Controls Over Revocable Consents (Follow-Up)

Issued Date
May 13, 2022
Agency/Authority
New York City Department of Transportation

Objective

To determine the extent of implementation of the five recommendations in our initial audit report, Controls Over Revocable Consents (Report 2018-N-1).

About the Program

A revocable consent is the grant of a right to an individual or organization to construct and maintain certain structures on, over, or under the inalienable property (streets and sidewalks) of the City. To obtain a revocable consent, a petition must be filed with the New York City Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Cityscape and Franchises (Office). The permission is granted in exchange for compensation to the City. Revocable consents are granted for a term of ten years, and at the end of that period they may be renewed. DOT charges an annual rate for eligible revocable consents, based on either a formula or a flat rate for 37 improvements that are specified, in accordance with the Rules. The property owners petition the Office for the revocable consents, which are generally for the sole use and benefit of the applicant. As part of the review process, the Office forwards petitions for consents to relevant City agencies for review and holds public hearings regarding the consent. The Office also obtains required security deposits and certificates of liability insurance from the petitioner. Consents must also be signed by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and registered with the City Comptroller.

According to the Office, as of December 2, 2021, there were 1,112 active revocable consents. Revocable consent revenues were $19.3 million for City Fiscal Year (CFY) ended June 30, 2020 and $18.5 million for CFY ended June 30, 2021.

We issued our initial audit report on September 23, 2020.The audit objective was to determine whether DOT had billed and collected the correct fees for revocable consents; ensured that all structures meet the standards required by the City of New York; and monitored to ensure all structures requiring revocable consents have one in placeWe found that DOT did not bill and collect the correct amounts, did not comply with all procedures, and did not ensure that structures requiring revocable consents had one in place.

Key Finding

DOT officials made some progress in addressing the issues identified in our initial report. Of the initial report’s five audit recommendations, two were implemented, one was partially implemented, and two were not implemented.

Key Recommendation

Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any action planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.

Carmen Maldonado

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Carmen Maldonado
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236