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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending January 10, 2015


Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending January 10, 2015
Click on text highlighted in color  to access the full report
On January 9, 2015, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that the following audits have been issued: 

Department of Health Medicaid Program: Improper Payments to a Physical Therapist (2013-S-15)
Medicaid overpaid a physical therapist $146,225 because he reported incorrect Medicare payment information. He avoided Medicaid’s automated claims processing controls by submitting Medicare claims using the National Provider Identifier (NPI) for his group practice and the related Medicaid claims using his NPI as an individual provider. The provider also did not comply with some regulations and administrative procedures for Medicaid program participation.

Department of Health: Overpayments of Certain Medicare Crossover Claims (Follow-Up) (2014-F-17)
An initial audit report issued in January 2013 identified $10 million in Medicaid overpayments that occurred because of flaws in eMedNY computer programs designed to process electronic Medicare crossover claims. Auditors additionally identified $16.4 million in potential overpayments on similar claims because providers submitted their claims directly to Medicaid and bypassed the crossover system and the controls that it affords. In a follow-up report, auditors found DOH has made progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit report. This included the recovery of $977,343 in Medicaid overpayments. However, further actions are still needed.

Hudson River Park Trust: Selected Financial Management Practices (2013-S-56)
Auditors found opportunities exist for the trust to improve its practices related to revenue collection, procurement, investments, time and attendance, budgeting, and equipment inventories. The Trust did not collect $297,925 in revenues because tenants: reduced their payments to the Trust by the amounts of maintenance costs, which were not documented; did not pay rent for a year; or paid the wrong amount of rent. Auditors also found two vendor contracts were awarded and modified by $16.9 million, but the documentation in support of the vendor selection and contract modification was incomplete.

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC): Management and Control of Overtime Costs (Follow-Up) (2014-F-15)
Our initial report issued in May 2012 determined that HHC did not effectively manage and control its overtime costs. Auditors found indications that overtime was often used when it was not in the best interest of HHC, as employees responsible for patient care routinely worked excessive overtime shifts that could compromise the quality of the care they provide due to fatigue. In a follow-up report, auditors found HHC has made progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial report. Of the three prior recommendations, all three have been partially implemented.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA): Contract Award and Performance (2013-S-45)Although NYSERDA has policies and procedures governing the contract award process, certain policies and procedures were not always followed for 19 of the 69 contracts auditors reviewed. Five contracts (valued at $742,113) were incorrectly awarded as unsolicited proposals and, therefore, without the competition that would otherwise have been required. NYSERDA did not effectively monitor contract expiration dates to ensure that successor contracts were in place prior to the expiration of the previously existing contracts for similar or related work. NYSERDA paid about $9.7 million on four contracts after they had expired or after approved extensions had been exhausted. NYSERDA did not adequately document the justification for allocating projects (related to four contracts) to certain contractors when there were nine additional contractors pre-qualified for the same work. Two of these four contracts amounted to $15.4 million.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP): Controls Over Cash Advance Accounts (2014-S-22)
Auditors found OPRHP consolidated some of its authorized advance accounts by transferring the funds to an unrelated account without notifying the Office of the State Comptroller of the change. Two funds had shortages that originated prior to 2011, but the agency did not reconcile the discrepancies or report them to OSC as required by state law. The petty cash account, which had not been reconciled in at least four years, contained $5,000 more than it should have, and officials were unable to explain or account for the surplus. It was also significantly overfunded. OPRHP inappropriately used petty cash account funds totaling over $4,600 for employee payroll advances, which is prohibited.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: Management and Control of Employee Overtime Costs (Follow-Up) (2014-F-3) An initial report issued in August 2011, determined that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority) generally did not effectively manage and control employee overtime costs. Auditors found numerous examples of overtime being earned in excess of $75,000 annually by individuals whose salary base was at least $75,000. In addition, the Port Authority did not meet the 20 percent overtime reduction goal established in its 2010 budget to the Governors of New York and New Jersey. In a follow-up report, auditors found Port Authority officials made some progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial report.

Division of State Police: Seized Assets Program (2013-S-46)
Auditors found State Police did not properly account for or track seized assets. Specifically, the division did not maintain its Asset Seizure Tracking System database with complete or updated information. Of 107 seized assets sampled that were listed as pending disposition, auditors determined that 56 assets were actually closed. The 56 forfeited assets were valued at $992.7 million, but State Police received only $12.2 million for its share of the proceeds of those cases. Auditors also found State Police had custody of more than $700,000 in seized assets that should have been turned over to the State Comptroller’s Office of Unclaimed Funds and that individual troops did not always report asset seizures to State Police headquarters.

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): Stony Brook University (2013-T-2)
Auditors determined that Stony Brook was overpaid $4,170,880 because school officials incorrectly certified students as eligible for TAP awards. Incorrect certifications include 31 students who received awards but did not meet the requirements for full-time status, 23 students who did not maintain good academic standing and 2 students who were not properly matriculated. Many of the incorrect certifications result from students not enrolling in at least 12 credits that were applicable to their designated programs or repeating courses for which they had already earned credit.

Tuition Assistance Program: LaGuardia Community College (2013-T-4)
Auditors determined LaGuardia was overpaid $91,911 because school officials incorrectly certified students as eligible for TAP awards. Incorrect certifications include 8 students who received awards but did not meet the requirements for full-time status, and one student who did not maintain good academic standing.

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Handbooks focusing on New York State and Municipal Public Personnel Law from BookLocker

The Discipline Book, - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 2100+ page e-book. For more information click on
http://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - a 442-page volume focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition, and as an e-book. For more information click on 
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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

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

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Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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