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May 13, 2010

Comptrollers DiNapoli and Liu Team Up to Audit MTA

Audit Will Examine Fiscal Impact of Service Disruptions, Management Efficiency

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and New York City Comptroller John C. Liu today announced their offices would conduct a joint audit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The comptrollers said the audit would review the fiscal and community impact of subway and commuter rail service disruptions, as well as how effectively and efficiently the MTA managed the planned service changes.

“New Yorkers need the MTA,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “But they don’t have a lot of confidence that the MTA is doing its best to provide the service the city needs. Today is the first day of a new partnership. Comptroller Liu and I are going to make sure the MTA is doing everything possible to keep the city moving. These are tough fiscal times, but tough times make it even more imperative that the MTA step up and do better.”

“It often seems that the MTA is most reliable for its perennial shutdowns of subway service, citing necessary track work,” said Comptroller Liu, former Chairperson of the City Council Transportation Committee. “There’s little question that repairs and upgrades are needed throughout the system. But people need far greater assurance that the MTA is planning the shutdowns and actual track work tightly so as to minimize the disruptions to riders and the economic impact to small business owners. Our examination of the MTA will shed light on whether ‘necessary track work’ has become an overused black hole of an excuse.”

The audit partnership announced during a City Hall press conference today is the first joint effort between the City and State Comptrollers in more than 10 years.

In addition to addressing the fiscal impact upon communities directly affected by MTA service disruptions, the audit will also answer the following questions:

  • Is the maintenance and capital work scheduled to promote efficient, cost effective maintenance?
  • Is the maintenance and capital work scheduled to minimize service disruption? And,
  • Is the riding public adequately informed of potential service disruption?

The audit period will cover January 2009 until the end of the audit field work, scheduled to begin next week.

DiNapoli’s office has several other MTA audits underway, including a review of the MTA’s use of overtime, its salary compensation, and its cash management practices. DiNapoli’s office is now authorized by the recent Public Authority reforms to review the MTA’s big-ticket contracts, which will serve the public interest by providing greater oversight, accountability, and transparency.


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