In an internal audit released Tuesday, Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie have teamed up to reverse a record of historic failure on the part of the Port Authority, whose spending in recent decades has spiraled out of control.
The governors also want a top-to-bottom review of the bi-state agency, which has suffered because of poor management and a lack of control of funds. The governors requested the audit last August after the PA announced that it would increase toll prices on bridges, tunnels and trains to $4.50.
The auditors found a challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from a lack of consistent leadership, a siloed underlying bureaucracy, poorly coordinated capital planning process, insufficient cost controls and a lack of transparent and effective oversight of the World Trade Center program that has obscured full awareness of billions of dollars in exposure to the Port Authority, the report said.
The cost of the new World Trade Center, which the agency is in charge of, has skyrocketed to $14.8 billion from the last projected cost of $11 billion in 2008, and may add an $800 million to the final tab for additional costs. After third-party reimbursements, the project will cost the PA $7.7 billion out of its pocket, a nearly $2 billion increase from the estimated cost when the project was first announced.