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September 21, 2010


Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits

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

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bus Driver Licensing and Oversight (Follow-Up Report) (2008-F-51)
Bus drivers must meet certain licensing requirements and drivers’ employers (carriers) are expected to ensure that all licensing requirements are met. In a previous audit, 2005-S-53, auditors found that the department was performing the required three-year reviews, but the review process was not effective enough to ensure compliance at all carriers. Auditors found that some drivers were not registered, and were not included in the department’s three-year reviews. Auditors also found that criminal history checks were not performed for all bus drivers. Auditors recommended that improvements be made in the department’s oversight of bus drivers’ compliance with licensing requirements. When they followed up, auditors found their recommendations had been implemented.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit: Recycling Program (2008-S-141)
Transit is required to comply with certain recycling requirements specified in state law and Executive Order 4, which was issued in April 2008. Auditors found that Transit was generally in compliance with these requirements. However, we identified the need for improvements in certain aspects of Transit's recycling program.

Department of Civil Service, New York State Health Insurance Program: Cost of Out-of-Network Benefits (2009-S-34)
Auditors examined the out-of-network reimbursements paid by one of the Empire Plan’s insurance carriers for elective non-emergency services, and found that significant reductions could be made in the costs if more of these services were provided in-network, rather than out-of-network. Auditors determined that annual savings of $124 million could be realized if the percentage of the services provided by out-of-network providers was reduced from its current level of 7.7 percent to 3.2 percent (the level found for certain other types of medical services). Auditors recommended actions to help increase the use of in-network providers for elective non-emergency services.

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Contracts for Personal and Miscellaneous Services (2009-N-4)
During the audit period, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) was spending about $400 million a year on contracts for personal and miscellaneous services. Auditors examined whether HHC was adequately justifying the need to initially contract out for such services and periodically reassessing whether such contracts could be deferred, eliminated or reduced to lower costs. They found that HHC was not always maintaining documentation of this need, and generally was not maintaining documentation showing that such reassessments had been done, and recommended that such documentation be maintained.

Higher Education Services Corporation - Tuition Assistance Program Bramson ORT (2009-T-2)
During the 2005-2006 through 2007-2008 academic years, Bramson ORT certified more than $6 million in Tuition Assistance Program awards. Auditors disallowed $337,146 of these awards as well as $1,225 for an award that related to another academic year. The total $338,371 was disallowed because students were incorrectly certified as eligible for the awards. Several students received awards even though they had not met matriculation requirements.

State University of New York, University at Buffalo: Oversight of Revenue Contracts (2009-S-44)
Auditors examined whether the University was maximizing its revenue opportunities and effectively monitoring its revenue contracts. The auditors identified opportunities for the University to improve its revenue collection and better monitor its contracts and recommended improvements to be made.

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Preservation Fund Procurement Practices at Springbrook NY, Inc. (Follow-Up Report) (2010-F-13)
In a previous audit, 2007-S-51, in response to allegations that improper bidding practices were being used by certain Springbrook employees, auditors reviewed the files for certain Springbrook projects. They found that several fictitious bids had been created by Springbrook employees and these fictitious bids may have been used to steer work to certain vendors. Auditors recommended that certain controls be strengthened at Springbrook and the two OPWDD regional offices, and the matter was referred to the Broome County District Attorney. When auditors followed up with OPWDD officials, they found their recommendations had been implemented.

New York City Department of Buildings, Elevator Inspections and Tests (Follow-Up Report) (2010-F-28)
In audit 2007-N-9, auditors examined the inspections and tests that were performed on a random sample of 50 elevators. They found that 28 of the inspections and tests were performed late, seven were performed by inspectors who did not meet certain qualification requirements, and 19 were not properly documented.  The NYC Department of Buildings is responsible for ensuring that all elevator inspectors meet certain qualification requirements. However, records confirmed that only 11 of the 50 inspectors in the random sample met all qualifications. Auditors recommended that the department improve controls over elevator inspections and tests. When auditors followed up with officials, they found that most of their recommendations had been implemented.



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