(The Center Square) – The New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller will undertake reviews of four previous audits, including an audit of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) that found controls to monitor tax incentives were ineffective or nonexistent.
Last year, according to the agency’s Oversight and Outreach Plan, the state comptroller found deficiencies with EDA’s management and administration of tax incentive programs.
According to the plan, the state found internal controls for monitoring the performance of tax incentive recipients “were ineffective or did not exist,” making it difficult for the EDA to determine if incentivized jobs were created or kept. The comptroller made 21 recommendations to the EDA, and the state will evaluate whether the recommendations have been implemented.
“After we conduct an audit or investigation, we are required to review whether our recommendations have been followed – and to report when a subject of our audit or investigation has failed to implement a corrective action plan,” Acting State Comptroller Kevin D. Walsh said in the plan.
The state is also planning to follow up on audits of the Jersey City Municipal Authority (JCMUA), the North Bergen School District and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Last year, the state comptroller found internal control weaknesses in DEP’s management and administration of lease and concession agreements, cash receipts, and deposit operations. The state will evaluate whether the agency has implemented the nine recommendations included in the audit.
In Jersey City, in 2018, the comptroller identified weaknesses in JCMUA’s practices for setting water and sewer rates and monitoring water consumption and billing. It also raised concerns around procurement, awarding contracts and monitoring employee salary increases.
Meanwhile, the comptroller found a lack of internal controls at the North Bergen School District related to the management and administration of employee benefits and payments processing. Last year’s audit also cited a failure to comply with state law and regulations for some procurements and a lack of administration and oversight of legal services, resulting in overpayments.
The agency is also overseeing funds the federal government allocated as part of COVID-19 recovery bills. It is also reviewing Medicaid spending, the largest share of state and federal spending in the state budget.
The agency is also assessing the New Jersey State Police’s (NJSP) internal affairs and disciplinary processes as part of a required effort to ensure the NJSP does not allow racial profiling or discrimination. As part of the review, it will explore whether local police departments “effectively prevent” racial profiling.
“We recognize that racial profiling may also occur in municipal police departments that do not track and analyze motor vehicle stops,” the agency said in the plan.