Watchdogs Call for Comptroller and Governor to Finalize and Make Public Pre-Audit Authority Agreement

June 6, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
110 State Street
Albany, NY 12236

Re: Finalize, make public, and codify the pre-audit authority agreement from Comptroller and Governor’s offices

Dear Governor Cuomo and Comptroller DiNapoli,

We write to ask that your offices finalize and make public the details of the agreement announced between the Comptroller and the Governor earlier this year restoring the Comptroller’s pre-audit authority over certain contracts in conjunction with the Inspector General. We also urge you to support your agreement being codified in law this legislative session.

In January, the State of the State announced that you had reached an agreement reinstating the Comptroller’s pre-audit authority over SUNY, CUNY, SUNY Research Foundation and Office of General Services centralized state contracts. This authority was removed from the Comptroller in the 2011 budget. Furthermore, the Governor reported in the State of the State that the State Inspector General would be granted authority to investigate complaints of fraud and corruption at SUNY and CUNY nonprofit affiliates. Contractors, vendors, and state agency grantees would also have to certify that contracts contain no conflicts or collusion, and disclose any relationships that could create or appear to be conflicts of interest.

Many, including us, have advocated for years for these reforms, and the three proposals were included in the Procurement Integrity Act and legislative budget resolutions. However, the final budget did not include these reforms, and no further details of the agreement or its implementation plan and start date have been announced.

We urge you to finalize and release the details of the agreement, and support them being codified in this legislative session. Our organizations believe the Comptroller’s pre-audit authority is essential to improving both the integrity of the contracting process and the public’s trust.

Please contact Alex Camarda, Senior Policy Advisor at Reinvent Albany, at alex [at] reinventalbany.org​ should you wish to discuss this matter further.

Sincerely,

Andrew Rein
President
Citizens Budget Commission

Betsy Gotbaum
Executive Director
Citizens Union

Susan Lerner
Executive Director
Common Cause New York

Ron Deutsch
Executive Director
Fiscal Policy Institute

Laura Bierman
Executive Director
League of Women Voters of New York State

Blair Horner
Executive Director
New York Public Interest Research Group

John Kaehny
Executive Director
Reinvent Albany

cc:
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

To view the letter in PDF format, please click here.