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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

October 3, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases State Audits

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

Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA): Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2013-S-10)
CDTA did not have formal policies that outlined whether certain types of discretionary expenses were proper, what would be considered reasonable amounts for such expenditures, and what documentation would be required to demonstrate that employees used due diligence to obtain the lowest reasonable cost. Auditors questioned the propriety of discretionary expenditures totaling about $60,000. Questionable expenses included the costs for special events, memberships and sponsorships.

Central New York Regional Transportation Authority: Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2012-S-153)
Auditors found the authority did not have formal policies that outlined whether certain types of discretionary expenses were proper, what would be considered reasonable amounts for such expenditures, and what documentation would be required to demonstrate that employees used due diligence to obtain the lowest reasonable cost. Auditors questioned the propriety of discretionary expenditures totaling about $31,247, including costs for special events, memberships and subscriptions.

New York City Department of Education (DoE): Management of General School Funds (2013-F-32) (Follow-Up)
An initial report issued in May 2010 found that DoE did not provide John F. Kennedy Educational Campus staff with adequate oversight and training, and that school officials did not exercise due diligence and care over general school fund accounts. In a follow-up report, auditors found DoE and John F. Kennedy officials have made progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial report. Of the nine prior recommendations, six have been implemented and three have been partially implemented.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA): Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2012-S-157)
Auditors reviewed 137 payments, questioning 46 payments totaling about $102,000. In certain instances, NYSERDA did not have policies and procedures to ensure the propriety and reasonableness of the discretionary expenses. In other instances, existing policy was not followed, or there was no documentation of the necessity for the purchases or their relationship to the authority’s core mission. Among the questionable expenses were payments for meetings, memberships in professional organizations, and training. In addition, an authority procurement card was used to buy personal items and other questionable items.

New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC): Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2012-S-155)
Auditors sampled 152 payments totaling $69,038 and questioned 35 discretionary payments totaling $22,926. Included in the questionable expenditures we questioned are payments for travel to conferences that were not properly documented in accordance with EFC procedures. EFC did not have written policies or procedures that identified appropriate discretionary spending, permissible dollar thresholds, necessary justifications, and required formal approvals and supporting documentation.
New York State Thruway Authority: Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2012-S-156)
Auditors questioned ten discretionary payments totaling $14,814 as it is unclear how the authority determined the reasonableness of the expenses. Those included: eight payments totaling $9,457 for various employee recognition events, including almost $8,000 for an employee appreciation/holiday dinner; and two payments totaling $5,100 for food provided at staff conferencese.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA): Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2012-S-51)
Auditors questioned certain travel reimbursements that were not in compliance with authority policy or lacked sufficient justification of the business need. NFTA lacked formal policies and procedures for certain items, and therefore, the propriety of the related expenditures was unclear. Auditors also questioned the propriety of certain discretionary expenses, including the costs for special events, memberships and gifts to business officials in another country.

Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority: Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2012-S-152)
Auditors found the authority does not have policies to determine the appropriateness and reasonableness of many types of discretionary expenses, including meetings and other events, memberships in professional organizations, sponsorships and training.

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC): Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2013-S-11)
Auditors reviewed 156 payments totaling $144,856 and questioned 98 payments totaling $83,419. Included in the audited expenditures were payments for personal travel, out-of-state and foreign conferences, training of non-RIOC employees and gifts to non-employees. RIOC lacked written policies and procedures clarifying what constituted appropriate discretionary spending and specifying permissible dollar thresholds, necessary justifications, and required formal approvals and supporting documentation.

State University Construction Fund: Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2013-S-14)
Auditors reviewed a sample of 327 discretionary payments totaling $248,205. Of that amount, they found that payments totaling $181,855 (73 percent) fully complied with fund guidelines. However, auditors questioned payments totaling $66,350 that the fund should examine and assess their propriety.

United HealthCare Insurance Co. of New York (UHC): Empire Plan Drug Rebate Revenue (2013-S-41)
United is required to negotiate agreements with drug manufacturers for rebates, discounts, and other considerations and pass 100 percent of the value of the agreements on to the prescription drug program run by the Department of Civil Service. Auditors identified $694,227 in revenue that was not credited to the department. As a result of the audit, UHC agreed to credit $670,470 of the $694,227 due the department ($23,757 was still under review at the time the audit fieldwork concluded).

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