Federal Report Finds Lack Of Transparency At Port Authority

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STATE – A new report released by the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey raised tolls on five Hudson River crossings in 2011 without properly seeking public input.

The GAO report will have no effect on toll costs, since it doesn’t have any authority over the Port Authority.

“Once again, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is shown to lack the transparency and accountability that should be the standard for an agency that depends upon the public to fund its operations,” said said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chair of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.

“The report supports our legislative findings in NJ and the call from the NYC Citizens Budget Committee for PANYNJ to open its books and open its doors. It also justifies my bill – A1011 The Port Authority of NY & NJ Transparency and Accountability Act – that the Governor vetoed. It’s time the agency stopped acting like some closed country club board and recognize that its responsibility is to serve the public and not vice versa,” Wisniewski said.

The Port Authority held one day of public hearings, just three days before the toll increase went into effect. While the bi-state authority said that it followed its own guidelines for public involvement in the process, the report said that “these policies were not publicly available, or a defined and structured process.”

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