New York State Thruway Authority


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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York State Thruway Authority
Mission Statement and Performance Measures

Issued: July 11, 2014
Link to full audit report 2013-S-9
Link to 90-day response

To determine whether the New York State Thruway Authority is achieving its performance measures and properly reporting on the results. The audit covers from April 2010 through August 2013.

The New York State Thruway Authority (Authority) is a public benefit corporation created by the State Legislature in 1950 to build, operate and maintain the Thruway System. The New York State Canal Corporation (Canal Corporation), a subsidiary public corporation of the Authority, was created by the State Legislature in August 1992 to accept jurisdiction and control over the New York State Canal System from the State. The Authority operates and maintains a 570-mile system of highways crossing New York State. The Canal Corporation is responsible for a 524-mile canal system. The Authority indicated that its mission statement was in the 1998-2002 Strategic Business Plan which was adopted by the Authority Board in December 1997. Annually the Authority submits a performance measurement report to the State and posts it to its website which included the combined results of the Thruway's and Canal Corporation's performance.

The 2009 Public Authorities Reform Act (Act) included requirements to increase transparency of operations of public authorities. Provisions in the Act require public authorities to develop a mission statement and performance measures for evaluating their operations.

Key Finding

  • The Authority's 2011 and 2012 Mission Statement and Measurement Reports did not provide users of the Highway and Canal Systems with complete and accurate information about what has been achieved on their behalf. The Authority did not report on five of 15 performance measures and six of the 10 measures we reviewed were not accurately reported or were not transparent (did not fully disclose the results of the Authority's operations).
  • The Authority has not set performance and accountability goals for 13 of the 15 performance measures in quantitative terms. For example, one measure to enhance efficiency and effectiveness does not define what percentage of budget growth is desired.
  • The Authority's Board has not reviewed its mission statement and performance measures annually since April 2010, as required by the Act.

Key Recommendations

  • Annually review the Authority's mission statement and performance measures, as required. The performance measures should include well-defined quantifiable targets for performance areas.
  • Improve the accuracy and completeness of the measurement report by:
    • Instructing staff to report on all adopted measures.
    • Reporting performance results in alignment with the approved measure.
    • Implementing a review process to enhance the accuracy of the performance results being reported.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

  • None

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Carmen Maldonado
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236