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September 16, 2009

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits

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

City University of New York: Kingsborough Community College: Selected Financial Management Practices (2008-N-9)
The City University of New York (CUNY) consists of eleven senior colleges, six community colleges, and several other specialized and professional schools. Auditors examined whether one of the community colleges (Kingsborough) complied with requirements relating to payroll, procurement and waiving of tuition, and identified certain instances of noncompliance in all three areas.

New York Convention Center Operating Corporation: Recycling Program (2008-S-143)
The New York Convention Center Operating Corporation operates and maintains the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The Corporation is required to comply with certain recycling requirements specified in state and city law, and Executive Order 4, which was issued in April 2008. Auditors found that the corporation was not fully complying with these requirements. We recommended that a number of improvements be made in the corporation’s recycling activities.

Department of Health: Inappropriate Medicaid Claims for Newborn Services (2008-S-152)
Newborn infants with low birth weights require higher levels of care. Accordingly, the Medicaid reimbursement rates for such infants are higher than the rates for infants with normal birth weights. Auditors examined selected Medicaid payments for services provided to newborn infants and identified overpayments of $480,894. The overpayments were made because the claims submitted by the medical providers erroneously understated the infants’ birth weights. Auditors recommended the Department of Health recover the overpayments and develop controls to identify and prevent such overpayments in the future.

State Education Department: St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf: Selected Financial Management Practices (2008-S-160)
St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf, located in Brooklyn, is one of 11 private schools in the state that receives operating aid directly from the state to provide educational services to disabled students. Auditors found a number of internal control weaknesses in the areas of procurement, cash disbursements and payroll. For example, the school routinely failed to use a competitive procurement process when purchasing goods and services, and did not document the reasons for salary increases and other payroll expenditures. Auditors also found that the school’s Board of Trustees was not providing effective oversight of financial operations. Auditors recommended certain actions be taken to strengthen controls over the school’s financial operations.

Hudson River Park Trust: West 30th Street Heliport: Revenue Operations (Follow-Up Report) (2009-F-9)
Hudson River Park Trust is a public benefit corporation responsible for planning, developing, constructing, operating and maintaining a planned 550-acre park in New York City. The West 30th Street Heliport, one of three public heliports in New York City, is located in the park. The heliport is managed by a private company pursuant to a lease agreement with Hudson River Park Trust. Under this agreement, Hudson River Park Trust is to receive a portion of the revenue earned by the company. Auditors examined the controls over revenue collections and found improvements were needed to assure Hudson River Park Trust was receiving all the revenue it was due. When auditors followed up on these matters with trust officials, they found that only limited progress had been made in implementing audit recommendations.

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance: National Directory of New Hires: Data Security (Follow-Up Report) (2009-F-29)
The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) regularly accesses the federally maintained National Directory of New Hires, which provides a national database of employment and unemployment insurance information. To be allowed access to the Directory, OTDA had to agree to comply with certain security requirements for the data it extracted from the Directory. Auditors examined OTDA’s compliance with these requirements and found that improvements were needed. For example, only five individuals were authorized by OTDA to have access to the data; however, more than 100 individuals actually had such access. Auditors recommended certain actions be taken to strengthen OTDA’s security over this data. When auditors followed up on these matters with OTDA officials, they found significant progress had been made in implementing audit recommendations.

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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