Eric Adams launches new NYC office to crack down on waste, fraud

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Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced a new office in City Hall that will crack down on waste, fraud and abuse in city government — and his first targets will be the bloated budgets of the Department of Education, Department of Correction and New York City Housing Authority.

“We are not giving taxpayers their money’s worth every day and that’s what we are going to change. making sure our government is going to work for our taxpayers,” Adams said Tuesday in launching the newly created Mayor’s Office of Risk Management and Compliance.

“We’re going to be rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in our agencies,” Adams said from Brooklyn Borough Hall where he’s serving his final days as borough president.

The new office will focus on inefficiencies in those three key agencies as its first order of business.

“I’m concerned we just can’t get it right with NYCHA,” Adams said. The $4 billion agency had 584,000 repair and maintenance requests in October — up more than a quarter from the work orders open during the same period in 2020.

As for the DOE, “We’re spending $38 billion on education and 65 percent of black and brown children never reach proficiency. I mean you could just wake up in the morning and get 65 percent,” Adams said.

Teachers protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s cuts to the Gift and Talented programs outside the Department of Education headquarters at 53 Chambers St., Manhattan on Oct. 12, 2021.
Teachers protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s cuts to the Gift and Talented programs outside the Department of Education headquarters on Oct. 12, 2021.
Stephen Yang

“We need to get into the Department of Education, find out where are these dollars going?” Adams said.

And lastly with DOC, Adams said he’d work to improve the city jail system that spends a whopping $556,539 per inmate each year.

“There’s a number of agencies that are just taking taxpayers’ dollars and are not producing a good product,” he said. “This office is going to look at all of our agencies and see how we can do a better job.”

The office will be led by Marjorie Landa, the current Deputy Comptroller for Audit and Investigations for outgoing City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Landa will report to Adams’ chief legal adviser, Brendan R. McGuire, a former top corruption prosecutor for the federal government.

“Instead of waiting for the problems to happen we’re bringing the comptroller right inside City Hall so we can do a better job,” Adams said.

A sign acknowledging the lack of heat and offering a nearby warming center from 1pm-10pm on December 23rd, 2021.

Building 12 at 1630 East 174th st in the Bronx has not had heat in two weeks and no one knows when it will be fixed.
NYCHA residents in the Bronx endured no heat and no hot water in their apartments during the holidays in spite of the agency’s spending.
Stephen Yang
Rikers Island
Mayor-elect Eric Adams plans out auditing the Department of Corrections.
Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

He also vowed to work with incoming City Comptroller Brad Lander, whose agency is tasked with auditing mayoral agencies.

Adams made a second appointment Tuesday, naming Lisa Flores as director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. Flores is also a current deputy comptroller.

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