Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today that the following audits have been issued:
Department of Environmental Conservation: Selected Practices Regarding Payroll Overtime (2007-S-64)
Auditors found the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) spent about $7.3 million for 207,000 hours of overtime. Auditors found the overtime worked was necessary based on DEC policies and employees were present when they worked overtime. However, when auditors examined a sample of overtime payments to 50 selected employees, they found DEC could not provide documentation showing the overtime was approved for about 30 percent of the payments.
Department of Correctional Services: Arthur Kill Correctional Facility: Late Vendor Payments (2007-S-141)
Under the Prompt Payment Law, vendors may receive interest on their payments from New York State when the payments are not timely. Auditors examined a sample of untimely vendor payments made by Arthur Kill Correctional Facility and found that the delays were avoidable. In total, the facility paid $58,553 in interest.
Department of Health: Security Over Community Water Supply Systems (Follow-Up Report) (2008-F-30)
Most community water supply systems in New York State are required to develop plans for responding to threats to local water supplies. The plans are to be submitted to the Department of Health (DOH) for review and approval. In a prior audit (2006-S-31), auditors examined DOH’s oversight of this process and found improvements were needed. When auditors followed up on these matters, they found that considerable progress had been made.
New York City Department of Finance: Controls Over the FairTax System (Follow-Up Report) (2008-F-36)
The New York City Department of Finance collects business taxes and maintains information about these taxes on its automated FairTax system. In a prior audit (2006-N-12), auditors examined the adequacy of the department’s controls over this system and found that improvements were needed. When auditors followed up on these matters, they found that some of the audit recommendations had been implemented, but others had not.
New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development: Recycling Program (2008-N-12)
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development is required to comply with certain recycling requirements specified in City law. Auditors found the department was generally in compliance with these requirements.
Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services: Recycling Program (2008-S-139)
The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) is required to comply with certain recycling requirements specified in State law and Executive Order 4, which was issued in April 2008. Auditors found that OASAS was not in compliance with these requirements.
New York City Economic Development Corporation: East 34th Street Heliport: Revenue Operations (Follow-Up Report) (2008-F-39)
The East 34th Street Heliport is one of three public heliports in New York City. The heliport is managed by a private company under an agreement with the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The company is required to remit a percentage of its total revenue collections to the corporation as a rental fee. In a prior audit (2007-N-7), auditors found the company did not always fully bill carriers for their flights and underreported some of the revenue it collected. Auditors also determined that the company was not actively pursuing certain unpaid accounts. As a result, the corporation was not being paid all the rent revenue it was due. When auditors followed up on these matters, auditors found that additional improvements were still needed.
New York City Economic Development Corporation: Downtown Manhattan Heliport: Revenue Operations (Follow-Up Report) (2008-F-40)
The Downtown Manhattan Heliport is one of three public heliports in New York City. The heliport was previously managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey pursuant to a lease agreement with the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The Port Authority was required to pay the corporation a minimum annual rental fee plus certain additional amounts if net revenue was generated from the heliport’s operations. In a prior audit 2007-N-5, auditors found the revenue that was being paid to the corporation under the lease agreement and recommended that certain improvements be made. When auditors followed up on these matters, they found the lease agreement had been terminated and the heliport was now managed by a different contractor.
State Government Accountability
The Office of the State Comptroller regularly audits state agencies, public authorities and New York City agencies. Auditors ensure that programs achieve their established goals, funds are used efficiently and assets are adequately protected against fraud, waste and abuse. DiNapoli’s office completes approximately 200 state audits and annually identifies hundreds of millions in savings and fraud each year.