DiNapoli Announces Audits of Troubled Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today that his office will examine whether the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) The Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office(DDSO) has taken action to end the numerous criminal and ethical violations exposed in previous Comptroller’s audits. Auditors will undertake three audits to determine if OPWDD has acted on the recommendations of prior reports.
In an audit released in January 2009, DiNapoli’s auditors identified 167 home maintenance and repair contracts for the Physical Plant at the Central New York DDSO totaling more than $1 million that were awarded through collusion and bid rigging. The findings, referred to local law enforcement, resulted in ten OPWDD employees and vendors pleading guilty to various charges and paying restitution to the state. A copy of the original audit can be found at: www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093009/07s136.pdf.
A separate prior audit found the DDSO hired dozens of relatives of employees to provide repair and other respite care services. An examination of 113 of these transactions found that, in most of these instances, there was no indication other vendors were given an opportunity to provide the services and no assurance a reasonable price was paid. A copy of the previous audit, released in December 2007, can be found at: www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093008/07s90.pdf.
Auditors also previously found that the DDSO was not equitably distributing overtime hours among employees. Auditors found 21 employees worked more than 1,000 hours of overtime, an average of 19 overtime hours per week, and three of those employees worked more than 2,000 hours of overtime, an average of 38 overtime hours per week. A copy of that audit can be found at: www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093008/06s92.pdf.
The Comptroller’s office routinely conducts follow up audits to ensure that entities have addressed problems and implemented the Comptroller’s recommendations.