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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Issued during the week ending November 16, 2012 [Click on the caption to access the full report]

Department of Health, Improper Payments Related to the Medicare Buy-In Program (2010-S-76)
From March 2006 through February 2011, Medicaid made nearly 260,000 improper payments, totaling about $26.8 million, for people enrolled in the Medicare buy-in program. The improper payments included $21.1 million in Medicare premiums for people who were ineligible for the buy-in program. This included improper payments of $1.9 for 532 people who were deceased. The improper payments resulted from insufficient DOH oversight, poor local district practices, and weaknesses in certain Medicaid claims processing controls. Auditors recommended DOH increase oversight of local districts, recover inappropriate Medicare buy-in payments, and improve the Medicaid claims processing system to ensure accurate payment of medical claims for individuals eligible for the buy-in program.
Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Quality of Internal Control Certification (2012-S-31)
In 1987, the Legislature passed the New York State Governmental Accountability, Audit and Internal Control Act requiring State agencies and public authorities to institute a comprehensive system of internal controls over their operations. By April 30 each year, DOB requires each covered agency to certify compliance with the act. On April 26, 2011, DHCR submitted its annual Internal Control Certification and reported full compliance with all provisions of the Act. DHCR's internal control certification was submitted timely. However, auditors identified several areas where the quality of the certification and/or the actual internal control program could be improved.

Office of Mental Health, Quality of Internal Control Certification (2012-S43) See 2012-S-31 above for description of requirements
OMH's Internal Control Certification was submitted on time and generally exhibited the necessary quality. Answers to most questions were complete and responsive, and were supported by records and documents maintained by the agency. However, OMH's certification did not provide sufficient detail in describing the results of its reviews of high-risk activities.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Quality of Internal Control Certification (2012-S-49) See 2012-S-31 above for description of requirements
On June 25, 2012, Parks submitted its annual Internal Control Certification and reported full compliance with all provisions of the Act. Parks’ Internal Control Certification was submitted, 56 days after the April 30 deadline.  Parks’ certification did not provide the required level of detail, did not support some statements with sufficient documentation, and was unable to provide evidence of the communication of the Internal Control Officer designee to all staff. The office has not yet completed a program of internal control review and its internal audit function has not undergone an external quality assessment as required by professional standards.

Department of Health Overpayments for Hospital Readmissions (Follow-Up) (2012-F-11)
An initial audit report examined whether the Department of Health (DOH) overpaid hospitals when the hospitals readmitted patients they had recently discharged. The audit identified overpayments totaling nearly $163,000 from a review of a judgmental sample of claims from five hospitals. The hospitals have already refunded the overpayments to Medicaid. The audit also identified four other hospitals with questionable claims. In a follow-up report, auditors found DOH officials have made progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report. Of the five prior audit recommendations, three have been implemented, one has been partially implemented, and one is no longer applicable.

Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, Selected Operating Practices (2011-S-36)
The fund has been receiving the statutory commissions due from the tracks, OTBs, and VLT operators. However, while assessing the statutory commission rates due the fund, we found that the New York Racing Association (NYRA) had shortchanged winning bettors by approximately $7.4 million between Sept. 15, 2010 and Dec. 21, 2011. This happened because NYRA was not complying with statutory retainage rates on exotic bets. As a result of our finding, which was identified in December 2011, an investigation was conducted by the NYS Racing and Wagering Board which led to the firing of NYRA’s president/CEO and its senior vice president/general counsel.  Auditors found the fund improperly underreported statutorily limited administrative expenses and promotional expenses by $399,908 for calendar years 2009 and 2010.

Handbooks focusing on New York State and Municipal Public Personnel Law:

The Discipline Book - A 458 page guide to disciplinary actions involving public officers and employees. For more information click on

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

The Disability Benefits E-book: - This e-book focuses on disability benefits available to officers and employees in public service pursuant to Civil Service Law §§71, 72 and 73, General Municipal Law §207-a and §207-c, the Retirement and Social Security Law, the Workers’ Compensation Law, and similar provisions of law. For more information click on:

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances - a 618-page volume focusing on New York State court and administrative decisions addressing an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. For more information click on


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