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March 3, 2010

DiNapoli Releases Public Authority Regulations

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today released draft regulations for reviewing state public authority contracts. Under the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009, which went into effect on Monday, DiNapoli is authorized to provide oversight of certain state public authority contracts valued at $1 million or greater.

"New Yorkís public authorities need more oversight, more accountability and more transparency," DiNapoli said. "For far too long public authorities have operated in the shadows. They spend taxpayer money without real accountability. The money spent by public authorities should be open to public scrutiny."

By law, the Comptrollerís office is responsible for reviewing all state agency contracts that exceed a certain dollar threshold, generally $50,000. In 2009, the Comptrollerís staff reviewed more than 36,000 contracts valued at $41 billion. The Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009 includes provisions, which requires state public authorities to meet new oversight requirements.

DiNapoliís draft regulations, available at www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2010.html in the March 3 issue of the State Register, establish guidelines for state authority contracts, including:

  • the standards for the Comptrollerís determination of state authority contracts and contract amendments subject to the Comptroller's approval;
  • the criteria for the Comptrollerís approval of such contracts and contract amendments;
  • the responsibilities of state authorities with respect to the filing of exempt contracts and any amendments thereto, certain eligible contracts and certain eligible contract amendments as defined in the regulations; and
  • the procedural requirements for overall compliance with Section 2879-a of the Public Authorities Law.

The public has 45 days to provide comment on the draft regulations.

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