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 NEW YORK, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- New York Power Authority Chairman Richard M. Flynn announced Monday that the Power Authority will take various actions as part of a continuing effort to cut costs and respond to competitive pressures in the electric utility industry.
 "These measures will help us to achieve savings that can be passed on to our customers," Flynn said. "The other trustees and I also want the Power Authority to take the lead in being fully responsive to Governor Cuomo's recent executive order calling for greater accountability by public authorities."
 The measures cover such areas as use of Power Authority-owned and leased vehicles, selection of bond counsel and underwriters, employee travel and living expenses, funding of special events, and acceptance of gifts by trustees and staff members.
 "I directed our staff to review our administrative policies to determine which should be changed or strengthened," Flynn said. "I'm confident that we've taken all reasonable actions to avoid even the appearance of impropriety or inappropriate spending."
 Flynn said use of leased cars by senior executives will be ended Dec. 31, and that persons now using the vehicles will be permitted to assume payments on the leases, which run through August 1995. In addition, he said use of Power Authority-owned vehicles for regular commuting by plant managers and others with special business needs will end Dec. 31 and the Power Authority will reduce its fleet of pool vehicles.
 These moves are expected to produce savings of about $500,000 a year.
 Also under the new procedures:
 -- The Power Authority will conduct a competitive search to select a bond counsel by the end of 1993 for a term of up to five years. A competitive process also will be used to select minority-owned firms for specific bond issues.
 -- The Power Authority will formally adopt a competitive process for selecting bond underwriters. The procedure will include a numerical ranking of prospective underwriters by the Power Authority's senior financial staff and its external financial adviser, as well as an evaluation of each firm's response to a "Request for Qualifications." The commissions and expenses proposed by underwriters will be a strong factor in the selection process.
 -- To assure the lowest possible rates for transportation, lodging and car rentals, all employees will be required to make such arrangements through the Power Authority's Travel Desk.
 -- The current ban on funding for community and other events not specifically related to the Power Authority's business of producing low- cost electricity will be strengthened. Proposed expenditures will be subject to approval by the Power Authority's president and its chief financial and public affairs officers. Expenditures will be reported to the trustees semiannually.
 -- The Conflict of Interest Policy will be strengthened to bar acceptance under any circumstance of gifts having a value of $75 or more from persons or entities doing business with the Power Authority or seeking to do business with it. The ban previously applied only to situations in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence an employee or could reasonably be expected to do so. That provision now will be applied for gifts valued at less than $75.
 -- Employees conducting internal audits will report directly to the Power Authority president, rather than to the head of the quality assurance group, to assure the highest possible focus on any auditing irregularities.
 Flynn noted that the Power Authority already has moved aggressively to cut costs in the face of increased competition from new power suppliers, and of lower prices and reduced demand for electricity. It recently cut its work force by the equivalent of 400 full-time positions, an action that, along with other measures, will save $40 million a year. In addition, a $1.1 billion bond refunding in August, which carried the lowest true interest cost of any major public power bond issue since the 1970s, will save Power Authority customers $370 million in lower debt payments over the life of the bonds.
 -0- 10/11/93
 /CONTACT: Stephen Shoenholz of New York Power Authority, 212-468-6313/

CO: New York Power Authority ST: New York IN: UTI SU:

TS -- NY042 -- 0772 10/11/93 16:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 11, 1993

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