From the Morning Memo:

Good-government advocates aren’t buying Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s assertion there is independent sufficient oversight of state contracting methods.

In a statement released Wednesday, a range of organizations — Common Cause/NY, Citizens Union, the Citizen Budget Commission, the Fiscal Policy Institute, the League of Women Voters, Reinvent Albany, and NYPIRG — reiterated their calls for stronger safeguards and checks on contracting and procurement.

At the same time, the groups knocked Cuomo’s claims there is enough existing oversight of contracting outside of his office. Cuomo at a cabinet meeting this week pointed to local, state and federal prosecutors as the independent means of holding wrongdoers to account.

“The U.S. Attorney’s investigation into the economic development program points to cronyism and preferential treatment for donors which directly undermines the Governor’s insistence that the existing oversight model is sufficient,” the groups said. “When the Governor’s closest associates are implicated in rigging economic development contracts worth more than $780 million clearly the state’s contracting oversight system has failed.”

Cuomo wants to enhance oversight of contracting through the creation of a chief procurement officer and by enhancing the role of the state inspector general. Both offices would be under the auspices of the executive branch. At the same time, Cuomo wants stricter reviews for SUNY non-profit purchasing.

But good-government groups insist there needs to be broader, more independent reforms, including the creation of a database of subsidies published online, empowering the state comptroller to review all contracts worth more than $250,000, and ending the awarding of government economic development incentives by SUNY.

The proposals come after last year’s arrest of prominent upstate developers, the former president of SUNY Polytechnic and an ex-top aide and confidant to Cuomo, Joe Percoco, on charges of rigging economic development projects.