Saturday, July 04, 2015

Selected reports and information issued by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued during the week ending July 4, 2015


Selected reports and information issued by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued during the week ending July 4, 2015
[Click on the material highlighted in blue to access the full report] 

State Comptroller seeks to return lost or forgotten money held the Department of Audit and Control's unclaimed fund account to it rightful owners

Staff from New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office will attend community events around the state this month to help residents search for lost and forgotten money, also known as unclaimed funds. DiNapoli oversees 33 million unclaimed funds accounts until the money can be returned to its rightful owners.

“I encourage everyone to come out to the community events to search for money that may be waiting for you,” DiNapoli said. “We return more than a million dollars a day to residents across the state, but we want to do more. It’s your money, we want to give it back.”

Unclaimed funds is more than $14 billion in lost and forgotten money dating back to the 1940s. The money comes from old bank accounts, utility deposits, uncashed checks, insurance claims, stocks and other sources that have been dormant for a number of years.

Residents who cannot make it to the events can search for and claim their money by using the online claiming system or by calling 1-800-221-9311.

View a map of unclaimed fundsowed to New Yorkers by county and region. Learn more about Unclaimed Funds.

Date
Event
Location
County
Southern Tier Region
July 13-18
10:00am-10:00pm
Allegany County Fair
15 North Street
Angelica, New York
Allegany

Finger Lakes Region
July 11
10:00am-6:00pm
 
July 12
10:00am-5:00pm
Corn Hill Arts Festival
11 Atkinson Street
Rochester, New York
Monroe

Central New York
July 10
12:00pm-7:00pm
 
July 11
8:00am-4:30pm
Boilermaker Health & Fitness Expo
Mohawk Valley Community College
1101 Sherman Drive
Utica, New York
Oneida

Western New York
July 18
10:00am-6:00pm
 
July 19
10:00am-5:30pm
Oatka Festival
Trigon Park
Wolcott Street
Leroy, New York
Genesee

Adirondack Mountains
July 24
5:00pm-11:00pm
 
July 25
11:00am-11:00pm
 
July 26
11:00am-5:00pm
Great American Irish Festival
Herkimer County Fairgrounds
198 Cemetery Street
Frankfort, New York
Herkimer


Agriculture and Market – Uncollected Penalties
An initial report issued in July 2013 found that outstanding penalties routinely had no collection activity for two years or more and were often deemed uncollectible. This audit also found that there was a lack of a separation of duties associated with the collection of payments. The system used to track outstanding penalties was incomplete and often inaccurate and there was a lack of communication and information flow in the department. In a follow-up, auditors found department officials have made progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit. Of the eight prior audit recommendations, six were implemented and two were not implemented. 
http://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093015/15f8.pdf


NYC Adminsitration for Children’s Services – Limited Competition Contracts

Auditors found ACS officials did not always comply with the Procurement Rules and document their justification for awarding certain non-competitive and limited-competition contracts. ACS officials did not provide sufficient oversight of contractor performance. Officials renewed or extended contracts with some vendors that had poor performance. In fact, 12 sampled contract vendors received less-than-satisfactory performance ratings. For 9 of the 12 vendors, children in their care were abused by employees or foster parents. Consequently, in some cases, the health and safety of children were placed at risk.


Education Department – Compliance with Reimbursement Cost Manual
Whispering Pines, a for-profit special education provider of center- and home-based services to infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children in nine counties, claimed $146,972 in ineligible costs for three rate-based programs for the two years covered in the audit. The ineligible costs included: $71,397 in personal service costs consisting of salary and fringe benefits paid to the director’s husband and bonuses paid to some personnel; and $75,575 in non-personal service costs, including $33,688 in ineligible or unnecessary vehicle and equipment costs, $25,644 in ineligible interest expense, $3,798 in unnecessary contracted services, and $12,445 in other non-reimbursable costs.

Department of Health – Facility Structure
DOH waiver practices do not effectively ensure that safety and structural risks related to physical plant standards at health care facilities are appropriately addressed. DOH’s internal controls, including monitoring and internal communications efforts, were lacking and led to a backlog of at least 179 unprocessed waiver requests at the time of the audit. DOH lacked formal written policies and procedures governing the waiver process, and did not maintain sufficient collective documentation supporting waiver applications, approvals, and monitoring efforts.
Department of Health – Medicad payments
DOH officials have made minimal progress in recovering the $7.3 million in Medicaid overpayments auditors identified in a report issued in July 2013. At the time of the follow-up audit, $3,125 was recovered, but more than $1 million in potential recoveries were likely lost due to the inaction on overpayments for claims that are now more than six years old.

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Fire District #1
The district’s Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) point system is not consistent with state law. Some firefighters did not receive all of the LOSAP points to which they were entitled.

Clifton ParkVolunteer Fire Department
Overall, auditors found that the department has good controls over financial activity. However, officials have not adopted written procedures to provide specific guidance to the department treasurer.

Town of Fishkill
The town has made progress implementing corrective action. Of the six previous audit recommendations, two recommendations were fully implemented and four recommendations were partially implemented.

Hamburg Industrial Development Agency
IDA officials developed a uniform tax exemption policy for project selection, but the method of determining the benefits to be provided is not well defined. The board did not implement an adequate system to monitor approved projects and did not develop an adequate recapture policy to allow for the recovery of previously granted benefits if job creation, economic goals or other terms of the agreements are not met.

Town of
Hebron
The supervisor did not provide the board with adequate monthly financial reports, and the town’s procedures for auditing claims and signing checks were not in compliance with town law.

Pultneyville Fire District
The board generally provides adequate oversight of the district’s financial activities, but should make certain improvements. For example, the board did not complete, or contract with an independent accountant to complete, an annual audit of the district’s records.
 
Waterford Volunteer Fire District
The board ensured that the controls over the cash disbursement process were adequate and auditors did not find any questionable bank withdrawals or payments.

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/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions 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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