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June 4, 2010

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits

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

Department of Agriculture and Markets: Marketing Order Revenue, Expenses and Changes in Fund Balance (2009-S-7)
The Department of Agriculture and Markets issues rules and regulations called marketing orders. The costs of administering the marketing orders are funded by assessments levied on growers. Auditors examined the financial statements prepared by the department to account for the revenue, expenses and changes in fund balances related to its marketing orders for the two years ended either June 30, 2007, June 30, 2008 or March 31, 2008. Auditors concluded that these financial statements were presented fairly in all material respects.

Higher Education Services Corporation - Tuition Assistance Program: Hunter College (2009-T-3)
During the 2005-2006 through 2007-2008 academic years, Hunter College certified more than $43 million in Tuition Assistance Program awards. Auditors disallowed $1,359,699 of these awards as well as $10,950 for awards that related to other academic years. The total $1,370,649 was disallowed because students were incorrectly certified as eligible for the awards. For example, several students received awards even though they did not maintain good academic standing or were not in full-time attendance.

New York City Department of Education: John F. Kennedy Educational Campus: Management of General School Funds (2009-N-11)
At four of these schools, auditors examined the financial management practices for general school funds. Auditors identified significant weaknesses in the controls over these funds. For example, at one school, auditors identified credit card charges of $4,060 which were unrelated to student activities, and were unable to identify the payees for 50 checks totaling $35,321 because the checkbook could not be located.

State Education Department: Integrated Treatment Services, Inc.: Compliance with the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2009-S-37)
If it is determined that a child with disabilities needs special education services, these services may be provided by special education itinerant teachers (SEIT). SEIT providers are paid by the localities on the basis of rates established by the State Education Department. Auditors found that costs reported by one of these providers were not always properly calculated, adequately documented and eligible for reimbursement. As a result, the provider was overpaid a total of $511,615.

Division of State Police: Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise Reporting (2009-S-81)
State agencies and public authorities are required to promote the participation of minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) and women-owned business enterprises (WBEs) in State contracts and procurement opportunities. Specifically, agencies must establish annual goals for such participation, make a “good faith” effort to achieve these goals, and report quarterly on their level of participation. Auditors examined the Division of State Police’s performance in these areas and found that it had established realistic goals and was making a good faith effort to achieve these goals but had not fully achieved the goals.

Follow Up Audits:

Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities: Bernard Fineson Developmental Disabilities Services Office: Internal Controls Over Employee Separations (Follow-Up Report) (2010-F-1)
State-funded services to individuals with developmental disabilities in the New York City borough of Queens are delivered or overseen by OMRDD’s Bernard Fineson Developmental Disabilities Services Office (DDSO). In audit 2007-S-116 , auditors examined the DDSO’s internal controls over employee separations and found that some employees were overpaid in their last paycheck, because they did not have sufficient leave credits to cover the payments. When followed up, auditors found that their recommendations had been implemented.

State University of New York: Downstate Medical Center: Practices Related to Payroll Overpayments (Follow-Up Report) (2010-F-11)
In audit 2008-S-110 , auditors examined the controls established by the center for removing employees from the payroll and recovering payroll overpayments. They identified significant weaknesses in these controls, as employees often remained on the payroll after they were no longer employed by the Center. For example, during a period of approximately one year, 118 employees remained on the payroll after they were no longer employed by the center and received more than $490,000 in paychecks they were not entitled to. Auditors further determined that the center was not always effective in its efforts to recover such payments. When followed up, auditors found that they had made some progress in correcting these problems, but still needed to take additional corrective actions.

State University of New York: Maritime College: Controls Over Selected Payroll Practices (Follow-Up Report) (2010-F-14)
In audit 2007-S-107 , auditors found that certain improvements were needed in the actions taken by the College in recovering payroll overpayments. When followed up, auditors found that their recommendations had been implemented.

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. DiNapoli’s office completes approximately 200 state audits and annually identifies hundreds of millions in savings and fraud each year.


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