October 22, 2020

State and municipal audits issued on October 20, 2020

On October 20, 2020, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following agency and school district audits had been issued.

Click on the text in blue to access the full text of the audit. 

Agency Audits:

Office of General Services (OGS): Compliance with Executive Order 88 – Energy Efficiency of State Buildings (Follow-Up) (2020-F-18)

An audit, covering the period April 1, 2014 to May 13, 2019, found OGS generally had developed targets and plans to contribute toward EO 88 and complied with the guidelines. However, auditors found OGS had relied on one capital project to provide the majority of its energy savings. OGS also needed to develop a contingency plan to replace the project and to continue developing energy-saving capital projects to contribute toward the collective 20 percent energy reduction. In a follow-up, auditors found OGS has made significant progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report. 

 

Department of Health (DOH): Improper Medicaid Payments for Recipients in Hospice Care (Follow-Up) (2019-F-59)

An audit released in December 2018 identified over $8 million in improper Medicaid payments for medical services provided to recipients receiving hospice care. Many of the overpayments occurred because the DOH did not have a process to identify and track Medicaid recipients receiving hospice care. In a follow-up, auditors found DOH officials did not make much progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit, and significant action is still required to prevent future Medicaid overpayments.

 

New York City Department of Education (DOE): Compliance with Special Education Regulations for the Provision of Services (2018-N-5)

Auditors determined that DOE did not arrange for special education services within the required 60 school days for 18 percent of the eligible students in school year 2016-17. Noncompliance ranged from 32 percent in District 9 (located in the South Bronx) to 4 percent in District 11 (Northeast Bronx). Auditors also found situations where DOE provided services without the required parental consent.

 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA): Administration of Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Plans (2018-S-33)

There is room for improvement in how the MTA’s three self-insured agencies administer workers’ compensation plans making sure they meet the self-insurers’ obligations. Auditors found inconsistent processes and application of the law across agencies have resulted in late, inaccurate, or sometimes missed administration of benefits, placing an undue financial burden on injured employees.

 

New York City Department of Transportation: Oversight of Selected Aspects of Traffic Controls (2018-N-6)

The department monitored traffic flow at intersections, but did not address the concerns of the public and officials in a timely manner. Auditors reviewed several units that were supposed to perform monitoring and operational tasks and found that all of them need to improve their performance. 

 

New York City Department of Transportation: Controls over Revocable Consents (2010-N-1)

A revocable consent grants an individual or organization the right to construct and maintain certain structures on, over, or under New York City streets and sidewalks. To obtain this right, the property owner must file a petition for the revocable consent. The department charges an annual rate for eligible revocable consents, based on either a formula or a flat rate. Auditors found the department did not bill and collect the correct annual rates for the majority of consents reviewed. It was inconsistent in its application of the rules and did not always apply them as written when calculating the annual rate to be billed. As a result, the grantees were undercharged an estimated $1,056,242.

 

New York State Health Insurance Program: CVS Health – Temporary Holding Account Rebate Revenue (Follow-Up) (2020-F-25)

An audit issued in October 2019 found that CVS Health improperly designated a temporary holding account used to process certain prescription drug claims, as “non-rebate-eligible.” As a result, CVS Health did not seek rebates from drug manufacturers on claims in the temporary holding account that were, in fact, rebate-eligible. In a follow-up, auditors found CVS Health has made significant progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report, having implemented both recommendations.

 

New York State Liquor Authority (SLA): Internal Controls Over Selected Financial Operations (2019-S-69)

Auditors found SLA has adequate internal controls in the areas of revenues, payroll, procurement and procurement card expenditures, asset management, and travel expenses to ensure assets and information are properly managed and safeguarded.

 

State Education Department (SED): Oversight of Pupil Transportation Services (2019-S-49)

Auditors determined SED could further enhance its efforts to monitor school districts’ compliance with its own requirements for school bus drivers, monitors and attendants. As a result, SED does not have assurance that school bus drivers, monitors, and attendants across the state are qualified and have completed the required training. 

 

School District Audit:

Dalton-Nunda Central School District – Financial Management (Allegany County, Livingston County and Wyoming County)

The board and district officials did not adopt realistic budgets and effectively manage fund balance and reserves. The board’s actions to manage fund balance were not transparent and made it appear that the district needed to both increase taxes and use appropriated fund balance to close projected budget gaps. The board circumvented the statutory limit on surplus fund balance by making $7.8 million in unbudgeted year-end transfers to reserves and appropriating $900,000 in fund balance that was not used. As of June 30, 2019, recalculated surplus fund balance exceeded the statutory limit by more than $1.3 million or 8 percentage points and two general fund reserves were overfunded.

 

Naples Central School District – Information Technology (Livingston County, Ontario County Steuben County and Yates County)

District officials did not ensure that the district’s network access controls were secure. Officials did not regularly review network user accounts and permissions to determine whether they were appropriate or needed to be disabled. The district had 63 unneeded network user accounts that had not been used in at least six months. In addition, sensitive information technology control weaknesses were communicated confidentially to officials.

 

Oneida City School District – Information Technology (Madison County and Oneida County)

The district’s network was not adequately secure to protect the student information system against unauthorized use, access and loss. District officials did not adequately manage user accounts or administrative permissions to limit access to assets and data. In addition, some district computers were used for personal activity, increasing the likelihood of the district’s network being exposed to malicious software. A written disaster recovery plan was not made available to the Comptroller’s auditors or the board of education for review and approval. Sensitive information technology control weaknesses were communicated confidentially to officials.


 

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