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Ortmann of Goldberg & Connolly moderated CMAA D/M/WBE panel

New York, NY - 2013-11-26

Goldberg & Connolly partner Erik Ortmann moderated a panel discussion on issues and best practices for "Successfully Navigating Federal, State & Local D/M/WBE Programs - Maintaining Compliance & Understanding the Legal Landscape." The event was hosted by the NY/NJ Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

Esteemed Panelists

The event was presented by the CMAA, North America's only organization dedicated exclusively to the interests of professional Construction and Program Management. Panelists for the discussion were Anne Rascon, Deputy Commissioner Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity of NYC Small Business Services; Lois McLaughlin, Director of the Opportunities Program at State University Construction Fund; Elizabeth Velez, President and Chief Contract Administrator for The Velez Organization; and Lisette Camilo, Deputy General Counsel for New York City Mayor's Office of Contract Services.

Ortmann and the panel discussed the following significant changes to Local Law 1, which governs New York City's M/WBE programs. This specifically covered the removal of cap increases, the expansion of certification programs, the establishment of CompStat Accountability System and an improved online directory of certified firms. The removal of the cap increases the total value of program-eligible contracts almost five-fold, from $433 million to $2.2 billion. Over 38,000 contracts are covered by the new goals programs. Regarding expansion of certification programs, there are new requirements to collect more information from business owners regarding their ability to perform on contracts. Field audits are also mandated to confirm program eligibility. The establishment of the CompStat Accountability System allows agency officers will be required to report quarterly to both City Council and a mayoral designee on their progress towards meeting agency M/WBE goals. Finally, an enhanced on-line directory of certified firms will allow firms to update their business information on-line in real time. More business information will be published such as insurance and bonding information and more robust descriptions of recent work experience.

Other discussion topics included the number of firms seeking M/WBE certification, accessibility of M/WBE directories when searching for potential clients and Joint Venture and Mentor Protégé agreements.

Ortmann is a member of Goldberg & Connolly's Construction Law and Commercial Litigation Groups. Ortmann was elected to the Board of Directors of the Long Island Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) in 2010. He is also a U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Certified Green Associate. Ortmann received his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Ortmann is admitted to practice in both state and federal courts in New York State.



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Shown (from left) are: McLaughlin, Velez, Rascon, Camilo, James Murphy of CMAA, and Ortmann.



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