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January 15, 2009

DiNapoli Announces $59 Million Recovered for State

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office recovered $59 million in 2008 from audits of state payments and contracts.

Auditors identified instances where the state was overbilled, billed for goods and services never provided, as well as human error. In some cases, auditors prevented improper payments from being made, while in other situations money was recovered after payments had already been made. All of the $59 million has been recovered and returned to state's General Fund or appropriate state agency.

“Times are tough, and every dime counts,” DiNapoli said. “We need to make sure the state gets what taxpayers pay for. My office is using every tool available to detect fraud, waste and billing errors. We’ll continue to monitor expenses closely and we’ll recover taxpayer money from bad payments.”

DiNapoli’s office is responsible for paying and auditing all bills for the state. The office processes nearly 82,000 state payments daily. In State Fiscal Year 2007-08, it processed more than 20 million payments totaling $87.3 billion.

To red flag questionable payments, the Comptroller’s office has an automated system that filters payments based on risk factors. Approximately 1,000 payments daily are flagged and examined in detail, including worker’s compensation claims, tax refunds, state insurance payments, unemployment benefits and payments for goods and services. The Comptroller’s office also conducts post-audits of payments, particularly for state contracts, to ensure that businesses have delivered on the terms of contracts.

Examples of recovery efforts include:

  • $10.3 million in improper personal, corporate and business tax refunds and star rebates were identified and not paid;
  • $2.7 million was saved after auditors found the state was overcharged for goods and services or received duplicate bills;
  • $1.7 million for equipment maintenance that was billed by M/A-COM but not provided under a contract agreement with three state agencies; and
  • $135,494 in overpayments for quarterly maintenance provided by Philips Medical Systems to Downstate Medical Center.


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