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Friday, February 27, 2015
Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on February 26, 2015
On February 26, 2015 New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that the following audits have been issued:
Department of Health (DOH): Medicaid Program: Medicaid Claims Processing Activity April 1, 2013 Through September 30, 2013 (2013-S-12)
DOH’s eMedNY computer system processes Medicaid claims submitted by providers for services rendered to Medicaid-eligible recipients, and it generates payments to reimburse the providers for their claims. During the six-month period ended Sept. 30, 2013, auditors identified over $5.6 million in inappropriate or questionable Medicaid payments. By the end of the audit fieldwork, auditors recovered about $2.3 million of the overpayments identified.
Department of Labor (DOL): Assessment and Collection of Selected Fees and Penalties (Follow-Up) (2014-F-19)
An initial report issued in May 2013, determined DOL had not collected about $3.8 million in fees and penalties for the Public Work Enforcement Fund, the boiler inspection program and the asbestos abatement program. Auditors also determined DOL does not have accurate records to show who is required to pay boiler inspection and asbestos-related project fees. In a follow-up, auditors found DOL has made substantial progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial report.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA): Headquarters and Capital Construction Travel and Entertainment Expenses (2013-S-47)
Auditors found MTA Headquarters and MTA Capital Construction have opportunities to strengthen controls over travel and entertainment, which could help reduce certain costs. For example, MTAHQ and MTACC could utilize federal travel guidelines (established by the U.S. General Services Administration and the U.S. Department of State) pertaining to maximum allowable lodging rates. Auditors found certain travel transactions lacked proper prior approvals, statements of purpose, or other required supporting travel documentation. Business office staff did not consistently ensure that all required approvals and supporting documents were included with employees’ travel expense reports.
An initial report issued in June 2012 found that although the state Legislature had extended the right of preference for housing to many more veterans, few actually benefited due to inaction or disregard by housing companies and lax enforcement by NYC HPD. Auditors found two housing companies in Manhattan (Hamilton House and Clinton Towers) filled vacant apartments with non-veterans even though veterans had been identified on their waiting lists. In a follow-up report, auditors found NYC HPD has made progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial report and has implemented all three prior recommendations.
Office of Information Technology Services (OITS): Security and Effectiveness of Division of Criminal Justice Services’ (DCJS) Core Systems (2014-S-24)
Auditors found that OITS does not have an established monitoring and oversight process for user access management of DCJS systems and is not operating in compliance with state cyber security policies. OITS does not have established policies and procedures for backup of key DCJS systems. Also, ITS does not have an active regional backup site, and DCJS systems are at risk for total data loss in the event of a regional disaster. Auditors also found OITS does not have an established monitoring and oversight process for software or operating systems and changes made to these systems.
Office of Information Technology Services (OITS): Security and Effectiveness of the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance System (2014-S9)
Auditors found the Unemployment Insurance System data has not yet been classified as required by the current security policy, even though 80 of the 83 unemployment insurance applications in use by the Labor Department have been deemed mission critical. The security policy indicates that all agency information should be classified on an ongoing basis based on its confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Almost two years after the transition of services, OITS still does not have a service level agreement in place governing responsibilities and services provided to human services agencies. Auditors also found that although mainframe programming changes are logged, there is no indication of when these changes have been implemented, thereby reducing accountability.
Office of Information Technology Services (OITS): Security and Effectiveness of Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) Licensing and Registration Systems (2013-S-58)
Auditors found OITS and DMV are not in compliance with the payment card industry data security standards that govern the systems that process credit card transactions. Since January 2012, neither agency has completed and submitted a required self-assessment questionnaire or third-party compliance report, which are necessary to ensure that all risks have been properly identified and mitigated. Non-compliance also exposes the state to other risks ranging from extensive fines or penalties to business disruption due to cancelled accounts and the inability to accept credit card payments. OITS does not have an established monitoring and oversight process for user access management of DMV systems and is not operating in compliance with state cybersecurity policies.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
An adjunct professor employed by the Westchester Community College was terminated for allegedly making offensive comments in class. She sued, contending that the Community College violated her state and federal constitutional rights.
Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on February 25, 2015
The board adopted budgets that relied too heavily on fund balance as a financing source and appropriated more fund balance than it had available. The board has not developed a multiyear financial plan to address long-term priorities or a policy to determine the amount of fund balance to maintain.
Town of Dickinson – Fiscal Oversight (Franklin County)
The board did not effectively oversee the town’s financial operations. The supervisor did not provide the board with adequate monthly financial reports. In addition, the town’s procedures for auditing claims were not in compliance with town law.
Johnstown Public Library – Cash Receipts (Fulton County)
Auditors were unable to determine if all collections were recorded and deposited in a timely manner and intact. This was because library officials have not established formal policies or procedures for handling and recording cash receipts.
Town of Kiantone – Town Clerk (Chautauqua County)
The town clerk did not deposit all money collected. As of June 23, 2014, the clerk had a shortage totaling $3,147. In addition, the clerk did not record, deposit or remit money collected in an accurate and timely manner. Auditors also found the board did not provide adequate oversight of the clerk’s operations.
Town of Lewisboro – Financial Condition (Westchester County)
The town’s general, sewer and water funds all had a deficit fund balance at some point from 2009 through 2013. While officials were able to eliminate accumulated deficits in these funds by the end of 2013, they have not developed a multiyear financial plan to help monitor operations and guard against future operating deficits.
Village of Mill Neck – Financial Management (Nassau County) The board has not established adequate policies and procedures or provided guidance on maintaining a reasonable level of fund balance. As a result, the village has accumulated excessive fund balance in its general fund that resulted, at least in part, from unrealistic budget estimates.
Saratoga Springs Public Library – Claims Processing (Saratoga County)
Internal controls over the claims audit process were not designed appropriately. For example, not all claims included signatures from the director or department heads to indicate that goods and services were actually received. In addition, the board assigned the responsibility to audit and approve all claims for payment to the president.
Town of Sweden – Justice Court (Monroe County)
The justices do not provide adequate oversight of court operations to ensure the accurate and complete collection, deposit, recording and reporting of court moneys in a timely manner. The justices have not adequately segregated the duties of the clerks and do not regularly review accounting records, bank statements, or monthly reconciliations and accountability analyses.
Town of Tyrone – Financial Management (Schuyler County)
Town officials have not developed multiyear financial plans, policies, or procedures to govern budgeting practices or the level of unexpended surplus funds to maintain. The board adopted budgets that were not based on sound and realistic estimates of revenues and expenditures. Poor budgeting, along with overspending in the highway fund, has caused cash flow problems, which required inter-fund transfers and advances from the general fund to pay bills over the last several years.
Town of West Union – Board Oversight and Cash Receipts and Disbursements (Steuben County)
The board has not provided adequate oversight to safeguard town assets. Specifically, the board did not adopt structurally balanced budgets. For fiscal years 2011 through 2013, the town had excessive fund balances in both the general fund and highway fund. In addition, the board did not audit the books and records of any of the town officers and employees that handled cash.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
2015 NY Slip Op 01573, Appellate Division, First Department
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
The letter can be viewed on the Internet at:
Monday, February 23, 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
New Disclosure Requirements:
Public officials will be required to disclose all outside earned income they receive, from whom they receive it, the actual services performed to receive the income and whether there is any connection to the state government or the office that they hold and the work performed. Specifically:
Per Diem Reform
Further, the proposal would operationalize these reforms. The Office of State Comptroller will be prohibited from reimbursing expenses for a member of the legislature or statewide elected official until expanded disclosure provisions are met. Additionally, new caps are placed on the amount of reimbursement authorized under the law at the same level as the caps that currently apply to all other state employees. This proposal also repeals current law that gives great discretion to legislative leaders to broaden and increase per diems.
Campaign Finance Disclosure
Professionals employed by educational institutions entitled to employment insurance benefits for periods between two successive academic years absent a reasonable assurance of continued employment
The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - a 435 page handbook reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html
A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 600+ page guide to penalties imposed on public employees in New York State found guilty of selected acts of misconduct. For more information, click on http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html
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