Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Sandy Story on Misallocation of Funds Earns Kudos from Senate President

New Jersey officials say a recent story by NJ Spotlight/WNYC finding the allocation of Sandy aid through a fund for backup generators was riddled with errors is further evidence of the need for new legislation requiring more monitoring over the Sandy aid process.

Sandy Story on Misallocation of Funds Earns Kudos from Senate President

New Jersey officials say a recent story by NJ Spotlight/WNYC finding the allocation of Sandy aid through a fund for backup generators was riddled with errors is further evidence of the need for new legislation requiring more monitoring over the Sandy aid process.

“This is exactly why we need to provide transparency, honesty, and answers to the thousands of New Jersey residents who continue to suffer from Hurricane Sandy well over a year later,” said Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who’s proposed legislation that would simplify the application process for Sandy recovery programs and give storm survivors greater rights to appeal if they’re denied funding.

“[Last Wednesday’s] report provides further evidence that this administration has done an abysmal job of handling the distribution of funding and why we need the 'Sandy Bill of Rights,'” he wrote in a statement.

Officials are hesitant to blame politics for the screw-ups, noting that it could be “incompetence,” but agree that the NJ Spotlight story demonstrates something is wrong with the way Sandy funds are being handled.

“This is a very serious problem” said Bob Gordon, Chair of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. “There just doesn’t seem to be anyone monitoring how a number of these important programs are working. We may find that there are failings, but it’s after the fact, after some kind of audit is done. It this case, these problems were not found by an inspector general or an auditor within the state government. They were found by the media.”

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