procedure where there is any evidence that any specific provision referenced in provision (a)(1) and (a)(2) have been violated, and the Authority and its contracting personnel have no discretion to excuse or justify violations of any provision referenced in provision (a)(1) and (a)(2).
Section 1004.4 Notice of Intent to Debar and Written Response
(a) Upon the occurrence of one or both of the circumstances set forth in section 1004.3 of this Part, the Authority shall provide a written notice of intent to debar to the contractor, advising the contractor that it will hold a hearing to make a final determination as to whether a ground for debarment exists. At a minimum, the notice of intent to debar shall:
(1) state the facts upon which the Authority made its preliminary finding that one or both statutory grounds for debarment exists, including the basis for determining as provided in section 1004.4 of this Part that the contractor failed to timely Substantially Complete or the Authority’s calculation of costs arising from claims determined to be invalid, and
(2) provide the contractor 30 calendar days after the date of the notice of intent to debar to respond.
(b) A contractor’s written response must address each of the factual statements made by the Authority in its notice of intent to debar and state in detail any defenses including but not limited to force majeure.
(c) After submission by the contractor of a written response within the time permitted, or after the failure by the contractor to submit a written response within such time, a debarment hearing will be held, as provided in section 1004.5 of this Part.
(d) Subject to section 1004.1(b) of this Part, a contractor who has received a notice of intent to debar may respond to other contract solicitations issued by the Authority pending the hearing and a final debarment determination, if any; provided, however, that if the Authority awards such contractor a new contract or contracts after having provided the contractor a notice of intent to debar, and such contractor is later debarred by the Authority pursuant to such notice, the Authority must view such debarment as cause for termination under such new contract or contracts and thereupon terminate any such new contracts for cause.
Section 1004.5 Debarment Hearing
(a) A debarment hearing shall be conducted within:
(1) 21 calendar days from the Authority’s receipt of a contractor’s written response to a notice of intent to debar or within such further reasonable time that the authority shall proscribe; or
(2) 14 calendar days after the date the contractor’s response was due, if no response is received from the contractor within the deadline.
(b) A recording or transcript of the debarment hearing shall be made.
(c) The debarment hearing shall be conducted by a panel of at least three managerial level employees of the MTA designated by majority vote of the Authority’s board; provided that no employee who has taken part in the award of any Authority contract to such contractor or overseen such contractor’s performance on any Authority contract may serve on a panel considering the debarment of such contractor.
(d) A contractor shall have the right to appear by and be represented by counsel at the debarment hearing and any hearings in connection with other proceedings conducted pursuant to this Part.
(e) A contractor at the debarment hearing may assert any and all defenses to debarment including without limitation force majeure.
(f) If a contractor fails to appear at a debarment hearing, the panel may proceed with the hearing on the basis of the record before it and reach a final determination without providing for any further appearance or submission by the contractor.
Section 1004.6 Final Debarment Determination
(a) After the hearing is completed, the panel shall determine if one or both of the grounds for debarment as set forth in section 1004.3 of this Part exists.
(b) The panel’s determination shall be set forth in writing. If the final debarment determination is that one or both of the grounds for debarment exist, the contractor shall be debarred for five years from the date of the final debarment determination. The panel may, in its discretion, also debar any of (1) the contractor’s parent(s), subsidiaries and affiliates; (2) any joint venture (including its individual members) and any other form of partnership (including its individual members) that includes a contractor or a contractor’s parent(s), subsidiaries, or affiliates of a contractor, (3) a contractor’s directors, officers, principals, managerial employees, and any person or entity with a ten percent or more interest in a contractor; (4) any legal entity controlled, or ten percent or more of which is owned or controlled, by a contractor, or by any director, officer, principal, managerial employee of contractor, or by any person or entity with a 10 percent or greater interest in contractor, including without limitation any new entity created after the date of the notice of intent to debar.
(c) The panel’s determination shall be timely submitted to the board of the Authority for ratification. The board of the Authority shall review such determination and either: (i) ratify the determination or, (ii) remit the determination to the panel for further consideration of facts or circumstances identified in the remission. The facts or circumstances identified in the remission shall be reviewed by the panel who shall then, after reconsideration, make a determination. Such determination shall then be resubmitted to the Authority board for ratification or nullification. Upon initial Authority board ratification of a panel determination, or Authority board ratification or nullification of a panel determination made after reconsideration, such determination shall be deemed final.
