Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation

Management of the Governors Island Redevelopment Process

The Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) was created to oversee the redevelopment of Governorís Island, a 172-acre island located in the middle of New York Harbor. The Island had been owned by the federal government since 1800, but most of the Island was returned to New York State in early 2003. In accordance with an agreement with the federal government, GIPEC was to oversee the planning, development and subsequent operation of park, educational, cultural, transportation and other facilities on the Island. GIPEC was also supposed to develop a master redevelopment plan by December 31, 2007. The redevelopment efforts were to be jointly funded by New York State and New York City, and the State and City announced that they would like to see the master plan completed by February 2006.

We examined the actions taken by GIPEC and found that, while some progress had been made, a master plan was not developed within the timeframe called for by the State and City, and it was questionable whether the plan would be completed within the timeframe specified in the agreement with the federal government. We determined that the delay was caused by several factors. Specifically, GIPEC was slow to get organized, start the planning process, and hire critical staff to manage the planning effort. We further determined that two high-level GIPEC employees, the Vice President of Finance and Administration and the Contracts Administrator, did not meet the minimum criteria established for their positions. We identified major inaccuracies in GIPECís financial information and problems in how financial records were maintained. We recommended that a number of improvements be made in GIPECís operations.

For a complete copy of Report 2005-S-43 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.