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July 12, 2013

 

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits

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

State Education Department, Rainbow Rhymes Learning Center (Follow-Up) (2012-F-31) 
An audit issued in 2010 examined whether selected State Education Department grant payments to Rainbow Rhymes Learning Center were appropriate. Auditors found that Rainbow claimed $473,815 in expenses that were either not adequately supported, not program appropriate or were claimed for a period for which Rainbow was not entitled to receive reimbursement. In a follow-up report, auditors found that of the three prior audit recommendations, one was implemented and two were partially implemented. However, SED has not yet recovered the overpayments. 

New York State Thruway Authority, Status of the Board-Approved Capital Plan For 2005-2011 (Follow Up) (2013-F-5)
An audit report issued in 2008 examined the actions taken by the Thruway in monitoring and reporting on the board-approved Capital Plan for 2005-2011. Auditors found the Thruway did not report whether the individual projects were starting and finishing on time and within budget. Furthermore, the authority could not support its decision-making and prioritization of all capital project items. Auditors also found that completing the plan as approved would take longer and cost significantly more than was originally forecast. In a follow-up report, auditors found Thruway officials have made progress in correcting the problems identified. However, additional improvements are needed. 

Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Disposal of Electronic Devices (2012-S-101) 
Auditors tested a total of 752 electronic devices at both the Albany and the New York City offices. In Albany, two devices still contained general agency information and personal pictures, but none contained personal, private or sensitive information. In New York City, 13 hard drives showed indications that they still contained data. Auditors were unable to locate 17 computer hard drives that had already been removed from computers and were scheduled for shredding. Auditors could also not locate 18 servers listed on the inventory records. Auditors could not locate eight other devices listed on inventory records and found one device recorded as surplus that was still in use. 

Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Seventeen Years of Fraud by the Former Director of the Department of Correctional Services' Food Production Center (Follow-Up) (2012-F-7) 
An audit issued in 2010 identified longstanding fraudulent practices committed by former Director of the Food Production Center in Oneida County, Howard Dean. He failed to work on Fridays for 17 years although he claimed to be working a five-day week on his time and attendance records. He also submitted fraudulent travel vouchers and hotel invoices for days he did not stay at a hotel in Rome, N.Y. These practices cost the taxpayers more than a quarter-million dollars. Another quarter million in improper payments occurred because DOCCS failed in its responsibilities to operate in the best interest of the state. In a follow-up report, auditors found DOCCS officials have made progress in addressing the problems we identified in our initial report. Of the five recommendations, three have been implemented and two have been partially implemented. 

Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation, College of Mount Saint Vincent (2011-T-3) 
Auditors determined the College of Mount Saint Vincent was overpaid $319,468 because school officials incorrectly certified students as eligible for TAP awards. 

Statewide Travel Audits: 
As part of a statewide initiative to determine whether the use of travel money by selected government employees was appropriate, auditors looked at travel expenses for the highest-cost travelers in the state for the following state entities: 

State University of New York Upstate Medical Center, Selected Travel Expenses (2012-S-147) 
Auditors examined the travel expenses for two individuals paid by SUNY Center with outliers in the area of mileage; one of these individuals also had reimbursements of more than $100,000. In total, auditors examined $175,618 in travel costs associated with these two individuals. Auditors found the travel expenses for the two individuals selected for audit were documented and adhered to state travel rules and regulations.

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