New York State Thruway Authority

Status of the Board-Approved Capital Plan for 2005-2011

We found that, while the New York State Thruway Authority has a capital plan that consists of certain projects with certain expected costs, this information is not published in its entirety for the Authority’s Board of Directors, State policymakers, or the public to review. In particular, the Authority does not report whether the individual projects are starting and finishing on time or remaining within their originally budgeted costs. As a result, there is limited accountability and transparency for the Authority’s capital plan. Such accountability and transparency are particularly important when, according to Authority officials, Thruway tolls are being increased, in large part, to fund the capital plan. We note that other public authorities in New York State publish their capital plans and report on the progress of individual capital projects. We recommend the Authority adopt some of these reporting practices.

We also examined whether the Authority was on track to complete its $2.7 billion capital plan at the cost that was announced in 2005. We found that completing the plan as approved would take much longer and cost significantly more than was forecast in 2005. To cope with the likely budget constraints resulting from these higher costs, we noted it was more important than ever for the Authority to improve its process for prioritizing capital projects, as we recommended in our audit of the Authority’s proposed toll increases.

For a complete copy of Report 2008-S-48 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.