New Jersey turnpike wasted millions on perks

From Fox New York.

Excerpt:

Auditors say the New Jersey Turnpike Authority wasted $43 million on unneeded perks and bonuses.  In one case, an employee with a base salary of $73,469 earned $321,985 when all payouts and bonuses were included.

The audit says that toll dollars From the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway were spent on items ranging from an employee bowling league to employee bonuses for working on birthdays and holidays.

It took place as tolls were being increased.

The biggest expense uncovered in the audit was $30 million in unjustified bonuses to employees and management in 2008 and 2009 without consideration of performance.

One example was paying employees overtime for removing snow and working holidays and then giving additional “snow removal bonuses” and “holiday bonuses.”

The Comptroller’s Office audit released Tuesday says taxpayers also paid $430,000 for free E-ZPass transponders for employees to get to work and nearly $90,000 in scholarships for workers’ kids.

The audit shows turnpike authority employees got bonuses and overtime for working their birthdays and holidays.

Comptroller Matt Boxer says tolls are set for another increase in 2012.

[…]Another audit finding was that employees were allowed to cash out a portion of their unused sick and vacation days at the end of the year to circumvent the current $15,000 limit for sick leave payouts upon retirement.  That cost $3.8 million a year.

New Jersey is a hard blue state. Deep, deep blue.

If a private company did something crazy wasting money like this, they would be out of business because their prices would be higher when compared to their competitors. That’s why government is inefficient and wasteful – it has no competitors. We need to keep everything possible in the private sector and have transparency, accountability and whistleblower protections to contain government corruption and fraud.

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