In a first, “Community Based Initiatives” section, political contribution disclosures included
Santa Fe, NM – The City of Santa Fe has opened the Request for Proposals (RFP) process to banks interested in serving as the city’s fiscal agent for the four-year period beginning January 2018.
The contract with the City’s current fiscal agent, Wells Fargo, will be ending in December. Responding to concerns from community advocates in favor of public banking and opposed to institutions which back projects that are perceived as threatening to the environment, the City is making a push to spread word of the RFP process to a broader range of banking options in the hope of generating more diversity in the responses from qualified banking partners.
Mayor Javier M. Gonzales said, “We have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure that taxpayer dollars are safe and invested back into our community as much as possible. Our financial partners need to have a stake in our community. We’re looking for a commitment to maximizing the financial return on investment, a social responsibility policy that matches the values of Santa Fe, and a history investing in our community and economy.”
The RFP includes a 10% boost for local preference, a 7, 8 or 10% preference for veterans, and will also take into account the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act rating.
For the first time ever, the City has included additional sections designed to provide a measure of a proposed partner’s social, environmental, and community responsibility.
One, under a requirement of the State Treasurer’s office, will require disclosure of political contributions from the firm and any individuals representing the firm.
The second, based on the City of Santa Fe’s values, reads as follows:
COMMUNITY BASED INITIATIVES
The City of Santa Fe recognizes that the products and services it purchases have inherent social, environmental and economic impacts. Contractors are an integral part of the community in which they operate. Please discuss the bank’s existing community oriented activities in response to the following:
- Provide the number of individuals the bank employs in the City of Santa Fe.
- Describe the bank’s community outreach program (s) for hiring and/or contracting.
- Describe current plans for expanding community based banking and financial services in the City of Santa Fe.
- Provide information on the bank’s CRA activity within the City of Santa Fe. How is CRA money spent in the City of Santa Fe?
- Provide the banks policies pertaining to environmental impact, social responsibility, and hiring practices. Specifically include investment policies with regards to social responsibility, environmental impact, and community investment in the local Santa Fe economy.
Additionally, respondents to the RFP have the opportunity to respond to all of the requested services or only a portion, according to their interest and capacity. The City won’t be bound by this RFP or any resulting agreement to hold all of its bank accounts with the same institution.
The RFP will remain open for submissions until May 1st. Proposals will be evaluated throughout May and recommended in June for Governing Body consideration and approval.