New York's independent Authorities Budget Office needs additional funding to effectively carry out its oversight mission, a state task force reported Monday.
The ABO oversees the state's public authorities. Authorities are state and local corporate instruments created by the state Legislature that are generally authorized to issue debt.
"The current funding is insufficient to preserve the ABO's organizational and operational independence as required under [the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009]," said the task force report. The task force is headed by Ira Millstein, a senior partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
The report does not indicate how much additional funding would be necessary.
Gov. David Paterson created the task force in December 2009 to make recommendations following the passage of the Public Authorities Reform Act, which required creation of an independent ABO to replace an existing office in the executive branch.
The ABO has 11 full-time staffers and a $1.8 million budget. The task force report calls for the state to create 30 positions to enable the office to carry out its oversight mission.
"The success of the Public Authorities Reform Act depends in large part on how this critical state office enforces this new law," Paterson said in a press release. The report provides "an essential vision for how the office should be funded, structured and managed to best achieve the sweeping reforms the state enacted last year."
Other recommendations in the report include teaching authority board members that their fiduciary duty to that public entity supersedes any personal loyalty to the person who appointed them; dissolving duplicative and defunct public authorities; enforcing obligations regarding the hiring of minority and women owned business enterprises; and enhanced reporting of state supported debt issued by public authorities.