Education A State Capitals Roundup

N.J. Watchdog to Review Construction Contracts

By Catherine Gewertz — March 22, 2005 1 min read

New Jersey’s new inspector general has instructed the state’s school construction agency not to issue new contracts unless she has approved them.

After appointing Mary Jane Cooper in January, acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, a Democrat, asked her to focus first on the operations of the New Jersey Schools Construction Corp.

It had been announced previously that all the $8.6 billion the agency oversees would be committed by January 2006—four years ahead of schedule.

In a March 10 letter to Gov. Codey, Ms. Cooper said she wanted to review all new contracts and change orders, and would also review the agency’s protocols and internal controls. Kelly Heck, Mr. Codey’s spokeswoman, said the governor granted Ms. Cooper permission to do so. Existing contracts are unaffected, Ms. Heck said.

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