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July 1, 2015, 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:

Department of Agriculture and Markets: Uncollected Penalties (2015-F-8)
An initial report issued in July 2013 found that outstanding penalties routinely had no collection activity for two years or more and were often deemed uncollectible. This audit also found that there was a lack of a separation of duties associated with the collection of payments. The system used to track outstanding penalties was incomplete and often inaccurate and there was a lack of communication and information flow in the department. In a follow-up, auditors found department officials have made progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit. Of the eight prior audit recommendations, six were implemented and two were not implemented.

New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS): Administration of Non-Competitive and Limited-Competition Contracts (2013-N-2)
Auditors found ACS officials did not always comply with the Procurement Rules and document their justification for awarding certain non-competitive and limited-competition contracts. ACS officials did not provide sufficient oversight of contractor performance. Officials renewed or extended contracts with some vendors that had poor performance. In fact, 12 sampled contract vendors received less-than-satisfactory performance ratings. For 9 of the 12 vendors, children in their care were abused by employees or foster parents. Consequently, in some cases, the health and safety of children were placed at risk.

State Education Department: Whispering Pines Preschool Inc., Compliance with the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2013-S-48)
Whispering Pines, a for-profit special education provider of center- and home-based services to infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children in nine counties, claimed $146,972 in ineligible costs for three rate-based programs for the two years covered in the audit. The ineligible costs included: $71,397 in personal service costs consisting of salary and fringe benefits paid to the director’s husband and bonuses paid to some personnel; and $75,575 in non-personal service costs, including $33,688 in ineligible or unnecessary vehicle and equipment costs, $25,644 in ineligible interest expense, $3,798 in unnecessary contracted services, and $12,445 in other non-reimbursable costs.

Department of Health (DOH): Facility Structure, Safety, and Health Code Waivers (2014-S-27)
DOH waiver practices do not effectively ensure that safety and structural risks related to physical plant standards at health care facilities are appropriately addressed. DOH’s internal controls, including monitoring and internal communications efforts, were lacking and led to a backlog of at least 179 unprocessed waiver requests at the time of the audit. DOH lacked formal written policies and procedures governing the waiver process, and did not maintain sufficient collective documentation supporting waiver applications, approvals, and monitoring efforts.

Department of Health (DOH): Overpayments for Services Also Covered by Medicare Part B (Follow-Up) (2015-F-5)
DOH officials have made minimal progress in recovering the $7.3 million in Medicaid overpayments auditors identified in a report issued in July 2013. At the time of the follow-up audit, $3,125 was recovered, but more than $1 million in potential recoveries were likely lost due to the inaction on overpayments for claims that are now more than six years old.

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