Thursday, June 05, 2014

City Comptroller Stringer Invites Gowanus And Red Hook Residents And Business Owners To Testify At Sandy Oversight Hearing

photo credit: Steven M.
This past April, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced the formation of a Sandy Oversight Unit and an audit of ‘Build It Back’, "which will draw upon the Comptroller’s Audit, Contracts, Budget and Policy Units to hold government accountable in the rebuilding of New York City from Superstorm Sandy.
For the past few sweeps, the Comptroller's office has been holding town hall meetings in all five boroughs "to discuss program ideas and audit recommendations.
On Tuesday, June 10th at 7 PM, an oversight meeting will be held at  PS15, 71 Sullivan Street.

The Comptroller encourages residents, businesses and property owners of Gowanus and Red Hook impacted by Hurricane Sandy to attend and testify.

From a press release by Comptroller Stringer:
“Superstorm Sandy changed the lives of millions of New Yorkers and we are still grappling with its consequences today,” Comptroller Stringer said. “It is critical to have an accounting of how government has responded to this event, and what we can do to better prepare for the future. I am announcing the creation of a Sandy Oversight Unit and as part of that Unit’s first order of business, we will be auditing all aspects of the ‘Build it Back’ program. We will ensure government works for the people while finding ways to get New Yorkers the help they need.”

The Sandy Oversight Unit will be a first-of-its-kind initiative that will utilize the expertise and resources of the Comptroller’s Audit, Contracts, Budget and Policy Units. The group will focus on:
*Reviewing how federal aid was spent on recovery and resiliency programs;
*Identifying areas where controls can be strengthened to improve performance and service delivery to protect taxpayers from fraud, waste and abuse;
*Monitoring the budget, milestones and status of Sandy projects; and
*Proposing policy recommendations to help the City enhance its emergency preparedness capacity.

At the outset, audit staff will take a comprehensive look at the ‘Build it Back’ program to determine whether the Housing Recovery Office has set goals and timetables for the delivery of services and established procedures to reduce the backlog of applications. The unit will also monitor the speed and quality of services delivered and determine whether adequate control procedures have been implemented to detect fraud. The audit will focus on the Single Family Program, since the majority of the funding was allocated to those recipients.

The Red Hook meeting will be co-hosted by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Borough President Eric Adams, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assembly Member Joan Millman, Assembly Member Felix Ortiz, Council Member Brad Lander, Council Member Steven Levin, Council Member Carlos Mancheca.

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