Sandy Cleanup Company Caught Overbilling
A new audit released this morning by the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) finds that the company hired by the state to do cleanup after Superstorm Sandy overbilled for debris removal services in Ocean County. The report makes it clear that the overcharging doesn’t appear to have been done intentionally.
The report finds more than $300,000 in overbilling and other questionable charges related to nine towns impacted by the storm. While AshBritt, Inc. was the company responsible for disposing of the debris, three debris-removal monitors (Arcadis U.S., Inc., the Louis Berger Group, Inc. and Witt O’Brien’s, LLC) were responsible for calculating the transport mileage supporting each invoice, and recommending whether payment should be made by the municipality.
“In the effort to rebuild New Jersey, every dollar matters,” said State Comptroller Matthew Boxer. “We are pleased that as a result of this investigation, towns recovering from Sandy will recoup debris hauling fees that should not have been paid.”
The overbilling represents roughly six percent of the total debris hauling charges that OSC reviewed as part of its investigation. The vendors have agreed to adjust all of those overcharges and credit the towns that were overbilled.