As the group that oversees the DEP, one would think that one of the major jobs of the Water Board would be to constantly audit the DEP’s $2 billion budget. Not only do they not audit the budget of the DEP, they are, as Marilyn Gelber, former DEP Commissioner and current Water Board member, pointed out, constantly hearing proposals that should be directed at the DEP.
Like any city agency, there is a procedure that must be followed whenever the DEP would like to hire a company to do something. For example, a company must be able to do everything the DEP wants at the lowest price.
The Water Board, on the other hand, does not have this restriction. They are free to hire anyone they want at any price.
It is for this reason that at almost every Water Board meeting, not only is the DEP budget never discussed, but also, companies that wish to secure a city contract without going through the necessary procedures simply present their case to the Water Board and secure a contract that way.