State searching for firm, auditor to oversee Newark's finances

By Naomi Nix | NJ Advance Media for
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on October 29, 2014

NEWARK — Almost a month after the Local Finance Board voted to shift Newark's finances into state supervision, New Jersey officials are looking to hire a firm to help oversee the city's coffers.

The Department of Community Affairs advertised today a request to accept bids from firms to help oversee Newark's financial reporting, budgeting, and compliance with laws.

City officials did not respond to a request for comment.

"The advertisement was for a professional services vendor in an effort to find an effective and cost-efficient manner to exercise supervision over Newark’s Department of Finance," DCA spokeswoman Tammori Petty said in a statement.

Among some of the duties listed in the advertisement include supervising the preparation of the annual financial statement, reviewing city budgets, reviewing proposed staffing, overseeing monthly cash flow and preparing statements on the city's financial conditions.

The selected vendor would also help improve the "financial capacity" of some Newark officials and employees. The assignment is expected to be ongoing throughout 2015, the advertisement says.

The state also advertised today a job opening for a financial monitor who would work for the state but be assigned to Newark to perform similar functions.

Petty said whoever is hired will be paid by the state and answer to the state.

However, the advertisement for the firm says the city would provide office space and email access.

Earlier this month the local finance board vote to put Newark under state supervision, giving the N.J. Department of Community Affairs legal power over the city's collective bargaining agreements and the adoption of its budget, among other city functions.

Soon after, the board adopted the city's budget, which included $10 million in transitional aid, funding the state provides to municipalities with budgetary emergencies.

The terms of the agreement under which the transitional aid will be given to Newark have yet to be determined.

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