Last week, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli issued a report on the state’s public authorities, which are public benefit corporations that manage public services and/or systems. The report finds that more than $7 billion in compensation and benefits are paid annually to the more than 104,000 employees of the state’s public authorities.

 

The report reviewed compensation for the state’s 324 public authorities, and noted that public authority employees are better compensated than other state employees – more than 13% of public authorities’ staff earned over $100,000 annually, compared to 8% of state workers who do.

 

Comptroller DiNapoli said:

 

“New York’s public authorities often operate under the radar and with their own set of rules.  “While state agencies have reined in spending, public authorities have not been held to the same constraints. The public has a right to know how its resources are spent and what perks are given. Public authorities must do more to show what they spend and why in these challenging economic times.”

 

The Comptroller has raised some important issues in this report.  We’ve been calling for a complete, third-party audit of the Thruway Authority and its finances since last year, when the authority first proposed a truck toll increase.  That has not happened, but will continue our call for better spending oversight by the Thruway Authority and other public entities.