Plenty of Authorities Fail State’s Transparency Test, But Not the MTA

Stop attacking Jay Walder for the MTA's lack of transparency. They're ahead of many authorities. Photo: MTA.
Pols can stop attacking Jay Walder for a lack of transparency. The MTA's ahead of many authorities. Photo: ##

It might be naive to think that New York politicians will one day stop accusing the MTA of mismanagement, shady bookkeeping and a lack of transparency. Few have the integrity or willpower to resist such a highly visible and convenient punching bag. But under its current leadership, the MTA continues to show itself to be one of the more accountable public authorities in the state.

Via Capitol Tonight’s Liz Benjamin, the Authorities Budget Office just released a list, which you can find below the fold, detailing which of the state’s more than 700 public authorities failed to file one of three reports mandated by public disclosure laws. The MTA wasn’t on the list.

In contrast, some of the biggest agencies in the state are delinquent. The Dormitory Authority, which in 2009 was the largest issuer of municipal bonds in the country, after the state of California, didn’t turn in its annual budget (where you could find how much the agency spent to subsidize work on the South Avenue Garage in Rochester, among other things). Smaller organizations, like the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation or the Syracuse Parking Authority, didn’t turn in any of the three reports. There’s plenty of funny business that happens in the “shadow government” of public authorities. It makes you wonder: Why do politicians feel the need to invent it at the MTA?

January 2011 Delinquent List