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August 27, 2008

 

 

Audit Finds Waste in Computer Purchases

Banking Department Unnecessarily Spent $170,000 over Two-Year Period

The New York State Banking Department could have saved about $150,000 by better managing how it assigned computers to its employees and another $20,000 by buying only equipment that was needed, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“In these tough economic times, it is crucial that state agencies spend wisely and find ways to cut costs,” DiNapoli said. “Buying only equipment they need is an easy step agencies can take to alleviate budget pressure. Even small amounts can add up to make a big difference statewide. Every dime counts.”

The Department spent about $2 million on equipment and vehicles from April 1, 2005 through June 30, 2007. Much of that was spent on a computer system upgrade.

DiNapoli’s auditors found that the Department bought a total of 835 desktop and laptop computers in that period, even though it only had 535 employees. Auditors found 138 computers had not been assigned to employees and that 114 employees had been assigned two computers. While a second computer could be justified for 58 employees, the other 56 did not appear to need a second computer.

Auditors discovered the Department also bought about $20,000 of computer equipment it wasn’t using because of a change in plans.

DiNapoli’s auditors found that the Department did not use available technology to monitor the use of its computers at employees’ homes and that inventory records for computers and other equipment were not always up to date.

The audit recommends the Department:

  • require justification for assigning more than one computer to an employee
  • ensure that purchased equipment is needed
  • make sure all department-owned equipment is accounted for
  • perform an annual equipment inventory count and document it

The Department agreed with the audit’s findings and has already begun to make improvements to control expenses and improve inventory control.

Click here to see the full report.

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