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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York Power Authority
Real Estate Portfolio (Follow-Up)

Issued: December 28, 2018
Link to full audit report 2017-F-16

To determine the extent of implementation of the nine recommendations included in our initial report, Real Estate Portfolio (2013-S-23).

The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) mission is to “provide clean, low-cost and reliable energy consistent with our commitment to the environment and safety, while promoting economic development and job development, energy efficiency, renewables and innovation, for the benefit of our customers and all New Yorkers.” To accomplish its mission, NYPA operates hydroelectric and gas-powered energy plants throughout the State, including seven hydroelectric plants licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). A FERC license lasts 50 years and includes a land management plan for property affected by the hydroelectric plant. Any decisions that could impact the land management plan require FERC approval before they can be implemented.

Public Authority Law Section 2896 (Section 2896) requires each public authority to maintain adequate inventory controls for all of its property and to periodically review this inventory to determine which property shall be disposed of. Section 2896 also requires public authorities to publish, at least annually, a report listing all property held and all property acquired and disposed of during the year. NYPA reports on its properties by project rather than by individual lots and reports on the total acreage for each project. As of December 31, 2017, NYPA reported total acreage of 48,801 for 13 generating Facilities and Administrative Centers.

Public Authority Law Section 2897 (Section 2897) allows each public authority to dispose of property when it is not needed to accomplish its mission. Furthermore, a public authority may rent, lease or grant easements or other rights in any land or property it owns. Such arrangements and property disposals should be on terms beneficial to the State. Section 2896 requires public authorities to determine which property shall be disposed of and transfer or dispose of such property as promptly as possible. Where the terms are for less than fair market value, Section 2897 requires a public authority to notify the Governor and the Legislature of its intentions and to provide details about the transaction, including a justification for accepting less than fair market value.

Key Finding
We found that NYPA made some progress in addressing the problems identified in our prior report. However, additional actions are warranted. Of the nine prior audit recommendations, two were implemented, four were partially implemented, and three were not implemented.

Key Recommendation
Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.

Other Related Audit/Report of Interest
New York Power Authority: Selected Management and Operations Practices (Follow-Up) (2017-F-17)

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