Office of the State Comptroller released 17 reports in Fiscal Year 2021, identifying opportunities for taxpayer savings and greater transparency in government

OSC also recovered $72 million in misspent Medicaid funds, formed new COVID-19 Project, and reviewed 700 public contracts

– The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) released its Annual Report highlighting 17 reports completed in Fiscal Year 2021 that identified multiple opportunities for taxpayer savings and greater transparency across New Jersey government.

OSC released three investigative reports, six audit reports, and eight follow-up reviews to determine if OSC’s recommendations were implemented. Significant reports include:

  • OSC’s investigation into the Borough of Palisades Park that found widespread financial mismanagement and hundreds of thousands of wasted taxpayer dollars;
  • OSC’s seventh review of the New Jersey State Police’s efforts to curb racial discrimination in its ranks;
  • An investigation into medical monitoring settlement agreements harmed the State’s pension fund; and
  • OSC’s audit that found lax oversight of credit cards (“P-cards”) used by state agencies, making taxpayer funds ripe for abuse and waste.

OSC’s Annual Report also notes that the Medicaid Fraud Division recovered more than $72 million in misspent Medicaid funds which will be returned to state and federal budgets. OSC also excluded 79 providers from participating in New Jersey’s Medicaid program for violating its rules.

“OSC’s work in Fiscal Year 2021 shows how wide-reaching our mandate to hold government accountable is, and I’m proud to share our successes in delivering on that mission,” said Acting State Comptroller Kevin D. Walsh. “Many of our reports this year have spurred robust dialogue between public officials and New Jersey residents about how to make government run more efficiently and effectively for the people of this state.”

Acting Comptroller Walsh formed the COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project within OSC this year to promote accountability, transparency and compliance in the spending of billions of federal COVID-19 recovery funds in New Jersey. The Project performs ongoing monitoring and oversight, special projects and targeted reviews, and offers technical assistance and training to state and local government units. The Project has addressed issues involving reporting, proper internal controls, policies and procedures, duplication of benefits, fraud risks, documentation requirements, and more.

As part of its role scrutinizing public spending before taxpayer funds are spent, OSC reviewed 700 high-value public contracts of State agencies and authorities, counties, municipalities, and more. OSC took corrective action in 59 percent of contracts valued at more than $12.5 million to make sure public entities were in compliance with state and local laws, as well as to ensure that the reality or appearance of favoritism did not factor into the public contracting process.

OSC also began reviewing all state contracts in New Jersey valued at $150,000 or more that involve COVID-19 recovery funds.

“We rely on the tips of engaged residents and conscientious public employees to do our work,” said Walsh. “We want to know what people are seeing on the ground, where government is falling short, and what OSC can do about it. Our Fiscal Year 2022 work is already underway, and we are eager to hear from residents through social media or our tip line with ideas about how we can better hold New Jersey government accountable.”

To report government fraud, waste, mismanagement or corruption, file a complaint with OSC or call 1-855-OSC-TIPS.

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is an independent State agency that works to make government in New Jersey more efficient, transparent and accountable. OSC is tasked with examining all aspects of government expenditures, 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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Government Waste and Mismanagement Hotline: 1-855-OSC-TIPS (672-8477)