New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today released the following 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.
"This record of historic failure must be reversed. Steps have already been taken in the last two years, but much more must be done to restore the Port Authority to a responsible, highly transparent, well-managed organization focused on its core mission of maintaining and expanding our states' shared transportation infrastructure for the health and growth of our overlapping economies. We will demand nothing short of the agency's implementation of comprehensive recommendations and reform to achieve this critical mission."