October 7, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Issues Letter to MTA Chair and CEO Foye Calling for Forensic Audit of MTA Capital Plan

TOP Governor Cuomo Issues Letter to MTA Chair and...

Calls for Inspector General Review of the Integrity of the MTA's Procurement and Inventory Control Systems

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued a letter to MTA Chair and CEO Pat Foye calling for a timely completion of an MTA forensic audit. 


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued a letter to MTA Chair and CEO Pat Foye calling for a timely completion of an MTA forensic audit. In the letter, the Governor also called for an Inspector General review of the integrity of the MTA's procurement and inventory control systems.

The MTA has recently approved a $52 billion Capital Plan which must now be reviewed by the CPRB, the New York City Council and the State Legislature. The Governor supports mass transit investment but wants tax dollars spent efficiently and effectively, and reviewers of the plan need to have that assurance.

The full text of the letter is available below:


To: Pat Foye
CC: MTA Board of Directors
CC: Inspector General


The legislative reforms passed during this year's State legislative session are designed to force implementation of structural changes long overdue at the MTA.


The legislation that I put forth and was passed by the Legislature acknowledges the past management failures of the MTA and mandated their correction through legislative action, thus circumventing MTA dysfunction. Laws regarding mandatory vendor debarment, the reorganizing of the Authority, and requiring any MTA capital project over $25 million use design build were all passed. Besides the legislative mandates, there have been several additional MTA reforms that have changed the culture, including new vendor conferences, installation of a biometric time system, promulgation of new ethics rules to stop contractor connections, a fare evasion task force, a homelessness task force, and a train speed and safety task force.


The MTA Board has recently unanimously approved a $52 billion Capital Plan. This is the largest capital plan in history. The Capital Plan must be reviewed by the CPRB, which allows a unilateral veto from the Governor, the Mayor of the City of New York, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the Senate Leader. Funding for the plan will then be taken up by the New York City Council and the New York State Legislature. It is essential that this massive investment be coupled with confidence in the MTA's ability to efficiently and effectively implement the plan.


There is much skepticism surrounding the MTA's ability to purchase, construct, repair or administer efficiently. We do not want that skepticism to become an obstacle to the necessary investments and improvements the Capital Plan provides for the commuters of New York.


One of the legislative measures passed earlier this year requires the MTA to provide a forensic audit. The forensic audit must include a function beyond mere accounting.


Please instruct the auditor to review the Capital Plan, and the MTA's past performance, to identify costs that are beyond market norms or comparable costs in the private sector. New Yorkers should invest in the MTA but they have a right to demand management competence. For example, the MTA's cost for building elevators providing disabled access at a single subway station is estimated by the MTA to be approximately $82 million per station. That estimate strains credulity.


The audit should also review purchases of equipment and material so all reviewers of the Capital Plan have a basis to feel confident that the funding will be well spent.


An Inspector General review of the integrity of your procurement system and inventory control system is also necessary to anticipate and resolve concerns. Please request the Inspector General complete the reviews by the end of November.


Please communicate this information to the firm performing the forensic audit and advise the CPRB members as to the delivery date of the audit and the availability of the accounting firm to present the findings and to be available for discussion.




Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

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