Street and Sidewalk Cleanliness (Follow-Up)

Issued Date
October 25, 2022
Agency/Authority
New York City Department of Sanitation
New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations

Objective

To assess the extent of implementation of the eight recommendations included in our initial audit report, Street and Sidewalk Cleanliness (Report 2019-N-1).

About the Program

The New York City (NYC) Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has access to several data sources to monitor the cleanliness of NYC’s streets and sidewalks, including: Scorecard Ratings created by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Operations (Operations); NYC311 service requests data; and other daily records, such as DSNY’s Mechanical Broom Daily Performance logs. Together, these data sources can help DSNY identify ongoing problem areas and evaluate the effectiveness of its sanitation operations.

The Scorecard Rating is a monthly performance metric of the percentage of acceptably clean streets and sidewalks in Sanitation Cleaning Districts and Sections. The Scorecard Rating also provides an overall rating by borough as well as citywide for the period covered. Operations’ Scorecard Ratings of “acceptably clean,” “not acceptably clean,” or “filthy” are based on inspectors’ drive-by inspections for a sample of blockfaces. Scorecard Ratings are published monthly and in the DSNY section of the bi-annual Mayor’s Management Report, a document that contains performance metrics for all NYC agencies.

Our initial report, issued on September 16, 2020, examined whether DSNY was effectively monitoring the cleanliness of NYC’s streets and sidewalks, and assessed the methodology used by Operations to rate street and sidewalk cleanliness. The audit, which covered the period January 1, 2015 to September 27, 2019, concluded that DSNY needed to improve its communication, coordination, and record keeping processes to efficiently and effectively address persistent cleanliness problems on NYC streets and sidewalks. Our audit also identified certain weaknesses in methodology used by Operations to rate street and sidewalk cleanliness.

Key Findings

  • DSNY did not make progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit report. None of the initial report’s four recommendations to DSNY were implemented.
  • Operations made progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit report. Of the initial report’s four audit recommendations to Operations, three were implemented and one was partially implemented.

Key Recommendation

Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the report to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in the follow-up.

Kenrick Sifontes

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director:Kenrick Sifontes
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236