Albany, NY (April 7, 2011)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced rigorous new policies for state issued parking placards after a review by State Inspector General Ellen Biben found systemic problems with how the placards were distributed and how they were used by some state employees.
Currently, the state distributes two types of parking placards. One says "police" in all capital letters, the other says "official business."
As a result of the Inspector General review, the Governor's office will:
- Reduce the number of police placards distributed by over 84 percent from 1730 to 261 by limiting the distribution of police placards to only police personnel
- Reduce the number of total placards distributed by almost 10 percent from 2210 to 1993.
- Redesign placards for greater transparency.
- Create an application and approval process for receiving a placard – a protocol that previously did not exist.
- Create a clear enforcement process to handle those who abuse the privilege.
"Government issued parking placards are meant to be used by state employees when they are doing official business," Governor Cuomo said. "Under my administration, abuses of government powers will be stopped and those responsible will be held accountable. I applaud Inspector General Biben for her review of the distribution and use of parking placards, and for her recommendations reforming the system to hold those who have placards responsible for their actions."
"Too often we hear stories of the abuses of parking placards," Inspector General Biben said. "Parking placards are not perks - period. These new policies intelligently transform the system from one that was flawed and ripe for abuse and to one that is transparent and will make individuals personally accountable for use of their placards."
The number of police parking placards distributed to executive branch agencies will be reduced from 1,730 to 261. They will only be issued to officials with statutory police powers and will be distributed only by the State Police. In all, the total number of placards distributed to executive agencies and the Legislature is being reduced from 2,210 to 1,993.
"The new rules make perfect sense: police placards should only be for police officers defined by state law," State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said. "I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking the initiative to implement these smart policies that will help prevent the abuse of these placards."
The new parking placard policies for the executive branch and Legislature also say that:
- State officials are required to fill out a form before receiving the placard indicating why the placard is needed and what vehicle it will be used in.
- State officials are required to sign a certification acknowledging the proper use of a placard.
- The Executive Chamber is recalling all outstanding "Police" placards so they can be redistributed to police personnel only.
- State officials without police powers will be issued "Official Business" placards.
- The State Police will review and distribute all "Police" placards.
- The Governor's Office of Public Safety will review and distribute all "Official Business" placards.
- Agencies will review requests by employees to ensure that their duties and responsibilities would require the use of a placard.
- Complaints of improper use of "Police" placards will be handled by State Police.
- Complaints of improper use of "Official Business" placards will be handled by the Inspector General's office.
- An employee who misuses the placard could face disciplinary action.
The placards have also been redesigned to clearly show what agency it belongs to and the license plate number of the car that it should be displayed in.