By: Jaina Louise Winston, Writer / Follow South Jersey Community Services Intern
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Task Force has launched a transparency website to provide oversight and restore public confidence in how the state uses federal recovery funds as New Jersey continues to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic.
“New Jerseyans deserve to know how the State is addressing the COVID-19 crisis and how their taxpayer dollars are being spent,” Governor Phil Murphy said in a press release.“This website represents a crucial step in our commitment to transparency during the ongoing pandemic.”
The announcement of the transparency website is a response to the Governor’s signing of an Executive Order on July 17, 2020 that’s part of an effort to establish trust within the community. The website will provide a list of the contracts involving the allocation and expenditure of recovery funds, and it will also provide information on different disaster recovery resources available to residents, businesses, and government workers and their entities.
“The COVID-19 transparency site will centralize information for the public on federal funding data and federally-funded contracts to ensure New Jersey [residents] that the State is properly stewarding coronavirus recovery funds.” Daniel J. Kelly, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office, said in a release. “The site is emblematic of Governor Murphy’s commitment to transparency and oversight in order to guard against fraud, waste, and abuse in the expenditure of desperately-needed COVID-19 recovery funding.”
“The new COVID-19 Oversight website is designed to shine a bright light on how federal money is being spent on New Jersey’s recovery efforts, and to serve as a resource for New Jersey residents,” Acting State Comptroller Kevin D. Walsh added. “Publicly posting contracts that pertain to New Jersey’s recovery from COVID-19 means that our recovery from this crisis is proceeding with maximum transparency and accountability to taxpayers.”
Within 90 days of the date of the executive order, the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office (GDRO) partnered with the assistance of the New Jersey Office of Information Technology (NJOIT), The website tracks the State’s eligible and expected uses of government funds to assist New Jersey residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, and other organizations that are recovering from the economic effects of the current pandemic.
You can find more information on the transparency website and the oversight efforts here.
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.