Press-Republican

Local News

March 28, 2013

Comptroller criticizes ORDA over deficit

(Continued)

LAKE PLACID —

“We’re going to launch an actual audit to look at cash flow and all other issues.”

Data the Comptroller cited suggested that ORDA’s payroll has increased 38 percent since 2008, and compensation has gone up 20 percent in the same time period. 

As of 2012, according to “By the Numbers,” ORDA employed 204 full-time and 1,106 seasonal, part-time workers — 38 percent of ORDA’s workers make less than $25,000 per year.

Total payroll in 2012 was $12.6 million, allowing more than $38,000 for employee “advances,” which the Comptroller’s Office questioned.

“The details of why this mechanism is used and whether it is an appropriate use of authority resources remain unclear,” the report says.

PROCUREMENT CONTRACTS

Payroll and related expenses are 52 percent of total costs to run and maintain Olympic venues, according to the comptroller’s review.

Utilities and fuel consume 11 percent of total costs.

And 5 percent is contractual services.

“In (fiscal year) 2012, ORDA reported 304 active procurement contracts with a total value of more than $27 million. Of those, 107 procurement contracts were entered into through a competitive-bidding process, with a total value of $19 million,” the report said.

Contracts awarded in a noncompetitive process were 40 percent of ORDA’s procurements.

Noncompetitive agreements “represent only 19 percent of the total value of the authority’s procurements,” the comptroller’s review said.

‘ESSENTIAL TO ECONOMY’

The report also recognized ORDA’s regional value as an employer and as a national and international center for sports competition.

“ORDA and its venues remain an essential part of the North Country economy. In addition to operating and maintaining the various facilities under its control, the authority hosts national and international sporting events, drawing competitors and spectators from around the country and throughout the world.

“ORDA also provides venues and services for meetings, conferences and special events, encourages participation in winter sports and promotes tourism in the Adirondack region. It is because of this vital role, along with continuing fiscal pressures at the state and local levels, that Comptroller DiNapoli has highlighted ORDA.”

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