Public hearing planned on bill to improve port authority

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Posted March 4, 2020

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on Gov. Ned Lamont's proposal to make the Connecticut Port Authority more transparent and accountable.

The General Assembly's Transportation Committee has scheduled a public hearing Monday on the Democrat's proposal, which empowers him to appoint the authority's board chair.

The bill also mandates an annual independent audit, adds the mayor of New London to the board and requires the board and its chosen executive director to adhere to additional protocols.

A state audit last year raised concerns about the quasi-public agency’s operations, including a lack of statutorily required policies, such as procedures for using surplus funds. A prior audit noted how the authority operated for a period without accounting records detailing bank transactions.

The authority, which markets and coordinates development of the state’s ports, originally came under scrutiny for paying a former board chairwoman’s daughter $3,000 for office art.