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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Audits released by the New York State Comptroller


Audits released by the New York State Comptroller
From the Office of the State Comptroller, December 11, 2012

On December 11, 2012 New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following audits of State agencies by his office have been issued. 

The audits addressed such issues as overtime procedures, processing NYSHIP health insurance claims, travel expenses incurred by certain state workers, the disposal of computers, Medicade payments and dual employment.

Office of Court Administration, Controls Over Overtime Costs (2011-S-2)
Based on a random sample of 196 overtime payments, auditors found 110 lacked required written pre-approval for scheduled overtime and 86 lacked documentation to support that a required review was done to identify alternatives for unscheduled overtime. OCA's Financial Management Information System summary level overtime reporting was not being routinely provided to the courts for monitoring purposes and no user training for the System had taken place in years. Auditors recommended OCA ensure that supervisory staff comply with requirements for written preapproval of scheduled overtime and documented analysis of potential steps to avoid unscheduled overtime; make sure all appropriate steps have been undertaken to control public safety department overtime costs; and ensure that the new financial management system is rolled out with necessary user training and support.

New York State Health Insurance Program, Empire BlueCross BlueShield Coordination of Benefits With Medicare Part A Payments (2011-S-31)
Empire generally processed claims correctly when it was paid as the primary payer for patients with both Empire Plan and Medicare coverage. However, auditors found Empire was paid incorrectly as the primary payer on 13 claims totaling $254,141, when Medicare should have been the primary payer.
Auditors recommended Empire develop controls to help ensure it pays as the secondary payer when Medicare should be the primary payer; and periodically confirm with Civil Service the employment status of members who appear to be Medicare-eligible and have active employment status.

SUNY College at Cobleskill, Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-143)
As part of a statewide initiative to determine whether the use of travel money by selected government employees was appropriate, auditors examined travel expenses for the highest-cost travelers in the state. These employees incurred more than $100,000 in travel expenses during the three year period ending March 31, 2011. One of these employees worked at the College at Cobleskill and had travel costs totaling $181,890. Auditors found that the travel expenses for the one College employee selected for audit were documented and adhered to State travel rules and regulations.

SUNY College at Oneonta, Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-145)
As part of a statewide initiative to determine whether the use of travel money by selected government employees was appropriate, we audited travel expenses for the highest-cost travelers in the state. These employees incurred more than $100,000 in travel expenses during the three year period ending March 31, 2011. Three of these employees worked at the College at Oneonta and had travel costs totaling $326,125. Auditors found that the travel expenses for the three College employees selected for audit were documented and adhered to State travel rules and regulations.

State Office for the Aging, Disposal of Electronic Devices (2012-S-39)
During March 2012, the office had amassed 18 computers that were ready for surplus sale. Using forensic software, auditors analyzed the media components of each device and found none contained any readable data and concluded the office has complied with requirements to protect sensitive information.

Department of Health Medicaid Payments for Dental Consultations (Follow-Up) (2012-F-27)
An initial audit report examined Medicaid payments to dental specialists for consultation services. Based on a statistical analysis of a sample of claims paid to ten dental specialists, auditors estimated the claims for these specialists alone accounted for at least $1.2 million of Medicaid overpayments to as much as $1.3 million. Auditors concluded that if these results held true for the claims of all other providers of dental consultations during the audit period, then New York's Medicaid program overpaid an additional $2.6 million. In a follow-up report, auditors found DOH officials have made significant progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report.

City University of New York, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation - Questionable Timekeeping Practices Relating to the Dual Employment of Stationary Engineers (2011-S-27)
CUNY and Parks both employ stationary engineers, who are responsible for a variety of functions, such as operating and maintaining power plants for parks and maintaining campus buildings for CUNY. Auditors matched the state payroll, which accounts for CUNY employees, with the city payroll, which accounts for Parks employees, for the period July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, and identified ten stationary engineers who received combined earnings from both CUNY and Parks that ranged from $150,000 to $256,000. Auditors found 338 occasions where engineers reported being present at both jobs at the same time. In another 155 cases, there was no break between the times the staff reported leaving one job and starting their shift at the other. Auditors recommended management increase oversight of stationary engineers and their supervisors to ensure that all schedule changes are properly documented and approved and implement an automated timekeeping system and ensure stationary engineers follow regulations relating to dual employment.

Electronic books [e-books] focusing on New York State and Municipal Public Personnel Law:

The Discipline Book, - a concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State. A 1900+ page e-book. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - a 645 page e-book 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

General Municipal Law§§ 207-a and 207-c - Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - a 1098 page e-book focusing on administering General Municipal Law Sections 207-a/207-c and providing benefits thereunder. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html

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