The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) recently received the Byron M. Baer Memorial Award for Public Service from the good-government group Bergen Grassroots. The group presented State Comptroller Matthew Boxer with a plaque on March 28 that acknowledged OSC’s September 2011 report exposing weaknesses in the state’s Pay-to-Play law. The report, based on more than a thousand contract reviews conducted by OSC as part of its regular oversight efforts, concluded that a series of fatal flaws had essentially rendered the Pay-to-Play law meaningless at the local government level. Its issuance led to the passage of a strengthened contracting reform law in Bergen County.
The plaque from Bergen Grassroots states: “By dramatizing, in a timely 17-page report, the weaknesses of a proposed exception to pay-to-play reform known as ‘fair and open’ contracting, the Comptroller and his staff turned public opinion against a proposed Bergen County ordinance that would have been a mockery of reform. Instead, a genuine reform measure was enacted.”