State Public Authorities Dashboard

Power line employees working on a project.

State Public Authorities Dashboard


Public benefit corporations, commonly known as public authorities, are statutorily created entities intended to serve the public interest. State public authorities have various levels of autonomy, based on the powers and constraints built into their legislative mandate. State public authorities build and maintain critical infrastructure, operate facilities and systems and provide financial resources to support transportation, environmental, housing, health care, and other essential purposes. A board of directors, generally appointed by elected officials, governs each public authority.

The Public Authorities Law and regulations require public authorities to report data annually on expenditures, revenues, capital contributions, debt, employment, and procurement practices. The Office of the State Comptroller established the Public Authorities Reporting Information System (PARIS) to provide authorities an accountable and transparent reporting tool for data collection and analysis.

Public authorities self-report the data included in this dashboard. As required by Public Authorities Law, certain data submitted are required to be approved by the board of directors and/or to have its accuracy and completeness certified in writing by the authority’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer. The data are not independently verified by the Office of the State Comptroller.

The PARIS data used for this dashboard are updated on a quarterly basis, and therefore represent the data as certified by the authorities as of that time. Data for local public authorities in New York appear on separate State Comptroller websites.

For each category on the dashboard, the data represent the most recently certified fiscal year for those authorities reporting through PARIS and do not reflect a common fiscal year or State fiscal year. Public authorities’ fiscal years vary — several match the State fiscal year, which begins on April 1, while others operate on a calendar year basis, among other variations. The dashboard notes when an authority does not incur debt, have employees or procurement transactions, or is delinquent in reporting the most recent fiscal year.

  • Statute authorizes most State public authorities to issue bonds, without voter approval, to fund public infrastructure or on behalf of projects for third parties. Debt service is repaid through project revenues, such as tolls, fees paid by the third party or State appropriations, reflecting the significant role public authorities play in New York State’s finances and debt.
  • State public authority debt is made up of three main kinds of debt:
    • Primarily, public authorities issue debt to serve their missions; for example, the Thruway will finance road and bridge projects and the MTA will borrow to improve stations and purchase subway cars.
    • Second, public authorities issue conduit debt on behalf of colleges, universities, hospitals, and not-for-profit organizations in order to provide more favorable financing terms to these institutions than they may be able to procure individually. The issuer has no obligation to repay the debt beyond the resources provided by the third party.
    • Finally, the State uses authorities to provide financing for capital projects, with the expectation that the State will provide funds for repayment of the bonds. Public authority debt issued on behalf of the State has largely supplanted voter-approved General Obligation debt as the primary means of financing the State’s capital program. 
  • Total compensation includes annual salary, overtime, and bonus, severance, extra and other payments. Employee benefits are generally reported as operating expenses.
  • Public authorities should report all individuals that do work for the authority, including individuals that do not receive compensation. 
  • Usually, board members do not receive a salary, but do receive reimbursement for costs for attending board meetings or other official duties.
  • State public authority reports on procurement should include all active contracts, regardless of contract award date or end date, and reflect the total contract amount over the life of the contract. Authorities report the contractor name, the type of contract, how the contract was awarded, the date it was awarded, among other metrics.
  • Authorities can award a contract through four different means:
    • Competitive Bid: The contract or transaction was selected through a competitive process by the authority. Competitive contracts include best qualified, competitive grant, competitive negotiation, and pre-qualified.
    • Non-Competitive Bid: The contract or transaction was awarded by the authority without a competitive selection process. Noncompetitive contracts include negotiated, emergency, preferred source, sole source, or single source contracts.
    • Non Procurement/Purchase Order: The procurement was a-non-contract procurement, such as purchase orders, that resulted in a cumulative payment of $5,000 or more to the same vendor during the fiscal year.
    • Purchased Under State Contract: The authority used a pre-approved statewide contract, or piggy-backed on an active contract through the State Office of General Services, a State or local agency, or another public authority.
  • The thresholds for reporting and board approval of contracts vary across authorities.
  • Technology includes Technology-Hardware, Technology-Software, Telecommunication Equipment and Services and Technology Consulting/Development or Support. Legal and Financial Services includes Legal Services and Financial Services.
  • Operating revenues include categories such as charges for services, and rental and financing income. Operating expenditures include categories such as salaries and wages, employee benefits, professional services, and supplies and materials.
  • Nonoperating revenues include categories such as investment earnings and subsidies. Nonoperating expenditures include categories such as interest and financing charges, grants, and donations.
  • Capital contributions are grants or outside contributions of resources restricted to capital acquisition or construction, and may include federal, State, or other sources.