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August 10, 2011


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the following audits have been issued:

Department of Health – Controls over eMedNY Edit Changes (Follow-Up) (2011-F-4)
Medicaid claims in New York State are processed and paid by the automated eMedNY system. When the claims are processed by eMedNY, they are subject to various automated edits which determine whether the claims are eligible for reimbursement at the amounts claimed. The edits are programmed in accordance with instructions provided by various units within the Department of Health (DOH).  In report 2007-S-139, auditors examined the management controls over these edits and found there were control weaknesses and improvements were needed. As a result of these control weaknesses, inappropriate Medicaid payments may not be prevented and Medicaid claims may be processed inefficiently. Auditors made a number of recommendations for strengthening DOH's controls over the eMedNY edit process. When auditors followed up with DOH officials, they found progress was made in correcting some of the problems identified in the initial report. However, improvements are still needed.

State Education Department –Oversight of Scoring Practices on Regents Examinations (Follow-Up) (2011-F-6)
Regents examinations are statewide tests for high school students in particular subject areas. Local school officials are responsible for scoring the exams and reporting the results to the State Education Department (SED). SED reviews selected scored exams to evaluate the schools' compliance with guidelines. These reviews have identified inaccuracies that tended to inflate exam scores across the State. In audit report 2008-S-151, we found that SED had done little to correct these inappropriate scoring practices. Auditors recommended that certain actions be taken to strengthen SED’s oversight of local scoring practices for Regents exams. When auditors followed up with SED officials, they found significant progress was made in addressing the issues identified in the initial report.

New York Power Authority – Selected Management and Operating Practices (2010-S-57)
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is the country's largest state-operated power organization. Auditors reviewed the Authority's management and operating practices to see whether they resulted in reasonable and business-related expenditures, including personal service contracts, discretionary spending and the cost of debt issuance. We found the authority's management and operating practices generally resulted in appropriate expenditures in all areas examined. The authority also monitored costs to ensure it was obtaining services and items at a reasonable price. Although discretionary spending generally appeared reasonable and proper, we did identify certain expenditures totaling approximately $340,000 over the two-year audit period where we question if the purpose and the amount of such expenses represent the best use of public funds. These expenses included annual parties and picnics for employees, retirees and their children; empathetic flowers and other gifts; and for other social events. Auditors brought these issues to the attention of authority officials, who agreed to take steps to minimize such costs in the future.

Lexington School for the Deaf - Review of Procurement Practices (2011-F-8) (Follow-Up)
The Lexington School for the Deaf is one of 11 private schools in New York State that receive operating aid directly from the New York State Education Department (SED) to provide educational services for certain types of disabled students. In audit report 2008-S-129, auditors examined the school's procurement practices and found it needs to strengthen controls over its procurement operations. Auditors determined the school did not comply with SED guidance for procurements over $10,000 and $20,000. For purchases under these limits, the school did not comply with its own procedures. When auditors followed up with school officials, they found school officials implemented both recommendations included in the initial report.

Office for the Aging – Security Controls Over Computer Network (2010-S-23)
Auditors reviewed security controls for the Office for the Aging's computer network and found numerous weaknesses which need to be corrected. Detailed results were provided to Office of the Aging officials. Due to the sensitivity of the information, these results are not included in the public report.

Office of General Services – Controls Over Overtime Costs (2011-F-5) (Follow-Up)
The Office of General Services (OGS) provides various support services to state agencies, public authorities, municipalities and other political subdivisions of New York State. In report 2007-S-125, auditors examined OGS's controls over its overtime costs, which totaled about $3.5 million a year. Auditors found that OGS had adequate controls in place to provide reasonable assurance employees were being paid only for hours they actually worked and overtime was being assigned in accordance with the prevailing guidelines. However, auditors also found that certain improvements could be made in the development of certain overtime budgets. When auditors followed up with OGS, they found some progress was made in correcting the problems identified.

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