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January 20, 2010

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases State and New York City Audits

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

Banking Department - Controls Over Equipment and Vehicles (Follow-Up Report/2009-F-43)
The New York State Banking Department is responsible for regulating and supervising more than 3,300 financial entities. In a prior audit (2007-S-62), auditors found that the department purchased more computer equipment than it needed. When auditors followed up on these matters, they found department officials have made significant progress in correcting the problems identified.

New York Convention Center Operating Corporation: Compliance with FOIL Requirements (Follow-Up Report/2009-F-50)
The New York Convention Center Operating Corporation operates and maintains the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. In a prior audit (2007-S-36), auditors evaluated the corporationís compliance with these requirements and identified the need for certain improvements. The follow up audit found the corporation has made significant progress in addressing the matters previously identified.

New York Convention Center Operating Corporation - Compliance with Executive Order 134 (Follow-Up Report/2009-F-51)
Executive Order 134 required state agencies and certain public authorities to procure and use cleaning products that minimize the potential impacts to human health and the environment. In a prior audit (2008-S-15), auditors found the corporation was not aware of, and was not in compliance with, the Executive Order. The follow up audit found corporation officials have made substantial progress in correcting some of the problems identified. However, additional improvements are needed.

New York Convention Center Operating Corporation: Oversight of Revenue Contracts (2009-S-40)
Auditors reviewed the corporationís monitoring of the two largest contracts, which accounted for 95 percent of its contract revenue, and found that, in general, the corporation is effectively monitoring the contracts.

New York City Department of Education - Student Participation in the Supplemental Education Services Program (Follow-Up Report/2009-F-24)
Supplemental educational services are federally funded tutoring and remediation programs that are provided to students before or after school or on weekends. The services are arranged by local schools and provided by specially approved contractors. In a prior audit (2006-N-11), auditors found the New York City Department of Education and City schools were offering the SES Program in accordance with requirements, but they could be more proactive and effective in promoting and encouraging enrollment. In a follow up audit, auditors found the department made significant progress in implementing the recommendations contained in the initial report.

Department of Environmental Conservation: Recycling Program (2008-S-142)
The Department of Environmental Conservation is required to comply with certain recycling requirements. Auditors found the department was not fully complying with these requirements. Auditors recommended that a number of improvements be made.

Department of Health: Medicaid Claims Processing Activity October 1, 2007 through March 31, 2008 (2009-F-38)
Medicaid claims are processed and paid by an automated system that is operated by a contractor and overseen by the Department of Health. In a prior audit (2007-S-115), auditors found the claims were processed in accordance with procedures; however, auditors identified an error that would have resulted in overpayments of $84,950. When auditors followed up on this matter, they found the department properly addressed the problem and significant amounts of improper Medicaid payments will be prevented.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - Accountability Over Administrative Tribunal Revenues (Follow-Up Report/2009-F-32)
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene conducts inspections of restaurants, tattoo parlors, beauty salons and other businesses to ensure compliance with the City Health Code. In a prior audit (2007-N-10), auditors found the departmentís controls over the fine revenue and found that the controls were generally adequate. However, fees were not always assessed as required for late payments and when the fines were not paid. When auditors followed up, they found DOHMH implemented all of the recommendations.

Higher Education Services Corporation - St. Johnís University (2009-T-1)
St. Johnís University is a private, coeducational Catholic university with five campuses. Auditors tested the accuracy of the 35,932 TAP certifications the college awarded for the three-year period that ended on June 30, 2008, by reviewing a statistical sample. Auditors determined that St. Johnís was overpaid $134,031, because school officials incorrectly certified some students as eligible for TAP awards.

Office of Mental Health: Controls Over Prescription Drugs (2007-S-111)
The Office of Mental Health (OMH) operates 25 psychiatric centers, all of which operate pharmacies to supply medications to patients. Auditors found that centers had sufficient controls in place to protect and account for controlled drugs, but not non-controlled drugs, which account for the majority of their drug costs.

Department of Motor Vehicles: Complaints Against Regulated Entities (Follow Up/2008-F-52)
The Department of Motor Vehicles regulates automobile dealers, motor vehicle repair shops, and other types of businesses involving motor vehicles. In a prior audit (2006-S-18), auditors examined the timeliness of these investigations and found that they were generally initiated and resolved within the timeframes required by regulations. However, auditors identified delays in some investigations and weaknesses in some of the departmentís recordkeeping practices. When auditors followed up on these matters, they found some progress had been made in correcting problems identified.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Environmental Protection Fund (2008-S-148)
The Environmental Protection Fund funded seven specific programs at the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation: Open Space; Municipal Grants; Stewardship; Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums; Barns Restoration and Preservation (Barns); Oceans and Great Lakes; and Biodiversity. Total funding for these seven programs during the three State fiscal years ended March 31, 2008 was over $280 million. Auditors examined whether the office awards Environmental Protection Fund grants timely and if they were based on valid, objective criteria. Auditors found that for six of these programs, the office awarded the funds to grantees in a timely fashion and ensured the funds were spent within a reasonable time span. However, appropriations for the Barns program were not spent timely and over $1.1 million in Environmental Protection Fund funding for this program should be returned to the State Treasury as a refund.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation - Controls over Equipment and Vehicles (Follow-Up Report/2009-F-42)
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation is responsible for the development, operation, security and maintenance of a planned community on Roosevelt Island. In a prior audit (2007-S-13) auditors identified a number of weaknesses in the corporationís controls over its equipment and vehicles. When auditors followed up on these matters, they found corporation made significant progress in addressing the matters identified.

Department of State: Environmental Protection Fund (2008-S-149)
The Department of State (Department) awarded four Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants totaling nearly $72 million during the three fiscal years ended March 31, 2008. Auditors found the department has adequate controls in place to award funds to eligible grant applicants based on valid, objective criteria that are consistently applied. However, auditors identified several areas where the Department could improve its timeliness in making funds available and in executing contracts more quickly.

Department of State - Vendor Payment Practices (Follow-Up Report/2009-f-44)
The Department of State licenses certain activities, administers building and commercial codes, and provides other regulatory and administrative services. Under the Prompt Payment Law, vendors may receive interest on their payments from New York State when the payments are not timely. In a prior audit (2007-S-124), auditors found delays that were avoidable. When auditors followed up on these matters, they found department officials made progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report. However, improvements are still needed.

State Government Accountability
The Office of the State Comptroller regularly audits state agencies, public authorities and New York City agencies. Auditors ensure that programs achieve their established goals, funds are used efficiently and assets are adequately protected against fraud, waste and abuse. DiNapoliís office completes approximately 200 state audits and annually identifies hundreds of millions in savings and fraud each year.


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