Today, Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced his appointment meant of Lisa Flores as director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. In addition, Marjorie Landa was appointed as director of the newly-created Mayor’s Office of Risk Management and Compliance.
These offices, which he described as central to his vision for delivering an accountable, efficient, and transparent government to New Yorkers, will report to his chief counsel Brendan R. McGuire, a former Chief of Public Corruption in the Southern District of New York.
Mayor-elect Adams highlighted the track record of these accomplished public servants, both of whom have most recently served in the New York City Comptroller’s office, as an affirmation of his longstanding commitment to building a team of proven leaders committed to good government.
“Rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in our agencies will help our City deliver for those who need it most, and these new appointees will serve as watchdogs for our city and make sure taxpayer dollars are being spent appropriately,” said Mayor-elect Adams. “I pledged to both create a more efficient City government as mayor and finally reverse the inequalities that keep so many in our city from thriving. Inefficiency leads to inequality, and when the government is spending irresponsibly and agencies are working in conflict with each other, every day New Yorkers suffer. This is about holding our government to the highest standard of ethics and ensuring it delivers for everyday New Yorkers — because if you don’t inspect what you expect, it’s all suspect. Good government begins with accountability, efficiency, and transparency; that’s exactly what I’m committed to as mayor, working with these impressive public servants.”
As director of MOCS, Flores will be responsible for leading a team that provides policy and operational advice, as well as technical assistance to agencies, as they manage daily procurement activities.
Mayor-elect Adams indicated the importance of making it easier to do business with the City, increasing contracting opportunities and technical support for local minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs), as well as finding better deals on behalf of New Yorkers; he has previously committed that all contracts over $10 million will be put under immediate review and that his administration will seek to eliminate those that are ineffective, or otherwise not in the public interest.
“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve this great City and look forward to getting to work on finding efficiencies to save the City money, bringing transparency to the $30 billion of contracting to be accountable to the residents of New York City,” said Flores. “I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to serve the City to root out costly inefficiencies, drive innovation, and focus on making the contracting process more equitable and representative of the vast diversity of this City. The foundation of public procurement is fair and equal access, and it will be my great honor to do my part in making the City work better for all of us. There is no greater time in our City’s history that requires our government to work well for everyone. As the world continues to battle the pandemic, there is no room for inefficiencies. Providing safe, cost-efficient services on time requires a laser focus on getting the details right. It is a great honor to have the opportunity to serve our City and be part of the amazing team of professionals who are committed to equity, transparency and accountability to the public.”
Flores currently serves as Deputy Comptroller for Contracts and Procurement, where she oversees the review of all contracts, contract amendments, leases, and concessions between City agencies and vendors to determine whether the agreements should be registered. She previously served as Deputy Director of MOCS, where she had procurement oversight authority for 40 mayoral agencies, including construction, client services, and public safety agencies, in addition to overseeing the Capacity and Oversight unit and the Citywide Insurance Program.
Prior to that, Flores served as MOCS’ Assistant Director and Associate Director. Before her tenure at MOCS, she served in other analytical capacities at the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), and the Children’s Aid Society. Flores received a Bachelor’s Degree in International Politics and Spanish from Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
As part of his plan to maximize efficiency and accountability in City government and to make the most of every taxpayer dollar spent, Mayor-elect Adams also announced what is believed to be the first-of-its-kind Mayor’s Office of Risk Management and Compliance. The mission of this new office will be clear: to identify systemic and agency-specific risks with the full support of the Mayor and City Hall before they mushroom into more costly audits, investigations, and litigation. By partnering with key stakeholders in this area like MOCS, the New York City Department of Investigation and the New York City Comptroller’s Office and employing a data-driven, forward-looking approach, the office will remain laser-focused on the operational, compliance, and financial risks that cause waste and mismanagement and, in so doing, will promote a culture of adherence to best practices and applicable rules and regulations, which the Mayor-elect expects will be a hallmark of his administration.
Overseen by the Chief Counsel, this initiative is designed to complement the efforts of existing oversight agencies, which are generally able to respond only after risks have grown into significant and costly problems. The Mayor-elect highlighted that this kind of risk assessment and compliance program is expected to more than pay for itself as a result of the financial savings it delivers through its work, savings which can then be directed to priorities within the affected agencies. He emphasized that Marjorie Landa is uniquely qualified to lead this effort.
“I am excited about having the opportunity to serve the City of New York and to help Mayor-elect Adams make City government work the way it’s supposed to — for all New Yorkers,” said Landa. “By creating the Mayor’s Office of Risk Management and Compliance at the very beginning of his administration, this Mayor is setting the bar high for competence, transparency, and accountability in all City agencies. In my past City service, I have seen how important it is for agencies to get out in front of problems by spotting and fixing weaknesses and vulnerabilities before they allow waste, fraud, and abuse to take hold, draining City funds and degrading vital services. The Mayor’s Office of Risk Management and Compliance will enable the City to do just that.”
Landa currently serves as Deputy Comptroller for Audit and Investigations, where she is responsible for overseeing the work of more than 150 auditors, accountants, IT professionals, engineers, lawyers, and analysts who conduct audits and investigations of matters related to and affecting the finances of the City of New York, including of City agencies, programs, and contracts.
Prior to joining the Comptroller’s Office, she was Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs and General Counsel to the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), where she counseled the agency on legal issues including criminal and civil procedure, conflicts of interest, forfeiture and restitution, and the agency’s unique legal authority, and conducted complex and sensitive investigations.
Landa was also Deputy Chief of the Affirmative Litigation Division of the Office of the New York City Corporation Counsel, responsible for managing 25 lawyers and 11 support staff in all aspects of plaintiff’s litigation; in that role she coordinated the Division’s fraud and corruption cases, including litigation and restitution requests. She also served as an associate at Kostelanetz and Ritholz, where she represented clients in criminal and civil litigation in both Federal and State court, with a focus in white-collar criminal defense and tax matters. Landa earned a B.A. in American History and Literature from Harvard University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root Tilden scholar.
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