Office of the State Comptroller announces special COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project

Watchdog project will oversee COVID-19 recovery fund spending, promote best practices to prevent fraud, waste and abuse

TRENTON – The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) announced the creation of the COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project to ensure proper oversight and accountability over the billions of dollars of COVID-19 recovery money being spent throughout New Jersey.

The COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project formalizes OSC’s role in overseeing New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, which has been ongoing since July 2020 when Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 166. Under that executive order, OSC is responsible for serving as a watchdog by independently monitoring recovery programs and by reviewing proposed COVID-19 recovery contracts above $150,000 to ensure the procurement process complies with state and federal law.

“Our announcement today recognizes the office’s role making sure that state agencies and authorities are doing everything they can to protect federal COVID-19 recovery funds sent to New Jersey to recover from the pandemic,” said Acting State Comptroller Kevin D. Walsh, who serves as the chair of the COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Taskforce. “The substantial amount of funding at stake – and the importance of the funding to New Jerseyans – means state agencies and authorities must be especially vigilant and have policies and procedures in place that protect the money. By leveraging OSC’s expertise in procurement, audit, and investigations, we stand ready to ensure that fraud, waste or abuse does not disrupt New Jersey’s recovery.”

The Project will be initially staffed by two full-time employees, with more appointments forthcoming. Jillian Holmes was named as Director of the Project. Holmes joined OSC in 2012 and has worked in OSC’s Medicaid Fraud, Investigations, and Procurement Divisions. Ianna Khan will serve as the Project’s Principal Data and Analytics Coordinator, and has served at OSC since 2016 as an Auditor in the Medicaid Fraud Division.

The COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project will conduct ongoing oversight in a multi-pronged approach, including:

  • Monitoring recovery programs to make sure there are processes in place to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of COVID-19 recovery funds. This means encouraging agencies to assess risks in their programs and to take steps to address those risks. It also involves advising agencies to comply with state and federal guidelines, public contracting rules, and Executive Order 166.
  • Training Accountability Officers, who are senior-level officials within a state agency, authority, or other organization receiving COVID-19 recovery funds, on practices for preventing fraud, waste, and abuse. Accountability Officers serve as the primary liaison to OSC, the Compliance and Oversight Taskforce (Taskforce) and the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office (GDRO). The Project will work with Accountability Officers on matters related to procurement, documentation, and eligibility of expenses, and internal controls.
  • Overseeing Integrity Oversight Monitors, who are independent professionals that review the disbursement of COVID-19 recovery funds. The Integrity Oversight Monitors serve as a third-party check on state agencies and authorities who ensure that funds are spent in compliance with state and federal guidelines and are free from fraud, waste, and abuse. Integrity Oversight Monitors are responsible for submitting quarterly reports which are posted publicly on the GDRO’s COVID-19 Oversight website.
  • Collaborating with the Taskforce and GDRO to identify and recommend steps to mitigate potential risks that could lead to the mismanagement of recovery funds.

More information about OSC’s role in overseeing COVID-19 recovery funds can be found on OSC’s website.

If you have any information about the fraud, waste, or abuse of COVID-19 recovery funds, we want to hear from you. You can contact us through OSC’s anonymous complaint form, by email at, or by calling 1-855-OSC-TIPS (1-855-672-8477).

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is an independent state agency that works to advance transparency and accountability throughout New Jersey government and to ensure taxpayer funds are spent efficiently and effectively. OSC conducts audits and investigations of government agencies throughout New Jersey, reviews government contracts, and works to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in Medicaid.

Stay up-to-date with the latest from OSC by following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Instagram at @NewJerseyComptroller.

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