Governor Christie proposes merging watchdog agencies

    New Jersey lawmakers are examining Governor Christie’s proposal to merge the state’s watchdog agencies.

    New Jersey lawmakers are examining Governor Christie’s proposal to merge the state’s watchdog agencies.

    Governor Christie says consolidating the Inspector General and Medicaid Inspector General’s offices and the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) into the State Comptroller’s office is smart fiscal policy.

    “Give one office the authority and the resources to be able to ride hard over government fraud and waste and abuse,” says Christie, “and I think we’ll get much better results.”

    But State Commission of Investigation Chairman Cary Edwards says merging that independent legislative watchdog into the executive branch would harm the system of checks and balances.

    “Make no mistake,” says Edwards, “the price of the SCI’s demise and its outright removal from the legislative branch would be a reduction, diminution and breach in that constitutional separation of powers.”

    Officials say the proposed merger would reduce costs by about $3.5 million.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.