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Two Long Island agencies cited for noncompliance

The state Authorities Budget Office has cited the Water Authority of Southeastern Nassau County and Suffolk County Judicial Facilities Agency as "chronically" out of compliance with state laws governing public authorities.

The state office named the two agencies in its annual report released on Monday on the finances and activities of New York's 574 state and local authorities. The agency identified 155 as noncompliant with the state's public accountability, transparency and disclosure requirements.

Last year, the agency censured the boards of directors of six authorities, including the water authority, for persistent failure to comply with governance and reporting requirements of the Public Authorities Law. The water authority, the judicial facilities agency and four other local authorities were found to have continuously disregarded their legal duties to provide the public with information of their activities, according to the report.

"The continued lack of transparency exhibited by these authorities should be a matter of public and legislative concern," the report said.

If authority officials do not comply, the budget office could recommend the suspension or dismissal of officers of the authority and begin legal proceedings to access documents concerning the finances and operations of the authority.

Water authority officials are exploring a possible public takeover of the former Aqua New York Inc., which was purchased last year by the parent company of Long Island American Water.

A statement provided by water authority secretary John Reinhardt, who is also commissioner of Hempstead Town's water department, said that since the notice of censure was received in April, the agency "has been developing and filing the necessary fiscal and annual reports to meet the filing requirements of the Authorities Budget Office."

None of the six members of the judicial facilities agency board could be reached for comment.

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