Representatives of the Massachusetts Port Authority's (Massport's) bondholders praised the Authority today for taking additional measures to promote fiscal accountability and openness. Massport CEO Craig Coy and CFO Leslie Kirwan have pledged to personally sign-off on all of the Authority's financial reports and have already done so for Massport's the audited financials for fiscal year 2002.
"Massport has a longstanding commitment to timely and accurate public disclosure of our financial information," said Coy. "While not required to do so under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we feel taking personal accountability for Massport's financial information is appropriate and will enhance the public's confidence that Massport's fiscal affairs are being handled professionally and responsibly."
Massport voluntarily adopted this procedure in response to the recently passed Sarbanes-Oxley Act regulating corporate financial disclosure. The legislation requires the CEO and CFO of all publicly held companies to personally certify the accuracy of the companies' financial statements. As a public entity, Massport is not regulated under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. However, Massport took this proactive step to reaffirm to its bondholders and the general public its commitment to fiscal accountability and public disclosure.
"Massport has always been forthcoming and responsive to its bondholders, but this new commitment to personally account for the finances of the organization takes it to a new level," said Bob MacIntosh, Vice President and Portfolio Manager of Eaton Vance Management, a bondholding company representing hundreds of Massachusetts investors. "Massport consistently sets high standards in financial reporting, it's one of the many reasons it maintains one of the highest ratings for any airport authority in the country."
The initial certification takes effect with respect to Massport's most recent financial statements, dated September 25, 2002. Massport's financial statements are independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Earlier this year, Massport was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) in fiscal year 2001. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government agency and its management.
The comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal year 2001 was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate Massport's financial story.