New York, New York, June 26, 2014 – Thomas D. “Toby” Thacher II and Joseph A. DeLuca’s work at the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) received high acclaim in Daniel L. Feldman and David R. Eichenthal’s recently published book, The Art of the Watchdog: Fighting Fraud, Waste, Abuse, and Corruption in Government (SUNY Press, 2014). In its review of the book, the New York Times noted, “The Art of the Watchdog . . . ought to be required reading for any government executive. It’s a timely reminder of the necessity for holding appointed and elected officials accountable.”
Thacher and DeLuca were hailed in Eichenthal’s book as pioneers in the fight against fraud, waste and abuse:
“During my brief time at the School Construction Authority, I was lucky enough to get to work with people like Toby Thacher and Joe DeLuca—brilliant theorists and practitioners when it comes to the work of inspectors general.”
“The fact that the innovative strategies designed and first implemented at the SCA now serve as hallmarks of an industry borne from that experience is a testament to the staff and the work we performed together,” said Toby Thacher, chief executive officer of Thacher Associates LLC, a subsidiary of K2 Intelligence, Inc. “Joe and I are proud to have worked with David at the SCA and watch in awe as he continues to be a leader in the battle against fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption.”
Thacher and DeLuca’s history with the SCA began in 1990, when they were tasked by Governor Mario Cuomo to design a program to protect the newly created SCA, which was given $1 billion a year over its first five years of existence to rebuild the New York City School infrastructure. The school construction program previously headed by the New York City Board of Education had been riddled with allegations of fraud, bid rigging, mismanagement and corruption, causing massive delays and cost overruns and most notably, schools being poorly built or not built at all. Over the next six years, Thacher, serving as vice president and inspector general, and DeLuca, serving as assistant inspector general and chief of operations, designed and implemented numerous new strategies to prevent, detect, and remediate victimization of SCA by corrupt actions in the construction industry.
In March of 1996, those novel preventative strategies were lauded by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in a comprehensive study funded by the National Institute of Justice as models to be adopted by the federal government. In the same month, the New York Times heralded the “Thacher Model” and suggested it be adopted throughout private industry (“New York City Builds a Better Watchdog, Agency May Be a Model for Business”), while America’s most celebrated news magazine, CBS’s 60 Minutes, highlighted the Thacher Model as a stark contrast to the lax vetting being performed on federal construction projects infiltrated by organized crime elements.
Responding to growing demand in the private sector and through all levels of government, Thacher and DeLuca launched Thacher Associates LLC in 1996, with the goal of bringing the methodologies that proved so successful at the SCA to a wide array of clients—both private sector and state and local government agencies—that were concerned about fraud and had the desire to implement best practices in a changing world of compliance-driven requirements.