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Background Checks Too Expensive for All Contractors, Bloomberg Says

Background checks that would prevent ex-cons from getting lucrative city sub-contracts are too expensive, said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Currently, the city doesn’t require agencies to conduct background checks when they’re awarding sub-contracts for less than $100,000.That means ex-cons like Nicholas Analitis, who served three years in prison for passing bad checks and ripping off banks, was able to land hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of contracts, despite his history.Analitis is now accused of swindling his workers out of tens of thousands of dollars by paying them with phony checks.But Bloomberg said that requiring background checks on every person looking to do business with the city wouldn’t be worth the cost. Analitis found a loophole in the Vendex questionnaire provided by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, which is required when applying for work in the city. Since the contracts were less than $100,000, Analitis was approved without a background check. Ironically, the Vendex system was created to weed out businesses linked to criminals or organized crime and prevent them from getting taxpayer-funded projects.

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