You Paid For It: Why aren't they tracking your money?


ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) - They are called public authorities, but some have a problem with making their dealings public. There are 578 state and local authorities in New York. Many of them are industrial development agencies and local development corporations that are designed to spur business. They hand out public money through things like grants and tax incentives.

Overseeing the authorities is the Authorities Budget Office. In its annual report, the ABO has cited 129 authorities as “non-compliant with the public accountability, transparency and disclosure requirements of state law” for not filing one or more of their budget reports, annual reports or audit reports on time.

Several City of Albany authorities have been delinquent in filing reports and have been issued official warnings. The Albany Community Development Agency didn’t file two key reports on time. Christopher Spencer, the Albany Planning and Development Commissioner told us "ACDA completes its audit in as timely a matter as possible given the intricacies of its budget.

Going forward, ACDA will work with its auditors to complete the audit in a more timely manner." Also non-compliant were the Albany Water Board and the Albany Municipal Water Finance Authority. Mayor Kathy Sheehan tells us the city will strive to get future reports in by the deadline.

NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has long been keeping an eye on public authorities; he tells us if we don’t know what’s going, we can’t shine a spotlight on their activities.

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