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Senate Unanimously Approves Reforming Pittsburgh Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority
On June 28, 2016
Harrisburg – June 28, 2016 – Legislation establishing accountability and transparency at the Pittsburgh Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA) received unanimous support in the Senate today, said Senators Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) and Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny/Butler).
Amid serious concerns regarding a lack of oversight and financial accountability raised by auditors in May, Senate Bill 1221 (co-sponsored by Costa, Fontana and Vulakovich) takes immediate steps to reform the agency.
“Given the circumstances there was a need for substantial reforms to provide openness and transparency at the ICA,” Costa said. “The legislation passed by the Senate today provides clear accountability standards and procedures that will move both the authority and the city forward.
“It’s a win-win and one that I’m pleased my colleagues supported.”
Fontana added, “Given the lack of records and accountability as well as the gross improprieties by the former executive director, these reform measures are crucial. The ICA was accountable to no one in the past and my hope is that the provisions in this legislation improve the operations of the authority and bring about greater transparency to taxpayers.”
In addition to calling for further oversight by the Department of Community and Economic Development, Senate Bill 1221 also:
- Requires greater transparency at the authority and record keeping that meets the standards of other state agencies;
- Creates a records retention policy that is consistent with the policy of the governor’s Office of Administration and retains financial information for a minimum of four years and tax information, payroll and audits for seven years;
- Provides a formal process for determining the use and distribution of gaming revenues for Pittsburgh; and
- Requires the agency to maintain a publicly-accessible website to include complete financial records, budgets and contracts.
“I am pleased that today the Senate passed much needed reform to the ICA,” Vulakovich said. “The unfortunate actions of the past were a learning opportunity for us to take recommended changes and put them into law. I want to commend Senators Costa and Fontana for their leadership on this and look forward to working with the ICA board in the future.”
Costa and Fontana previously called for the removal of the now former ICA Executive Director Henry Sciortino and called on the Allegheny County District Attorney to investigate the authority’s financial activity. That investigation, along with a forensic audit of agency financial records is ongoing.
Senate Bill 1221 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.