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Released: 3/29/2012 

DRPA's Statement on New Jersey Comptrollerís Report

March 29, 2012                                CONTACT: Tim Ireland                                                                                                                               856-968-2253         

A Statement from the Audit Committee of the Delaware River Port Authority Board of Commissioners Regarding the New Jersey Comptroller’s Report

We appreciate the time, effort and dedication invested in the Office of the State Comptroller’s report, as well as the care taken to identify practices that we agree should not be repeated in the future.

Many of the topics identified in the report already have been addressed by the DRPA, and we appreciate that the OSC has recognized those efforts. For example:

• The DRPA is addressing deficiencies in insurance procurement and oversight by adopting a competitive procurement process and instituting a fixed-fee model that does not include percentage-based brokerage commissions. The public can be assured that any practice of fee-splitting by insurance brokers has been terminated and will be prohibited in the future.

• The DRPA will fund no new economic development projects. The authority agrees that it must focus its resources on its core mission of providing safe and effective means of travel for the public at a reasonable cost.

• The DRPA eliminated the Social and Civic Sponsorship Fund in 2010.

• The DRPA no longer provides E-ZPass® benefits to present and former DRPA commissioners, nor are such benefits provided to DRPA staff other than as directed by a formal arbitration award.
 
• The DRPA has hired a federal law enforcement veteran to serve as inspector general, an office recently created by the Board of Commissioners to perform and coordinate investigations and audits and generally serve as an independent watchdog against potential fraud, waste, abuse and illegal activities within the authority. One of the inspector general’s first tasks will be to review this report and assist the board in taking appropriate follow-up action.

We take the concerns expressed by the OSC very seriously, and we will be taking steps to evaluate and address recommendations in the report as promptly as possible. For example, the DRPA will consider carefully the travel reimbursement policies of both states, as suggested in the report.

As a bi-state authority, the DRPA can avail itself of management expertise and guidance from both founder states.  Governors of both states have had a substantial role at the DRPA, and we are confident that, with the oversight and support of the governors and all members of the Board of Commissioners, the DRPA can continue the process of reform and implement the recommendations contained in the report.

Again, we thank the Office of the State Comptroller on behalf of all DRPA toll payers, the general public and the DRPA itself for recommending ways to make the DRPA a better and more efficient public agency.

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