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Oversight

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NEWS
August 2, 1991 | By Marc Duvoisin, Inquirer Staff Writer
For weeks now, politicians and business leaders have been talking, some with almost lip-smacking glee, about how the new state oversight board will restore reason to the city budget, deleting wishful revenue projections and slashing waste. Well, turnabout is fair play, as the saying goes. In a confidential draft of an agreement of cooperation with the board, the Goode administration proposes that the overseers submit to a little oversight themselves. Specifically, the administration wants a chance to review the board's budget each spring and object if its spending seems out of line.
SPORTS
November 21, 2008 | Daily News Wire Services
The Rutgers University president and its athletic program were sharply criticized in an independent report, which cited lack of oversight on issues involving the football coach's salary and a sports marketing firm. A committee appointed by president Richard L. McCormick to review the program also criticized the athletic director and Board of Governors for failing to properly oversee "an increasingly successful and fiscally complex athletics program. " The group of business leaders, judges, lawyers and Rutgers officials was appointed in July after a series of reports in the Star-Ledger of Newark detailed undisclosed contract sweeteners for coach Greg Schiano and the award of a no-bid contract to a sports marketing firm that employed the son of athletic director Robert Mulcahy.
NEWS
December 3, 1998
More corner offices are being cleared out at the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works, as PGW execs jump - or are pushed - following the Philadelphia Daily News' disclosures about top managers' free-spending ways. Gone is PGW boss James Hawes 3d, under whose stewardship the utility spent $1.4 million on relocation costs for employees - including more than $550,000 on Mr. Hawes and his top deputies, chief operating officer Gregory D. Martin and chief financial officer Ramon N. Sharbutt.
NEWS
February 16, 2012 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, brennac@phillynews.com 215-854-5973
NOTE: This article has been corrected from an earlier version. THE CITY Commission, which oversees elections in Philadelphia, is thinking about giving the Office of Inspector General authority to investigate its employees and contractors in a "memorandum of understanding. " The three-member board might also need a counselor to help two reform-minded new commissioners reach an understanding with the lone survivor from the old political machine. City Commissioner Anthony Clark, who won a second term last year, clashed in a meeting yesterday with new Commission Chairwoman Stephanie Singer when he tried to make a motion on a subject not on the agenda.
NEWS
July 1, 1998 | By Dwight Ott, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Thirteen hours before the end of the fiscal year, Camden City got its 1997-98 budget - good for half a day. City Council unanimously adopted the $116 million spending plan for the fiscal year that ended yesterday. It included $15 million in state aid, retroactively plugging a gaping city deficit. The $15 million, though, came with a catch: As lawmakers in Trenton approved the money, they also approved a proviso in Gov. Whitman's new budget that authorizes state officials to take control of Camden's finances.
NEWS
August 10, 2012 | By Angela Delli Santi, Associated Press
TRENTON - Gov. Christie has conditionally vetoed a bill that would require the state auditor to review major private contractors running halfway houses. Christie said it was inappropriate to audit private firms after the first year of multiyear contracts because many do not realize savings that quickly. The governor also said the measure inappropriately expanded the auditor's powers. Christie sought to bar existing contracts from review. He instead called for post-contract audits of the state's $65 million privatized halfway house industry to be completed by outside firms.
NEWS
September 10, 1996 | By Herbert Lowe, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Federal, state and local officials today will announce the formation of a new board designed to oversee most of the funding that Camden gets from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, sources said. HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros and Mayor Arnold W. Webster, who met unannounced in Camden on Friday, will make public the plan to monitor the funding at a City Hall news conference, the sources said. The plan's major component is the creation of a board that will "consolidate the oversight of HUD's investment" in Camden, sources said.
NEWS
September 21, 1991 | by Bob Warner, Daily News Staff Writer
City Council is scheduled for a rare Saturday session today to make some progress on the city's financial problems. But don't expect to see a full house. The 1 p.m. Council session will likely draw just one or two Council members and last only a couple of minutes - as long as it takes Councilman John Street to introduce a piece of legislation. The legislation is a proposed agreement between the city and the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), the agency set up by the legislature last June to help the city borrow money.
NEWS
February 21, 2006 | By Bob Martin
Ask anyone what the symbols of suburbia are, and the popular picks would be the automobile, the shopping mall, and the single-family lawn. My picks, however, are the volunteer fire company and emergency medical services unit. Sure, the car, mall and lawn have the highest profiles, but the fire and EMS companies are distinctly suburban, especially in Southeastern Pennsylvania, because of their volunteer character. In Philadelphia, tax-supported city employees provide fire protection and comprehensive emergency medical services.
NEWS
August 18, 2010 | By Rob McCord
Commuters who pay the tolls to cross the Delaware River have reason to worry that their money is being wasted. Cascading media accounts have found evidence of self-dealing, mismanagement, absurd perks, petty theft, excessive spending, and poor planning at the Delaware River Port Authority, which collects and decides how to spend $300 million a year in tolls and fares. The DRPA's irresponsible conduct has been shielded from view by an insular culture that allows public business to be done in private.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 3, 2016
Mike Oxley, 71, a former U.S. representative who helped write landmark antifraud legislation following a wave of corporate scandals that brought down Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc., died Friday in his sleep in McLean, Va., after suffering from non-small-cell lung cancer, a type of lung cancer seen in nonsmokers, said his wife, Patricia Oxley. Mr. Oxley was chairman of the Lung Cancer Alliance board of directors. Though his cancer was a shock to the nonsmoker, he took the diagnosis in stride, said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, the alliance's president and CEO. Mr. Oxley "never lost his irreverent sense of humor and his distinctive laugh that could be heard throughout the office whenever he came by for a visit," Ambrose said.
NEWS
October 19, 2015 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pat McGuckin barely recognized her 39-year-old son. Once a personal trainer and bodybuilder, Michael now was exhausted, his limbs bloated, his mood so volatile that he ripped the phone off her wall. He told his worried mother that he was in pain from a car accident but that a doctor was helping him. On Oct. 21, 2007, his younger brother found Michael in bed, his body cold. A few days later, their mother stared at the words on the death certificate, struggling to understand what had killed her son. She dialed Richard J. Hollawell, a friend of Michael's since childhood in Northeast Philadelphia.
NEWS
September 18, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Philadelphia's regular public school buildings are so run down that the cost to repair them is estimated at $4 billion. Those buildings aren't likely to get face-lifts with the School District limping from funding crisis to funding crisis. In contrast, the city's charter schools have received $500 million in taxpayer-backed bonds for new or improved buildings. The gaping inequity exists in part because the legislature has not properly updated the state's charter school law since it was passed.
NEWS
August 29, 2015 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the second time in a decade, Cheyney University has failed to properly manage financial aid that it awards students, and as a result may owe the U.S. Department of Education more than $29 million. Errors were found in nearly 85 percent of about 4,400 financial aid records reviewed from 2011 to 2014, according to a report released Thursday by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university, one of 14 in the system, could not provide high school transcripts for 45 percent of the students who received aid during that period, the system said.
NEWS
August 6, 2015 | By Madeline R. Conway, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz is calling on the Water Revenue Bureau to increase oversight of its process for adjusting bills, arguing that its system invites abuse by employees. Bureau employees made $110 million worth of adjustments to water bills in the 2014 fiscal year without authorization from a supervisor, according to a report Butkovitz's office released Tuesday. Those adjustments were not necessarily improper, as some employees are allowed to make some changes, including canceling and refunding, without formal approval from a superior.
NEWS
July 14, 2015
THE FIRING OF teacher Margie Winters by Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion on the basis of Winters' marriage to another woman comes at a time that guaranteed this to be a hot-button issue. It's just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legality of gay marriage, and months away from a visit from the pope, who is known for his messages of love, forgiveness and his suggestion of tolerance for gays. Layer this on top of many Catholics struggling to reconcile their faith against decades of church scandals involving child abuse by priests.
NEWS
July 3, 2015 | BY KATE SHAW & JOHN SLUDDEN
EDUCATION is front and center as Pennsylvania's budget heads into overtime. A key element in this debate is whether additional school funding should be tied to new accountability measures in the form of House Bill 1225 and Senate Bill 6, both of which would allow a more forceful state hand in governing the state's lowest performing schools. (S.B. 6 passed the Senate on a party-line, 27-22 vote on Sunday evening.) In the abstract, linking increased funding with oversight makes sense; however, this particular proposal deserves careful scrutiny.
NEWS
May 27, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
A 2014 federal audit of 20 government-subsidized child-care facilities in Pennsylvania found 17 of them had serious health and safety hazards, administrative violations, or performed incomplete background checks. Only three sites were in compliance with Child Care and Development Block Grant standards; the others logged as many as 16 violations apiece. Among the violations were broken glass in play areas, an unfenced pool, moldy toilets and leaking ceilings, and the concealing of criminal charges, including child endangerment, against one of the operators.
NEWS
May 2, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) joined the call for more muscular oversight over any nuclear deal with Iran this week, despite bipartisan warnings that proposals such as the one he is cosponsoring with Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) could sink any chance of congressional review. At issue is a bill that would give Congress a say over a potential nuclear deal. The proposal, which has won broad support after bipartisan negotiations, would let lawmakers reject any final Iran deal, but sets a high threshold.
NEWS
April 19, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter on Friday named a diverse group of 24 people to oversee the implementation of the 91 recommendations made last month in a U.S. Department of Justice report that found that Philadelphia police used lethal force too often. The newly created Police Community Oversight Board will also work on implementing the broader recommendations made in President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing report, which made similar suggestions. Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey chaired the task force.
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