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news release

P.O. Box 004
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Paul Aronsohn

RELEASE: January 24, 2002

Office of the Governor

McGreevey Orders Audit of Parsons Contract as
Part of Pledge to Root Out Waste and Mismanagement

(Trenton) - Vowing to root out the fraud and mismanagement that have run rampant in Trenton for years, Governor James E. McGreevey today announced that he is launching a full and complete management review of the State's $500 million auto emissions testing contract with Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group.

"The Parsons project was mismanaged from the start," said McGreevey. "I am initiating this new audit because I am concerned that taxpayers and motorists are not getting their money's worth, and the State isn't getting what it contracted for."

McGreevey said his advisors, led by Acting Treasurer John McCormac and Acting DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell, will conduct a "root cause analysis" of the problems and cost overruns that the State has experienced, so that his administration can avoid the prior administration's mistakes.

To assist the Treasurer and the Commissioner in their review, McGreevey convened a team of top-flight procurement, environmental and management experts, including procurement lawyer Robert Epstein, environmental lawyers Stephanie Wauters and Richard Ricci, management specialist Bruce Eveland, and Deputy Treasurer Bob Smart.

"I am confident this team will provide this team with the expertise to understand what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how to prevent similar mistakes in the future," said McGreevey.

Specifically, McGreevey directed this team to report to him within 90 days on the following:

  1. Current contract performance and outstanding deficiencies;
  2. Legal management and oversight of the contract by Treasury;
  3. Operational oversight of the contract by DEP and DOT;
  4. Review the original contracting process to identify why only one firm bid for this work and any other flaws in the RFP process;
  5. Evaluate the actual costs against original proposal and contract, and relative to other states with hybrid public and private inspection systems, such as California and Colorado;
  6. Examine the State's legal rights and costs, with emphasis on the ownership of existing hardware, software, and other elements integral to operation of the system;
  7. Review EPA requirements, potential revisions to the State Implementation Plan and alternatives to the current emissions testing process;
  8. Determine whether the inspection process should be taken over by the State.
  9. Explorepotential contract concessions from Parsons.
  10. Recommend course of action and reforms to prevent a recurrence in the future
McGreevey has made finding waste and mismanagement throughout state government one of his top priorities since taking office. Last Thursday, McGreevey furthered his commitment to tackling waste and mismanagement by establishing the BEST Commission (Budget Efficiency Savings Team), which is charged with identifying and recommending ways to cut waste and making government operate more efficiently.

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  Last Updated:  April 5, 2007