With a 45 percent commercial toll hike on the horizon, one business group is calling on the state Thruway Authority to subject itself to dreaded forensic audit.
Unshackle Upstate, a Rochester-based organization representing businesses outside of the MTA coverage area, sent a letter to Thruway Authority Chairman Howard Milstein today, calling on a third party to conduct a dollar-by-dollar analysis of the authority’s troubled finances.
“You have a responsibility to be good stewards of tolls. Prior administrations failed to do,” wrote Brian Sampson, the group’s executive director. “It is up to you to correct the poor decisions of the past and fix this situation once and for all.”
Sampson is one of 21 business groups from a variety of industries coming together to oppose the proposed increase, which the authority is hoping to implement before October. Several of those groups were represented at an Albany press conference (pictured) outside of the Thruway’s HQ today, ripping the increase as a harm to both businesses and consumers.
What is a forensic audit, you ask? (Aside from a buzz word often tossed around in Albany when oft-criticized agencies and authorities take an unpopular financial action, that is.) Here’s the Business Dictionary’s formal definition:
“The application of accounting methods to the tracking and collection of forensic evidence, usually for investigation and prosecution of criminal acts such as embezzlement or fraud. Also called forensic accounting.”
Here’s Sampson’s full letter, sent to Milstein today: