The State University of New York in a statement on Thursday announced its opposition to a bill that would restore procurement oversight power to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a measure that has been gaining steam in the Legislature this week.

“SUNY procurement oversight was wisely amended by the Legislature in 2011, and those changes were extended in 2016, following an audit by the Comptroller himself,” said SUNY spokeswoman Casey Vattimo. “These provisions continue to serve the best interests of our campuses, students, faculty, and staff.”

The bill was initially proposed in the wake of a bid rigging case that resulted in the indictments of former SUNY Polytechnic President Alain Kaloyeros, former close gubernatorial aide Joe Percoco and prominent upstate developers.

Soon after the arrests, the procurement procedure was scrutinized. SUNY has been used a pass-through vehicle for the funding of economic development programs and the loss of DiNapoli’s power was the result of an effort to hasten the flow of money to the projects.

In its bill memo, SUNY wrote the changes proposed to procurement wouldn’t address corruption concerns.

“The procurement changes in this legislation are not tailored in a manner to prevent or target behavior such as the allegations involving contracts related to economic development projects and not-for-profit entities. Those activities were fully outside of the direct state procurement laws and procedures that this legislation would amend,” the memo states.

The bill cleared a hurdle in the Senate Finance Committee this week. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he is reviewing the legislation with his conference.

S3984 OSC Procurement Final 4 24 by Nick Reisman on Scribd