The Public Authorities Project offers a number of programs to help educate policy makers and the public about public authorities.
Board Member Training
Under New York law, board members of state and local public authorities are required to participate in state approved training regarding their legal, fiduciary, financial and ethical responsibilities within one year of appointment to a board. The Public Authorities Project has partnered with the New York State Authority Budget Office and the City University of New York to provide training on corporate governance principles, ethics, and the oversight responsibilities of board members. To date, the Public Authorities Project has provided training to more than 350 public authority board members.
The Public Authorities Project has prepared written materials to assist the governance and audit committees of the authority boards in operating in an ethical and legally compliant manner. Supplementing the written materials are two instructional videos that are available to authority boards.
In the course of board training, questions have been raised by board members relating to authority practices and legal requirements. Several topic papers examining these questions have been prepared, covering issues such as ethics training, financial disclosure, and racial and gender diversity.
Public programs are used to promote public discussion on the reform agenda. Past programs have included the inaugural program on New York public authorities reform held in 2004, the Warren M. Anderson Legislative Breakfast Seminar lecture on authority issues in the spring of 2008, and a roundtable discussion on authority programmatic reform held in the spring of 2009. Speakers at public programs have included New York State legislators and agency officials as well as representatives of public interest and advocacy groups.