New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the following audits have been issued.
New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations – Street and Sidewalk Cleanliness (Follow-Up) (2022-F-8)
The initial audit determined that weaknesses in key management controls, including communication, coordination, and record keeping, impair DSNY’s ability to address ongoing cleanliness problems on New York City streets and sidewalks efficiently and effectively. In addition, deficiencies in operations’ inspection process and rating calculations further undermine DSNY’s goal of clean streets and sidewalks. The audit made eight recommendations – four each to DSNY and Operations – to address the problems identified. The follow-up found that DSNY did not implement any of OSC’s four recommendations. Operations made progress, having implemented three recommendations and partially implemented one.
Office of Mental Health (OMH) – Reporting of Community-Based Services Under the Transformation Reinvestment Plan (2021-S-15)
OMH’s 2014 Transformation Reinvestment Plan entailed reducing capacity at its inpatient facilities and using the cost savings to enhance and expand services in lower-cost, more accessible community-based settings. OMH reported that, from 2014 through State fiscal year 2020-21, more than $82.5 million realized under the plan was allocated to community-based services (CBS), serving more than 111,000 individuals. This audit found that, while OMH provided adequate reporting on the funds reinvested in CBS under the plan, it can improve on the quality of its reporting. For example, the audit identified inconsistencies with how OMH collected data on “new individuals served,” which could impact the accuracy of the information included in these reports. Also, OMH’s reports do not clearly address its progress in the 11 areas of investments identified in the plan.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance – Reimbursement of Homeless Shelter Providers – Rescue Mission Alliance of Syracuse (2021-S-34)
The office’s annual budget for its network of 612 homeless shelters totals in the billions of dollars. Funding to shelters is administered through local departments of social services, which either operate the shelters directly or contract with providers to operate them. In 2020, under its contract with the Onondaga County Department of Social Services, the Rescue Mission Alliance of Syracuse (Rescue Mission) provided homeless services to nearly 1,100 adults and reported expenditures totaling $2.9 million. The audit found that, by design, the office does not monitor shelters’ costs claimed for reimbursement to ensure they comply with the approved budget or, for that matter, with state laws and regulations or Office policies. This responsibility instead falls to the local departments, yet the office does not provide them with the guidance needed for effective monitoring – creating significant risk of improper reimbursements, as evidenced by this audit, which identified $26,123 in costs claimed by Rescue Mission that were improperly reimbursed. The office needs to establish controls to adequately monitor and appropriately reimburse claims by Rescue Mission.
State Education Department (Preschool Special Education Audit Initiative) – Field of Dreams, Inc. – Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2022-S-2)
Field of Dreams, a for-profit special education provider serving students from Orange and Ulster counties, is authorized by the State Education Department (SED) to provide Preschool Special Class (over 2.5 hours per day) and Preschool Integrated Special Class (over 2.5 hours per day) to children with disabilities who are between the ages of 3 and 5 years. For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2019, Field of Dreams reported approximately $2.4 million in reimbursable costs to SED for these programs. Auditors identified $172,121 in costs that did not comply with SED’s requirements for reimbursement.
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