Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the following audits have been issued:
Higher Education Services Corporation –Tuition Assistance Program: Professional Business College (2010-T-3)
The Professional Business College (College) is an independent proprietary college, with its main building in lower Manhattan. Auditors determined the college was overpaid $5,438 because school officials incorrectly certified three students as eligible for Tuition Assistance Program awards. Two of the students received awards even though they were not attending full-time and the other was not in good academic standing.
Division of Housing and Community Renewal – Vacancies at Selected Mitchell-Lama Housing Developments (Follow-Up) (2011-F-14)
The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (Division) supervises more than 170 privately owned housing developments that were created under the New York State Private Housing Finance Law (the Mitchell-Lama Law). Applicants for units in these developments are placed on a waiting list. In an initial report 2008-S-122, auditors examined whether vacancies at six selected developments in Manhattan were being filled in a timely manner. Auditors found the three cooperative developments resold their vacant units in a timely manner, but the three rental developments had vacancies for excessive periods of time. When auditors followed up with division officials, they all of the audit recommendations had been implemented.
State Education Department – Lavelle School for the Blind: Selected Financial Management Practices (Follow-Up) (2011-F-9)
Lavelle School for the Blind is located in the Bronx. The school is one of 11 private schools in New York State that receives operating aid directly from the state to provide educational services for disabled students. During the 2007-08 school year, the school had an enrollment of about 163 students and received approximately $9.6 million in state funds. In report 2009-S-2, auditors examined whether the school established and maintained an adequate system of internal control over procurement, cash disbursements and payroll operations. They found the school did not have an adequate system in place. When auditors followed up with school officials, they found the school had made significant progress in correcting the problems identified in our initial report. However, improvements were still needed.
Department of Environmental Conservation – Title V Operating Permit Program Consolidated Statements (2010-S-61)
In the Title V Operating Permit Program, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulates the amount of pollutants emitted by large businesses. As of March 31, 2009, the program's fund balance totaled $3,851,000. Auditors looked at the consolidated statements of revenues, expenditures and changes in fund balances pertaining to the program for the two years ended March 31, 2009 and concluded that the financial statements were presented fairly in all material respects in accordance with the modified accrual basis of accounting. However, auditors found the program is not self-sufficient. In fact, the taxpayers of New York have contributed $15.3 million, for the three year period ended March 31, 2009, to cover costs incurred by DEC that exceeded program revenue.
Office of Children and Family Services – Mobile Devices with Sensitive Information are not Secure (2010-S-19)
Confidential child welfare data is at risk of being viewed by unauthorized users. Auditors were able to access progress notes, pictures of injuries related to case investigations and files related to court petitions and medical requests. Auditors found local district staff are using unsecured laptops and word-processing keyboards. Further, they are storing confidential child welfare information on this equipment. Local district staffers are also using the devices in public areas increasing the risk of unauthorized access to confidential information. Numerous word-processing keyboards, which may contain unencrypted confidential data, are missing. Further, information technology staffers at some local districts are not aware if their mobile devices are encrypted or not. OCFS’s information security officer has not provided adequate guidance or training to staff regarding the security of child welfare data on mobile devices to ensure all office-provided laptops are encrypted. ir mobile devices are encrypted or not. OCFS’s information security officer has not provided adequate guidance or training to staff regarding the security of child welfare data on mobile devices to ensure all office-provided laptops are encrypted.