It’s not clear whether a New York Times/Pro Publica report that McKinsey & Company assisted President Donald Trump’s administration in identifying “detention savings opportunities” at ICE facilities will affect a $3.5 million contract they have with New Jersey Transit.
The beleaguered transit agency hired McKinsey in September to help them implement recommendations of an audit ordered by Gov. Phil Murphy after he took office last year.
According to the New York Times/Pro Publica investigation, the international consulting firm helped the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assemble an “organizational transformation” in the federal agency responsible for deporting illegal migrants.
Among the McKinsey recommendations: spending cuts on food and medical care, and “ways to accelerate the deportation process.”
McKinsey has become an issue in the 2020 presidential race amidst criticism from progressives critical of their work for large corporations like Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin.
Elizabeth Warren has slammed Pete Buttigieg for working at the firm and has called on him to disclose which clients he did work for.
Buttigieg has cited a non-disclosure agreement that prevents him from releasing the list.
McKinsey pushed back on the claims made by the New York Times and ProP ublica in a statement that denies some of the allegations made as a result of their investigation.
Since New Jersey Transit has no public board members left – nominations made by Murphy in August 2018 and March 2019 have still not been confirmed by the State Senate – only Murphy administration officials are voting members of the board.
The motion to hire McKinsey for $3,537,358 was made by Brian Wilton, the governor’s authorities unit director. Wilton voted yes, along with Commissioner of Transportation Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti and Michael Kanef, the State Treasurer’s representative, voted to award the contract.
Murphy did not exercise veto authority over the contract.
New Jersey Transit did not immediately respond to a 3:22 PM call seeking comment, which is not out of the ordinary.