Senator Flanagan Calls For Enhanced Accountability For State Agencies And Other Entities

 

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District), Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee of Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, today announced Senate passage of legislation that will ensure greater openness and responsiveness in State government.

The legislation that Senator Flanagan supported would require expenditure reports from State agencies, public authorities, and the Judiciary.

Specifically the legislation would require:

-Each state agency, covered authority, the judiciary and any 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the State University of New York to compile and make public an expenditure report within forty-five days following the end of March and September beginning next year. This report must be made public.

-The salary of each employee classified as noncompetitive under Civil Service Law, each employee of a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the State University of New York and each judge or justice would need to be listed in the report. This information must also include the person’s name, service dates, job title, payroll type and total amount paid. Any additional compensation paid during the reporting period will be listed separately.

The salaries of employees classified as competitive under Civil Service Law will be listed by category of title.

-Non-salary expenses for supplies, materials, equipment and other cash disbursements for all entities covered by this legislation will be listed separately by check date, voucher number, payee name, description and amount paid.

-Travel expenditures of each employee classified as noncompetitive under Civil Service Law and each judge or justice to be listed by with names, dates and description of travel and the amount paid. The travel expenditures of employees classified as competitive under Civil Service Law will be listed in an aggregate amount.

This legislation would bring these agencies in line with the Legislature since the Senate and Assembly have compiled and publicly released such expenditure reports since 1996. Since that year, the Senate has also taken the lead in providing public information about its operations and expenditures through public expenditure reports and has consistently advanced proposals calling for greater transparency in the State budget process, including line-by-line itemization of all items in the State budget.

The legislation also builds upon new laws that the State Senate successfully enacted in 2005 and 2006 to strengthen the State's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

"Providing additional information to the public will increase trust in state government and allow the taxpayers to see how their money is spent. This legislation is a commonsense way to open up the government to the residents and that is always a good thing," stated Senator Flanagan. "Both houses of the Legislature have been supplying this information for years and the people of New York State deserve to have that same access to the inner workings of these other agencies."

The bill was sent to the Assembly for further action.


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