If you’ve ever had to remodel or make major repairs on your home, then you know hiring the right contractor and constant oversight is key to a job well done. After all, if anything goes wrong, it is your time, money, and home at risk.

The Newark Star-Ledger covered a new study by Rutgers University that illustrates exactly this point with government contracts.  According to Overlooking Oversight: A Lack of Oversight in the Garden State is Placing New Jersey Residents and Assets at Risk, contracts in the Garden State are often executed without adequate oversight or with poor contract language lacking high performance standards and accountability. 

This is a big deal because unlike home renovation contractors that affect our porches, government contractors affect services that profoundly shape people’s lives—lives such as the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

According to the study’s authors, Dr. Janice Fine and Dr. Patrice Mareschal, lack of oversight of New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy relief and rebuilding programs led to the inappropriate denial of aid to thousands of families and businesses.  Janice Fine is a leader of ITPI’s Scholars Network.

The Rutgers study also found ways in which lack oversight in New Jersey has affected services that range from child protection and the treatment of the disabled to prisons that protect us from harm and maintaining infrastructure.

Please take time to read this important study and share. I’m sure it will make you a little more vigilant the next time you invite a contractor to help you with your home and a little more skeptical the next time you hear about outsourcing public services.

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