(d) Timely and complete compliance with each and all of the requirements of this Part shall be a precondition to any legal challenge that the contractor may be permitted to bring arising out f its debarment pursuant to Section 1279-h of the Public Authorities Law.
(e) Pursuant to Executive Order 192, the Authority shall notify the New York State Office of General Services of any final debarment determination within five days of the date thereof.
This notice is intended:
to serve as both a notice of emergency adoption and a notice of proposed rule making. The emergency rule will expire August 19, 2019.
Text of rule and any required statements and analyses may be obtained from:
Peter Sistrom, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 2 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10004, (212) 878-7176, email: psistrom@mtahq.org
Data, views or arguments may be submitted to:
Same as above.
Public comment will be received until:
60 days after publication of this notice.
Regulatory Impact Statement
Statutory Authority:
Section 1266(4) of the Public Authorities Law provides that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) may establish rules and regulations as it may deem necessary, convenient, or desirable for the use and operation of any transportation facility and related services operated by the MTA. Newly enacted Section 1279-h of the Public Authorities Law, enacted on April 12, 2019 and effective immediately, directs the MTA to establish pursuant to regulation a debarment process for its contractors.
Legislative Objectives:
The Legislature enacted the new Section 1279-h of the Public Authorities Law as part of the 2020 Budget. It requires the MTA to establish a process that will debar for five years any contractor who either fails to substantially complete the work within the time frame set by the contract, or in any subsequent change order, by more than ten percent of the contract term, or whose disputed work exceeds ten percent or more of the total contract cost where claimed costs are deemed to be invalid pursuant to the contractual dispute resolution process. The statute requires that the debarment process ensures that contractors have notice and an opportunity to be heard including the opportunity to present as a defense acts such as force majeure. The proposed rule accords with this legislative objective by establishing a process for debarment of contractors.
Needs and Benefits:
The proposed rule is necessary to implement the newly enacted Section 1279-h of the Public Authorities, which expressly requires the MTA to establish a debarment process and specifies the circumstances under which MTA must debar a contractor. Contractors who are significantly late in performing their contractual work or in meeting contractual delivery dates or who assert substantial and unjustified claims for payment should not be allowed to compete to be awarded new contracts.
Costs:
(a) Regulated parties: This proposal does not impose new costs on contractors. It provides a process for determining whether factual circumstances exist, which the Legislature has determined require debarment. The proposed rule establishes a process to ensure that contractors are provided notice and an opportunity to be heard.
(b) Local government: The proposed rule will impose no costs on local governments.
(c) MTA: The MTA will use existing resources including its existing procurement and legal staff to undertake debarments of contractors.
Paperwork:
The proposed rule will require the MTA to develop a notice to inform contractors that they might be debarred.
Local Government Mandates:
The proposed rule does not impose any new programs, services, duties, or responsibilities on local government.
Duplication:
The proposed rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any State or Federal rule.
Alternatives:
The Legislature has expressly directed the MTA to establish by regulation a debarment process for its contractors, so MTA has not considered not doing so.
Federal Standards:
The proposed rule does not exceed any Federal minimum standards.
Compliance Schedule:
There is no compliance schedule imposed by this proposed rule. Once adopted, it will be effective immediately and will apply to contracts in effect on, or entered into after, the effective date of Section 1279-h of the Public Authorities Law, which was April 12, 2019.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, Rural Area Flexibility Analysis and Job Impact Statement
A regulatory flexibility analysis for small business and local governments, a rural area flexibility analysis, and a job impact statement are not required for this rule making proposal because it will not adversely affect small businesses, local governments, rural areas, or jobs.
This proposed rule making will allow the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to debar a contractor under specified statutorily proscribed circumstances after giving such contractor notice and opportunity to be heard. Due to its narrow focus, this proposed rule will not impose an adverse economic impact or reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements on small businesses or local governments in rural or urban areas or on jobs and employment opportunities.
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