The County Executive’s Corner: Rockland’s New Payment Method Improves Relationships With Vendors, Agencies

By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

county-executiveOne of the first things I set out to change upon taking office in January was the unbelievably long turnaround time for payments to people and companies doing business with the County.

Under the prior administration, vendors and contract agencies were typically paid within 90 days. However, on more than a few occasions, the time frame was extended beyond three months, leading some businesses to end their dealings with us. And, rightfully so. These individuals and companies were not being paid in a timely manner for their products or services.

After learning the full extent of the problem from our Finance Department, my staff drafted an Executive Order changing the payment time period from 90 days to 60 days. The Executive Order reads:

“Effective immediately, the County shall pay all vouchers, requisitions or purchase orders, which are submitted by contractors, contract agencies, vendors and/or others for payment to the County of Rockland within 60 days from final approval, except for unforeseen circumstances.”

This Executive Order is now in place.

Going forward, if payment cannot be made within the 60-day period, the Finance Department will reach out the vendor or contract agency with information on when the money will arrive. It’s all about transparency.

The early feedback from our business partners has been extremely positive. One director noted that her contract agency is in the midst of its own financial crisis. Late payments from the County were leading to an even deeper erosion of its finances. Today, she is very appreciative of the County for making changes.

My administration, together with the County Legislature, will continue to find ways to improve partnerships and relations with organizations that make it their mission to provide the very best for our residents.

I urge the State of New York to take a page from our playbook.

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