COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project

COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project

The COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project is special project within OSC that promotes accountability, transparency, and compliance in the spending of COVID-19 federal recovery funds in New Jersey. The Project does this through ongoing monitoring and oversight, special projects and targeted reviews, and by offering technical assistance and training to state and local government units.

Formation of the COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project

On July 17, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 166 (EO 166), which was aimed at ensuring greater oversight and accountability in the state’s administration of federal COVID-19 resources. Among other things, EO 166 established the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office, the roles of COVID-19 Accountability Officers, the COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Taskforce (Taskforce), with the State Comptroller as its chair, and mandated the creation of a COVID-19 Transparency website.

In addition to the State Comptroller’s role with the Taskforce, EO 166 also charged the Office of the State Comptroller with additional responsibilities in reviewing COVID-19 procurements, providing training and assistance to state agencies, departments, and authorities, and overseeing the work of independent Integrity Monitors throughout the state.

OSC’s role in the COVID-19 recovery extends beyond the responsibilities EO 166 established. OSC’s attorneys, investigators, auditors, data analysts, and administrative specialists work together to make government in New Jersey more efficient, transparent, and accountable. OSC has broad statutory authority to conduct reviews, audit state and local entities, review procurements, and investigate fraud, waste, and abuse of public funding.

On April 20, 2021, OSC officially introduced the COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project. While OSC’s oversight efforts had been ongoing since Governor Murphy signed EO 166 in July of 2020, the COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Project was introduced to formalize OSC’s role and dedication to ensuring that COVID-19 recovery funding is spent properly and is free from fraud, waste, or abuse.

Key Terms Defined

COVID-19 Accountability Officer: a senior-level official within a state agency, department, or authority who serves as the primary liaison to the Governor’s Disaster and Recovery Office (GDRO) and the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC), and oversees the responsible disbursement or administration of COVID-19 Recovery Funds.

COVID-19 Recovery Funds: any funds disbursed by the federal or State government to help New Jersey respond to or recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Integrity Monitor: an independent contractor who oversees, monitors, or assists with the disbursement of COVID-19 Recovery Funds and/or the administration of a COVID-19 recovery program.

Reporting Fraud, Waste, or Abuse

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 online complaint form, by email at ComptrollerTips@osc.nj.gov, or by calling our toll-free hotline, 1-855-OSC-TIPS.

Not sure what constitutes fraud, waste, or abuse? Here are some quick definitions:

Fraud is defined as wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Fraud includes false representation of fact, making false statements, or concealment of information; offer, payment, or acceptance of bribes and gratuities; submitting false claims; and conspiring to use any of these devices. The term also includes conflict of interest cases, criminal irregularities, and the unauthorized disclosure of official information relating to procurement and disposal matters.

Waste is defined as the extravagant, careless, or needless expenditure of government funds, or the consumption of government property that results from deficient practices, systems, controls, or decisions. The term also includes improper practices not involving criminal behavior.

Abuse is defined as the intentional or improper use of government resources that can include the excessive or improper use of one's position in a manner contrary to its rightful or legally intended use. Examples include misuse of rank, position, or authority or misuse of government resources for oneself or another.

 

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Waste or Abuse

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Waste or Abuse
Government Waste and Mismanagement Hotline: 1-855-OSC-TIPS (672-8477)