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Christie Signs Order Demanding Sandy Aid Transparency

The order directs the State comptroller to conduct independent review of contracts and provides transparency measures over expenditures.

An executive order signed by Gov. Chris Christie Friday aims to put key review and reporting initiatives in place to ensure that distribution of Hurricane Sandy relief funds is done in an accountable and transparent matter.

The order, No. 125, directs the Office of the State Comptroller to conduct an independent, legal review of the procurement process for state contracts using federal reconstruction aid, according to a release. Each of the state's departments dealing with the distribution of federal aid will designate an "Accountability Officer" to work with the Comptroller's Office and the Governor's Office of Recovery and Rebuilding.

The order also requires that contracts approved with the state be made accessible to the public through a State-sponsored website, though a destination has not yet been identified.

The planned website will also provide information about available federal funding streams and funding criteria, tracking of funding, and contract vendor information.

A hot-line allowing residents to report suspected instances of the fraudulent use, waste, or abuse of federal restoration aid will also be established.

According to the release, a number of assigned staff from the Comptroller's Office will conduct procurement reviews as contracts are considered. Accountability Officers designated for each state department will share information and cooperate with the Comptroller's Office to facilitate the review process and serve as liaisons to the Governor's Office.

The State Comptroller will provide information to contracting entities regarding applicable laws, rules, and regulations governing the contracting process to help ensure accountability, transparency, and a timely allocation of rebuilding funds, according to a release. In addition, State departments and agencies will prominently display fraud prevention notices at all construction projects involving federal aid.

Marjorie Smith February 13, 2013 at 02:18 AM
It would be great if it wasn't so easy for tricksy evil doers to steal government money intended for good uses, including those ones who sit in public office.
Barbara February 13, 2013 at 02:48 AM
The biggest shame is that connected people are going to make it big with all this money that is being thrown around, and conflict of interest contractors, are sitting back and watching, and grinning like wolves, while volunteers are out there busting their butts. When will Christie step up and do the right thing. Don't reward your friends, Mr. Governor....do the right thing by the people who are suffering, and will continue to suffer if the money gets into the hands of greedy, lazy, corrupt individuals. Who do you represent?...your corporate friends, or the people of this state who need a hand.....the whole thing is sickening...
S. Bar February 13, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Ocean front bungalows in Midway Beach in S. Seaside Park is zone A-7. I'm in TR main land not on water, got no water in my house and I am A-9. WTF
Suzanne Schmitz February 14, 2013 at 03:55 AM
If a home is less than 50% damaged and is now concidered in zone "a" but started repairs last month are they grandfathered in and do not need to elevate?
Karen M February 14, 2013 at 06:55 PM
They , meaning the government aren't going to grandfather anything. You are SOL pretty much. If you didn't sustain the 50 percent then you technically don't have to, but the problem with that is you must check your elevation on the map to see if its changed, because if it has they will want you to go up. Also, you would be better off getting to the 50 percent if you have flood ins because then at least you could utilize the ICC. The bigger picture here is, that if you don't raise your flood ins will go up considerably in the next year. Also, if you try and sell your home in the future, it will be hard to find a bank that's going to give a mortgage on a home that's located in a flood zone. I have also heard in my town, that they will not issue CO's if the home isn't in compliance. I would fix your home and just wait and see what takes place come August when these maps become preliminary. I wouldn't rush into anything just yet because things may change. Also with ICC you have 4 years to complete the house raising.

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