Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that his administration intends to increase significantly its goals for Minority and Women-Owned Enterprises (MWBE) state contracting utilization. Cuomo’s announcement was made during the New York State’s Fourth Annual MWBE Forum in Albany and followed the release of new data that showed that New York State exceeded the 20% goal he originally set when he took office.
While New York has had great success in eliminating barriers to and expanding participation by MWBEs in state contracting, such efforts also pose enormous challenges to contractors who must ensure that they comply with the myriad guidelines and regulations that govern MWBE participation. The failure to comply with these regulations and guidelines can be catastrophic—firms have faced criminal prosecutions, fines, and debarment. Now more than ever, it is crucial that firms have a robust compliance program in place.
Thacher Associates is an industry leader with decades of experience in monitoring MWBE compliance with federal, state, and local regulatory guidelines. We have a longstanding practice group of industry experts that includes attorneys, investigators, forensic auditors, and professional research analysts who have extensive experience in investigating, detecting, and preventing MWBE fraud.
We have been a key partner with nationwide and global firms as well as smaller companies in the New York market in developing and enhancing functional MWBE compliance programs. Our team has helped design, implement, and monitor compliance programs to mitigate against recurrence of improper utilization of MWBE firms while preventing future frauds from impacting our clients. Thacher Associates has also been successful in assisting bona-fide MWBEs appeal the denial of their recertification applications.
The public sector has also turned to Thacher Associates to monitor firms who have a history of MWBE noncompliance. We have been retained by a number of public agencies, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Office of the Inspector General of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Department of Investigations and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery in the pursuit of enforcing MWBE regulatory compliance. Our work has resulted in successful criminal and civil actions against firms and individuals and has generated millions of dollars in recoveries and restitution.