Best NY Open Data Accomplishment of 2015: NY Authorities Budget Office Teams with Governor’s Open NY


Here is some belated horn tooting and congratulations for the huge public authorities data dump done by the Authorities Budget Office and Governor Cuomo’s Open NY in July. We think this a big deal and has the potential to significantly increase the transparency of the state’s vast array of authorities. ( It has “potential” because data is useless unless someone tells a story with it.)

The ABO is the agency charged with enforcing and gathering data under the 2009 Public Authorities Reform Act.  New York’s public authorities are huge and important, and include everything from the state’s MTA and Power Authority to small town development authorities.  The state authorities alone spend more than $50B a year and have 95% of state debt.

On July 7th — with very little fanfare — the ABO published:

“financial data, salaries, procurement reports, schedule of debt, and IDA projects among other data sets that contain relevant information that increase the transparency and accountability of public authorities.”

ABO, which is a tiny agency with giant responsibilities, has been working with the state’s Open NY staff since about 2011 to get the authority data published and they finally did it. Included among the data is a machine readable record of all MTA procurement contracts from 2011 to the most recent full fiscal year.  Ironically, Reinvent Albany scraped this dataset earlier this year from a pdf on the MTA website.  This allowed us to compare the exact number of records in the pdf and the Open NY portal and they matched perfectly — 12, 662 in case you wondered.

There is a lot of data to work with here, including some that is particularly interesting to journalists and muckrakers, like the Real Property Transactions data set, which shows the estimated market value of a property versus what it was actually sold or leased for.

Public Authority Data

Go to link above for links to:
Directory of Public Authorities
Industrial Development Agencies Project Data
Local Development Corporation Bonds
Local Development Corporation Grants
Local Development Corporation Loans
Procurement Report
Real Property Transactions
Salary Information
Schedule of Debt
Summary Financial Information