Press Release Article


Date: Oct 30, 2019
Press Release Number: 179-2019

4th Code of Ethics Follows Codes for Port Authority Commissioners, Employees and Vendors

1st Lessee-Focused Code of Ethics of Its Kind

Lessee Code Will Be Incorporated Into All Current and Future Agreements

A Copy of the Lessee Code of Ethics Can Be Found

Today the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey introduced a Lessee Code of Ethics as part of the agency’s comprehensive integrity program adopted by the Board of Commissioners in September of 2017. Following the Commissioner Code of Ethics approved in 2017, the Code of Ethics for Port Authority Vendors issued in 2017, and the agency-wide Code of Ethics for Employees issued in 2018, the new Lessee Code of Ethics will apply the Port Authority’s integrity standards to lessees and lessee employees operating at Port Authority facilities and properties. This is the first lessee-focused ethics code of its kind.

The Lessee Code of Ethics requires that lessees and lessee employees comply with Port Authority guidelines and standards, including:

  • Maintenance of accurate books and records
  • Following all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations
  • Honest reporting including reporting of Minority, Women-owned, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWSDBE) participation
  • A zero-tolerance policy toward offering gifts to Port Authority employees
  • Fair employment practices and interactions with the public and all workers
  • Guidance on the treatment of confidential information, intellectual property, Port Authority information technology
  • Whistleblower protections

The code also prohibits lessees from causing any former Port Authority employees to violate their post-employment obligations, including a new 2-year bar on marketing business to the Port Authority including solicitations, bids or proposals seeking new leases, new contracts or new business arrangements with the Port Authority.

“The Port Authority has committed to building a culture of compliance and integrity and continues to take concrete steps essential to meet this foundational pledge to the public we serve,” said Kevin O’Toole, Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The Lessee Code of Ethics along with the previously released ethics codes ensure the highest standards of ethical and legal compliance not only within the agency but with our many private sector partners.”

“Integrity stands at the top of the Port Authority’s agenda,” said Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The agency is committed to maintaining ethical business dealings, accountability, and transparency above all else. This lessee code of ethics now codifies these robust ethical standards for all those who enter into lease agreements with the Port Authority and do business at Port Authority facilities.”

The Lessee Code applies to a broad range of contractual relationships that allow third party business entities to occupy, use, or access Port Authority property for the purpose of conducting their business. This includes but is not limited to leases, sub-leases, concessions agreements, and space and privilege permits at transportation facilities operated by the Aviation, Rail, Port, Real Estate, and Tunnels, Bridges, and Terminals Departments. Because all these entities play critical roles in maintaining the orderly and safe operation of Port Authority facilities and properties, the Port Authority has issued the Lessee Code to align all businesses operating at Port Authority facilities with the agency’s high standards of integrity.

More than 1,193 lessees and third-party entities are registered to do business with the Port Authority and will be subject to the Lessee Code of Ethics.

Previous Port Authority Codes of Ethics

The Port Authority took the first of several critical steps toward the goal of high integrity standards in the September 2017 adoption of a wide-ranging Integrity Policy by the agency's Board of Commissioners. The following month, in October 2017, the Board adopted a comprehensive Code of Ethics to govern the actions of its members. The Code of Ethics for Commissioners includes a requirement that commissioners participate in ethics training, complete financial disclosure documents, report conflicts of interest, and can only use Port Authority email when conducting agency business.

In December 2017, the Port Authority took its next step in adopting a Code of Ethics for Port Authority Vendors which mandates that vendors – including any entity supplying goods and services to the Port Authority – consultants, and contractors comply with a comprehensive list of standards. The Code of Ethics for Port Authority Vendors codifies in one place various provisions related to vendor integrity that had been previously included in the Port Authority’s policies and contract provisions.

The Port Authority’s third step was to ensure that every employee at the Port Authority was subject to an updated Employee Code of Ethics, which was adopted in January 2018. The Employee Code of Ethics meets global best practice standards and consolidates provisions from prior codes and from other Port Authority regulations. This code now provides a clear, concise roadmap for employees, based on a series of guiding principles: fair employment practices; financial integrity and improper payments; conflicts of interest; workplace health and safety and environmental regulatory compliance; confidentiality and open government; and non-retaliation protections.

The Port Authority’s ethics standards and codes are designed to ensure the highest level of integrity and accountability by Port Authority employees and those hired for any work done on behalf of the Port Authority. A copy of the new Lessee Code of Ethics can be found here.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

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 the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. 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 raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

Web Site Disclaimer    |    Privacy Statement
© 2001-CurrentYear The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. All Rights Reserved.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
(212) 435-7000  •  4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007