Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Naturally, The Lawyers Are In On The Corruption

If you have the stomach for it, here's the NJ Comptroller's Audit Report on the waste of millions of dollars at the NJ Turnpike Authority.

Here are the highlights from the Report:

• During CY 2010, the Authority could have saved approximately $4 million had it opted to participate in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP), instead of providing insurance through its self-funded plan. The Authority had not evaluated the relative costs and benefits associated with joining SHBP. Had it chosen to participate in SHBP, it also could have saved a total of approximately $8.8 million during CYs 2007, 2008 and 2009 collectively.

• The Authority has negotiated an agreement with one of its bargaining units which requires the Authority to provide post-retirement health benefits to some employees who have as few as five years of service with the Authority. Other State employees are required to serve for longer terms of employment to receive such benefits.

• The Authority has negotiated collective bargaining agreements which contain numerous bonus provisions and payouts for Authority employees. For CYs 2008 and 2009, the Authority paid out to its employees approximately $30 million in such bonuses and payouts. These bonuses and payouts do not appear to be in the public’s interest.

• The Authority distributes E-Z Pass transponders to its employees to commute to and from work without incurring the cost of any tolls on the Turnpike or Parkway. This practice results in non-transparent compensation for Authority employees and we estimate that it costs the
Authority $430,000 annually.

• The Authority expends tens of thousands of public dollars for “employee relations” to benefit individual Authority employees or independent organizations, such as spending $12,000 to sponsor an employee bowling league.

The Authority’s Law Department has not exercised adequate oversight of outside counsel contracts and related billings. Specifically, the Authority paid $224,168 for legal services that were improperly billed.


Anonymous said...

Boxer has uncovered quite an array of waste in different areas of NJ government since Christie came in...

I got to thinking -- I don't remember this guy coming up with any of these fabulous audits exposing waste while serving under Corzine -- or was he just quietly doing it then????

NFS said...

I think an audit process takes quite a bit of time. I just quickly scanned a report he issued under Corzine recommending external auditors be replaced every ten years, among other things, including not using auditors who make political contributions. I wonder if any legislation was passed incorporating his suggestions? Lawyers and engineers should be included as well to end pay to play.

Anonymous said...

Highly doubtful that anything he may have investigated would have been publicized - let alone acted upon under that administration... You never heard anything from this guy while Corzine was governor... Almost like they locked him in a soundproof room to keep him from making waves for all the career criminals -- uh, I mean, public employees and politically connected and highly favored ones...