Date: Feb 07, 2012
Press Release Number: 19-2012
NEW YORK – February 7, 2012, The leadership of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today issued the following statements in response to the Phase I Interim Report Presented to the Special Committee of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as prepared by Navigant Consulting.
Port Authority Chairman David Samson
“The Port Authority Board of Commissioners is committed to a top-to-bottom review of the agency. The first phase of our independent review provides an objective analysis of what hasn’t worked, particularly with respect to management controls of World Trade Center redevelopment costs, and the findings of the report provide a strong foundation for current executive leadership to get things moving in the right direction. It is the Special Committee's intent to present a thorough assessment to the Board for consideration and appropriate action consistent with its commitment of improving efficiencies, cutting costs and pursuing a rational and creative long-term capital planning process. Our goal is to accomplish these objectives with full transparency to enable the public to measure our progress. We remain the world’s leading planning and engineering authority, but we must recognize professionalism and transparency are not mutually exclusive.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler
“For too long, the Port Authority has followed past historical management and financial practices, and the time has come for that to change. As the report notes, the Port Authority is at a critical crossroads and crucial steps need to occur to align the agency’s overall priorities. The review is a vital step toward establishing new priorities for how the agency spends its money and finances its activities. We can do the public’s business better, more efficiently, and at less cost by leveraging private sector partnerships and meeting commercial standards. This report gives us clear direction on how we can begin to move forward.”
Port Authority Executive Pat Foye
“The consultant’s preliminary review underscores the need for the Port Authority to refocus. A poorly coordinated capital planning process, insufficient cost controls and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center program that has obscured full awareness of billions of dollars in exposure to the Port Authority all played a role in getting us to where we are today. Further, having the World Trade Center as the focal point of the agency’s work over the last decade has led to mission drift from our core role. We have much work to do to fulfill the agency’s mission as the provider of critical transportation infrastructure needs for the region and as an engine for economic growth and job creation. I am fully committed to working with the Governors and with Chairman Samson, Vice Chairman Rechler and the full Board to get this agency back on track.”
Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni
“The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey oversees billions of dollars of vital infrastructure and transportation operations as well significant real estate holdings,” said Bill Baroni, deputy executive director. “Establishing new financial and management controls at the World Trade Center, leveraging private sector expertise, bringing employee compensation and benefits in line with appropriate public employee benchmarks, and aligning the capital planning process with the agency’s overall priorities will be among the actions we will be reviewing.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777