Sen. Osten, Rep. Conley Request Second Public Hearing on Port Authority in Light of Auditor’s Report, Other New InformationNovember 4, 2019
HARTFORD, CT – Today, state Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) and Rep. Christine Conley (D-Groton) wrote the co-chairs of the Transportation Committee asking for a second public hearing to be held in the next two weeks on the Connecticut Port Authority.
Below is their letter.
November 4, 2019
Honorable Carlo Leone, 27th
Honorable Roland Lemar, 96th
RE: Connecticut Port Authority Audit
Dear Chairman Leone and Chairman Lemar,
We would like to thank you for your leadership as the Transportation Committee undertakes its review of the operations and governance of the Connecticut Port Authority. As we have stated, we believe the informational hearing conducted by the committee was just the first step in understanding various concerns with the Port Authority, evaluating the impact these concerns have on achieving Connecticut’s economic development goals for our ports, and allowing the Transportation Committee to develop policies, procedures, and strategies for success.
As you know, the Auditors of Public Accounts completed their audit of the Connecticut Port Authority. This audit has produced a number of alarming findings, which reaffirms the original information presented by the auditors at our August hearing. It is clearly evident that improvements need to be made. These areas include a lack of statutorily required policies, including procedures concerning the use of surplus funds, affirmative action, and annual ethics training for employees; inconsistent or nonexistent records management or financial accounting systems; a lack of an established protocol surrounding meal, travel, and entertainment expenses; and expenses regarding legal and consulting fees that are beyond the norm.
With this recently released audit in hand, and with requested information recently received by the committee, we now believe that our previous request that the Transportation Committee hold a second informational hearing should be held within the next two weeks. We also believe past and current board chairs and employees of the Port Authority should be required to attend to offer their opinions on what went wrong at the Port Authority, and what we as legislators can do to correct or prevent such occurrences in the future.
It is important we meet in order to develop legislation that will outline what we should put into practice and law to prevent this from occurring again.
Thank you for your consideration.
Catherine A. Osten
State Senator, 19th District
State Representative, 40th District
cc: Honorable Martin M. Looney, President Pro Tempore Honorable Joe Aresimowicz, Speaker of the House