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Revises Comptroller’s Directive 10 to update minimum useful life for information technology

Sets standards to enable City to acquire tablets and state-of-the-art cloud computing using capital funds

(New York, NY) — New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer today released a revision to Comptroller’s Directive 10 to ensure that New York City government is equipped with 21st century technology. In line with existing policies of numerous state governments, including the State of New York, the Comptroller updated the minimum useful life for capital-funded IT projects from five years to three years. More frequent upgrades of equipment and software will help protect against technology failures and cyberattacks and ensure the City is benefitting from the best available technology. The revision also sets standards for capital eligibility of tablets and cloud computing arrangements, which would enhance the ability of the New York City Department of Education and other City agencies to acquire information technology to aid students’ learning experience and advance everyday City operations.

“Our 21st century City requires 21st century technology, and we need to make sure that the technology that our government runs on is of the quality and caliber that New Yorkers deserve,” said Comptroller Stringer. “Working with the Mayor and my colleagues in government, these reforms will bring our standards in line with those of other governments, improve government efficiencies, help protect our data, and give our students access to the technology they need to learn.”

“The innovative reforms in the Comptroller’s Directive allow us to further embrace new technology that will help us deliver services to New Yorkers more efficiently than ever before. They will help streamline government, modernize the tools in the hands of City employees, and educate our students in new and accessible ways. I want to thank the Comptroller for helping our City take full advantage of the technologies of the future,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I am beyond thrilled with Comptroller Stringer’s announcement that tablets and cloud-based software subscriptions will now be allowed under the city’s capital expenditure purchasing rules, a change that I have fought for practically since tablets were invented,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The future is digital, and if city students do not become literate in 21st century tools in our schools, they are at a huge disadvantage when they arrive at college or hit the job market.”

“Laptop computers and tablets have potentially limitless ability to transform the learning environment in our public schools and expand the availability of knowledge in students’ classrooms and homes. For too long, our public schools have been limited in their ability to purchase such portable technology. I raised this issue with the Comptroller and his office and I appreciate these changes to allow our public schools to purchase the most up-to-date technology for use in their classrooms. I appreciate Comptroller Stringer’s attention to this issue, and I thank him for working with my office to modernize public school technology options in New York City,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Comptroller’s Directive 10 lays out the criteria for allowable uses of capital funds financed by City-issued bonds. This revision provides updated guidance on capital eligibility of IT purchases, including tablets and cloud-computing arrangements. The revised Directive changes the minimum useful life for capital-funded IT projects from five years to three years. A useful life of three years was determined to be a more appropriate threshold to ensure that agencies can take advantage of up-to-date technology.

In addition, to keep pace with inflation, the minimum amount for all capital projects will be raised from $35,000 currently to $50,000, effective July 1, 2020. All other provisions of the Directive will take effect immediately.