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New York City to audit Navigant billing practices

New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu speaks in support of a demonstration against the New York Police Department's "stop
New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu speaks in support of a demonstration against the New York Police Department's "stop

(Reuters) - New York City Comptroller John Liu said he would audit the billing practices of consulting firm Navigant Consulting Inc, after a state commission found evidence of questionable billing practices and a "revolving door" relationship with state-owned utility Long Island Power Authority.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that he would ask federal prosecutors to review a report that found "breathtaking waste and inefficiency" in the utility's dealings with Navigant.

"The report of a state commission finding possible fraud by the consultant Navigant on contracts servicing the Long Island Power Authority shows the folly of the Bloomberg Administration's policy of outsourcing city work to high-paid consultants," Liu said in a statement.

Last week, New York approved legislation to mostly dismantle the utility, known as LIPA, which was criticized for an inept response to Superstorm Sandy last October, when more than 90 percent of the 1.1 million LIPA customers on Long Island were left without power.

Navigant share were trading down 2.2 percent at $13.31 on Monday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bangalore)

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