News

NY Comptroller Audits Other State Car Use

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York comptroller’s office has not audited the State Police fleet since 1992 and has no immediate plans to do that. It has in the past decade looked at a dozen other agencies’ vehicle use and controls, spokesman William Reynolds said.

As of early 2009, the state had 38,019 vehicles with another 20,479 at the public authorities, Reynolds said. The authorities operate many of the major services in New York City and statewide, including the city’s mass transit system, the state Thruway, and the Port Authority.

A 2009 Budget Division directive generally prohibits personal use of state cars, including commuting, except in limited authorized circumstances.

A comptroller’s audit report on the New York Power Authority in 2007 initially found that only 255 of 567 vehicles registered to the authority were in its inventory records. NYPA responded that 202 others were actively being used, and 110 had been disposed of. The authority had 13 vehicles assigned to individual employees, and auditors said under IRS rules their personal use, including commuting, should be reported as taxable income.

Meanwhile, state Inspector General Ellen Biben has begun a statewide investigation of personal use of state vehicles by top prison officials and whether they should have them. The previous inspector general criticized the State Liquor Authority for some staff commuting in state cars.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)