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Vendor Responsibility Information for State Agencies

Types of Transactions and Vendors Requiring a Vendor Responsibility Review

Parent and Subsidiary Corporations

It is recommended that the State contracting entity consider the responsibility of a proposed contractor's associated companies and solicit information regarding those associated companies. Accordingly, OSC vendor questionnaires include questions that solicit information on the proposed contractor as well as its associated companies, and require a proposed contractor to certify that it has made a good faith effort to provide a full and complete response.

Additionally, where an associated company is a critical component of a proposed contractor’s capacity to fully perform a contract (i.e., the proposed contractor relies on the parent company for financial capacity or a related company for relevant experience), the State contracting entity should conduct separate responsibility determinations for those associated companies.

OSC reserves the right to require responsibility determinations related to parent and subsidiary companies and related affiliates.

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Subcontractors

Submission of a Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire and a State contracting entity vendor responsibility review are required for a subcontractor where:

  • the subcontractor is known at the time of the contract award; and
  • the subcontract will equal or exceed $100,000 over the life of the contract.

Subcontractors are required to obtain a New York State Vendor Identification Number (Vendor ID) to complete a questionnaire whether using the New York State VendRep System or a paper form. The State contracting entity shall initiate the request for a Vendor ID on behalf of the subcontractor.

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Contract transactions

Vendor responsibility requirements and related procurement record requirements apply to all contract transactions (contracts, purchase orders, amendments) by any State contracting entity that submits its contracts to OSC for approval. Furthermore, for contract transactions required to be approved by the Comptroller under Section 112 of the State Finance Law valued at $100,000 or more over the term of the agreement, the State contracting entity must require disclosure by the contractor of all information the State contracting entity deems relevant to a responsibility determination.

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State contracting entity piggy-backing

Piggy-back contracts are considered new, separate contracts subject to vendor responsibility requirements.

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State centralized or backdrop contract

A vendor responsibility review is required at the time of initial contract award, and therefore a new responsibility determination is not required when purchasing off a centralized contract or backdrop (mini-bid) contract, unless the State contracting entity becomes aware of information that may negatively impact the vendor’s responsibility.

When the State contracting entity is aware of potentially adverse information, such information should be communicated to the administering contracting entity and assessed by the State contracting entity in the context of their specific procurement. The contracting entity’s assessment must be documented on the Vendor Responsibility Profile and Agency Responsibility Certification when the mini-bid contract is submitted for OSC approval.

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Purchase orders

Purchase orders require responsibility determinations. Unless they are purchases off a pre-existing contract (such as a State centralized contract), purchase orders are considered new contract transactions subject to vendor responsibility requirements.

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"Quick" contracts

"Quick" contracts are subject to vendor responsibility requirements. Furthermore, if OSC finds any issues with the vendor responsibility information required to be included in the procurement record, the contract may be removed from "Quick" status, and reassigned to standard processing status.

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Revenue contracts

Responsibility determinations are required for revenue contracts. Also, where revenues are anticipated to equal or exceed $100,000, a vendor disclosure is required. Responsibility factors which might be emphasized in this type of responsibility review include financial and organizational capacity, integrity and internal controls.

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Construction change orders

The original State contracting entity responsibility determination and Agency Responsibility Certification applies to subsequent change orders against a construction contract. If, however, the contracting entity is aware of new information that could negatively impact the contractor’s responsibility, it must conduct a complete vendor responsibility review and submit all of the required vendor responsibility documentation, including an Agency Responsibility Certification, Vendor Responsibility Profile, and updated Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire, if applicable. In conducting a responsibility review for a change order transaction, the State contracting entity may choose to obtain an updated questionnaire from the vendor.

OSC encourages State contracting entities to include in their contracts language that requires the contractor to report to the contracting entity material changes in its initial vendor responsibility disclosure, and that allows for the State contracting entity to terminate the contract in the event of a non responsibility finding. See Conducting a Vendor Responsibility Review and Making a Responsibility Determination for more information.

In all contract transactions, OSC reserves the right to conduct a de novo responsibility review.