Christie Orders Sandy Oversight Measures
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. February 8, 2013
Billions of dollars in federal aid for Hurricane Sandy recovery and rebuilding will soon be flowing to New Jersey.
Governor Christie has signed an executive order that put oversight measures in place to ensure the money is not wasted.
The order authorizes State Comptroller Matt Boxer to conduct an independent review of all contracts related to Sandy reconstruction funding.
Boxer says his staff has already started to focus its audit work on those projects.
“We’re going to be intensifying our review as well and our follow up on previous audit findings for those agencies and towns receiving reconstruction funding. Basically what that means is we’re going to look at their prior audits. Where they’ve messed up before in how they spent federal funds we’re going to work with them to make sure it gets fixed.”
The governor’s order sets up accountability officers in each office of state government that deal with the disbursement of the federal aid.
The state will also set up an Internet site where all the contracting information will be publicly accessible.
Governor Christie says his order for the oversight measures is not a response to Democratic lawmakers concerns about the state’s $100 million contract with Florida firm AshBritt for Sandy debris removal.
“Naw it has nothing to do with AshBritt. This is being done because it’s what we were always going to do. We’re not at the point where we’re beginning to receive significant federal funds and it’s always been my intention.”
The governor says he’s willing to work with state lawmakers on other measures to make sure Sandy rebuilding funds are being spent in the most effective way.
“We all come from the same place on this. It’s essential that we make sure we have the confidence of the people of New Jersey and the people of the United State in this process, and I’m equally confined that all the leaders here in in the state will come will an agreement on what additional measures may be needed.”