NEW YORK (WPIX)—Five months after a New York State law took effect calling for the State Comptroller to review certain MTA and state contracts, the process is not underway. PIX 11's Greg Mocker discovered an area of the Public Authorities Reform Act that has not been implemented.
The Governor signed the law last year and it became effective in March. It establishes an Authorities Budget Office, which is collecting information on state and local authorities (such as the MTA). The law goes on to say: The Comptroller is to conduct prior review and approval of contracts in excess of one million dollars that include single source, sole source or non-competitive contracts awarded by state authorities and contracts that are paid in whole or part by state appropriations. The Comptroller is to notify the authority of the determination and the authority notifies the Comptroller for approval. The contract is not valid or enforceable unless prior approval by the Comptroller.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) says the law is a first of it's kind effort to clean up a Soviet-style culture at the MTA. MTA has complied with aspects of the law, including increased protections for whistleblowers and submitting reports to the Authorities Budget Office. Millions of dollars worth of contracts have been approved by the MTA since the law passed.
A media representative for DiNapoli's office says, "The comptroller's office is promulgating rules and regulations necessary to carry out our new responsibilities. Those regulations are now in development." Promulgation is the act of declaring a law as in effect.
The Comptroller does already have authority over contracts and DiNapoli's office has reviewed a number of others. Last month, DiNapoli issued another report on the MTA and has criticized overtime practices.
Public comment on the rules regarding the Public Authoriies Reform Act will run until September 24, 2010.
Comptroller DiNapoli at firstname.lastname@example.org
MTA Inspector General
MTA Customer Service
U.S. Rep. Steve Israel
U.S. Rep. Peter King
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman
U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop
U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy
U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner