BPU Solar Energy Program Looking Shady, Audit Finds

[The Star-Ledger] State auditors who investigated a Board of Public Utilities program funded from a surcharge on electric bills found it poorly managed and rife with the appearance of cronyism. The BPU lacked an accounting system, and even an accountant, for its $125 million Clean Energy Program, auditors from the state Treasury Department reported in an internal memo obtained by The Star-Ledger. According to the audit, officials in the board’s Office of Clean Energy skirted contracting rules and hired close associates and former colleagues. They also ignored proper grant-making procedures, gave out grants of questionable merit and in at least two cases funded projects tied to neighbors of the BPU staff member in charge of evaluating grant proposals, the auditors reported in the stinging 30-page memo.
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