Letter State Budget

Finalize the Pre-Audit Authority Agreement

Letter to the Governor and Comptroller

June 06, 2019

Dear Governor Cuomo and Comptroller DiNapoli,

We write to ask that your offices finalize and make public the details of the agreement announced between the Comptroller and the Governor earlier this year restoring the Comptroller’s pre-audit authority over certain contracts in conjunction with the Inspector General. We also urge you to support your agreement being codified in law this legislative session.

In January, the State of the State announced that you had reached an agreement reinstating the Comptroller’s pre-audit authority over SUNY, CUNY, SUNY Research Foundation and Office of General Services centralized state contracts. This authority was removed from the Comptroller in the 2011 budget. Furthermore, the Governor reported in the State of the State that the State Inspector General would be granted authority to investigate complaints of fraud and corruption at SUNY and CUNY nonprofit affiliates. Contractors, vendors, and state agency grantees would also have to certify that contracts contain no conflicts or collusion, and disclose any relationships that could create or appear to be conflicts of interest.

Many, including us, have advocated for years for these reforms, and the three proposals were included in the Procurement Integrity Act and legislative budget resolutions. However, the final budget did not include these reforms, and no further details of the agreement or its implementation plan and start date have been announced.

We urge you to finalize and release the details of the agreement, and support them being codified in this legislative session. Our organizations believe the Comptroller’s pre-audit authority is essential to improving both the integrity of the contracting process and the public's trust.

Andrew Rein
Citizens Budget Commission


Laura Bierman
Executive Director
League of Women Voters in NYS

Betsy Gotbaum
Executive Director
Citizens Union


Blair Horner
Executive Director
New York Public Interest Research Group

Susan Lerner
Executive Director
Common Cause of New York


John Kaehny
Executive Director
Reinvent Albany

Ron Deutsch
Executive Director
Fiscal Policy Institute