Selected reports issued by the Office of the State Comptroller during the week ending July 9, 2016
Executive Director of Baychester Youth Council indicted for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from federal grant monies
An initial audit issued in May 2014 found that HRA applied a fair and consistent assessment process when determining client eligibility in compliance with governing policies and procedures. Auditors also determined that changes were necessary to reduce the number of overturned HRA determinations and costly, and in some cases unnecessary, OTDA Fair Hearings. Auditors also found that OTDA's closed-case coding system did not always adequately describe the case resolution. In a follow-up report, auditors found OTDA and HRA have made significant progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial report.
The foundation has appropriately used its state money to fund allowable activities. The foundation has also exceeded its contractual commitment to leverage state money. Although it is only required to obtain outside funding equal to what the state provides, it has obtained nearly double that. The foundation has established effective internal controls over most of its financial operations. However, auditors found that certain revenue payments were being sent directly to an employee's home and not to the foundation's business office. Foundation officials immediately rectified the problem.
DOH has an effective system to ensure that Maximus is complying with contract requirements and meeting performance standards. DOH can make improvements noted by actions already taken, such as requiring Maximus to provide a complete sample population for each business function the department reviews; and to increase staffing to complete more quality assurance reviews.
Auditors found ESD approved three vouchers totaling $350,000 payable to Trivision for services previously paid for and for services never performed. This includes $330,200 for consulting services Trivision performed as a subcontractor at DOH and $19,800 for project management services that were never performed. As a result of the examination, auditors rejected the final $211,109 payment request from Trivision to ESD. In addition, ESD recovered the $138,891 it paid under the grant.
The Thruway has not accurately reported its MWBE utilization. For example, the authority consistently reports only a portion of its eligible contract expenses, thereby overstating its MWBE utilization rate. Further, the Thruway did not make adjustments for payments to MWBE prime contractors who, in turn, paid other MWBE contractors as subcontractors, resulting in a double-counting of payments.
DiNapoli’s auditors found that ESD does not require companies to provide evidence that new jobs met the 35-hour work week criterion, nor does it even collect this data. Instead, ESD accepts companies’ annual performance report certification that the reported employees worked at least 35 hours a week as sufficient validation.
3. Limit modifications to annual job growth and investment requirements to only unforeseen justifiable circumstances;
5. Establish and use specific, objective and quantifiable criteria for ranking program applications; and
ESD officials disagreed with the audit’s findings. Their full response is contained in the audit. DiNapoli’s auditors noted that ESD officials did not respond to some of the preliminary findings, addressing certain specific findings and ignoring others. ESD officials also avoided addressing the audit’s overall conclusions.