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ABO Ramps Up Enforcement

August 16, 2011

Prior efforts to increase the operational transparency of State and local public authorities have met with notable success. The vast majority of State and local public authorities have provided annual programmatic and budget reports to Authority Budget Office and State Comptroller as required by the Public Authorities Accountability Act of 2005 and the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009. These annual reports, which detail the operations of the authorities, are easily accessible to the public on the ABO’s website.

Yet there are, as always, delinquents. Twenty-nine authorities have, without explanation, chosen to operate in the shadows and not submit any of the legally required reports on their operation over the past two fiscal years. Following repeated requests for the information, the ABO has taken the next step along its enforcement continuum. By September 1, each of the 29 must detail why they are out of compliance or believe they are exempt from reporting. A draft enforcement letter can be viewed here. Failure to provide an adequate response will be followed by an ABO issued Letter of Censure, which could affect the credit worthiness of the authority or result in the appointing official removing the entire the authority board. The approach appears to establish a new enforcement paradigm for the ABO.

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