A newly released audit of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, describes the agency as “a challenged and dysfunctional organization.” Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle says the audit should come as no surprise.

“This audit confirms what we have been saying all along.  It’s time to change the way the Port Authority does business,” says Vainieri Huttle. “The Assembly took the first steps last week, approving the ‘Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transparency and Accountability Act’ in committee. Now more than ever, it’s important that we get this legislation to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.  Commuters shouldn’t have to pay the price for the Port Authority’s dysfunction.  It’s time to institute accountability once and for all.”

In its audit Navigant Consulting says Tuesday the Port Authority is a dysfunctional organization that has let the World Trade Center rebuilding project’s costs get out of control — from $11 billion in 2008 to $14.8 billion now.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have just released a joint statement regarding the Phase 1 Interim Consultant’s Report on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“The interim report released today on operations of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey describes an agency which failed to exercise proper oversight, control costs and budget transparently. The report’s Executive Summary describes an agency that is ‘challenged and dysfunctional,’ and where poor management ‘obscured full awareness of billions of dollars in exposure’ to the Port Authority.

“Cause for further concern is the report’s conclusion that the WTC gross project costs, last publicly reforecast at $11 billion in 2008, have since grown a staggering $3.8 billion to $14.8 billion, at a minimum.  Similarly, the report finds capital planning is plagued by management deficiencies that have resulted in a doubling of debt in 10 years as the agency drifted from its core responsibility as a transportation infrastructure organization. Coupled with the consultant’s assessment of the impact of ‘add-on’ compensation for agency personnel – an institutionalized practice that has contributed to an unacceptable 19 percent increase in gross compensation in just five years – the interim report makes clear that wide-ranging reform is long overdue.”