By law, State contracting entities may only award contracts to responsible vendors. A responsible vendor must have the:
- integrity to justify the award of public dollars; and
- the capacity to perform the requirements of the contract fully.
Who determines responsibility
It is the State contracting entity’s duty to evaluate the responsibility of the vendor before awarding the contract. This is an important part of the procurement process as it:
- helps ensure public dollars support honest vendors;
- protects prospective vendors from unfair competitions; and
- produces better value for the State and its citizens.
For its part, the vendor must disclose any information or documentation relevant to the scope of the contract on the Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire, if required. The State contracting entity must fully review all information provided by the vendor and make a responsibility determination.
For more information, see How to Conduct a Responsibility Review.
What must be filed
For each contract, the State contracting entity must file a Vendor Responsibility Profile with the Office of the State Comptroller. (Note: State authorities are exempt from filing a Vendor Profile.)
On this form, the State contracting entity will:
- provide complete contract information;
- indicate a determination (either “Responsible” or “Non-Responsible”); and
- describe any issues related to the vendor, the resolutions and the State contracting entity's assessment.
If the contract is valued over $100,000, the vendor must file a Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire with the State contracting entity. The questionnaire provides the vendor an opportunity to self-disclose any issues and provide necessary information, which the State contracting entity will use as part of its determination.
For more information, see Documentation Requirements.
How responsibility is determined
The State contracting entity must consider any information that raises issues concerning the vendor’s responsibility, with consideration given to its relevance to the scope of work. A determination should involve a review of these four major categories:
- Financial and Organizational Capacity
- Legal Authority
- Previous Contract Performance
For more information, see How to Make a Responsibility Determination.
What happens after filing
Our office will review the Vendor Responsibility documentation provided with the contract or procurement record to ensure there is adequate documentation of the vendor's responsibility. If not, our office may return the transaction non-approved for further responsibility consideration.
To find the New York State Laws relating to vendor responsibility, see Guide to Financial Operations (GFO) Chapter XI, Section 16.