Date: Dec 06, 2012
Press Release Number: 205-2012
Expenses flat for fifth straight year, administrative spending cut
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved a $2.57 billion operating budget for 2013. The budget keeps administrative expenses virtually flat for a fifth consecutive year and maintains agency headcount at the lowest levels in four decades. The budget also reflects millions of dollars in savings in compensation and benefit expenses from reforms announced in mid-2012. The Board will consider the agency’s 2013 capital budget at a future meeting.
The highlights of the operating budget approved by the Board today are:
“The 2013 operating budget approved by the Board today is a balanced and fiscally responsible plan that contains both significant cost-cutting measures and progressive operational reforms,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “Among other goals, the budget will enhance the agency’s security function by streamlining its public safety efforts through the Chief Security Office and also significantly improve communication efforts with the public regarding agency operations through the newly created Transparency Office.”
“Our job is to be responsible stewards of the public’s resources and this operating budget keeps our administrative costs in check,” said Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “It provides tighter controls on compensation and benefits and, for the first time, addresses the financial and operational reforms we have established for the agency.”
During the past year, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners implemented an aggressive reform agenda that includes more than 50 initiatives that are yielding immediate and tangible results.
Consistent with that reform agenda, the 2013 operating budget follows recommendations by the nationally renowned consulting and financial advisory firms Navigant Consulting and Rothschild Inc. Their recommendations, released earlier this year, include calls for improved transparency at the Port Authority. In addition, the Chertoff Group called for the creation of a new security department to centralize the agency’s security functions.
In November, Joseph Dunne joined the agency as its first Chief Security Officer. Mr. Dunne, who will oversee the new department, is a former New York Police Department First Deputy Police Commissioner and Chief of Department.
The Board also has taken significant steps to improve transparency. More than 85,000 pages of Port Authority documents, including information about employee compensation, Board meeting minutes and lease and contract details, are now available on the agency’s website, up from 22,000 pages in February.
“Our goal is to do more with less and this operating budget reflects today’s fiscal realities and saves the agency tens of millions of dollars,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “It enables us to redirect funds to critical operations and is consistent with our responsibility to spend every dollar of the public’s money wisely.”
“This operating budget cuts costs in many areas, while allowing us to spend more when it directly benefits the customers we serve,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. “We’ve taken critical steps to improve our security functions, hired additional customer service representatives at our airports, and made it easier for the public to access agency documents and records. We have an obligation to make every dollar count, and this budget does that.”
CONTACT: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 212-435-7777
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in New York. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the state of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency relies on revenues generated by facility users, tolls, fees and rents as well as loans, bond financing, and federal grants to fund its operations. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.