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June 12, 2021

Audits and reports issued during the week ending June 12, 2021 by the New York State Comptroller

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following audits and reports were issued during the week ending June 12, 2021.

Click on the text highlighted in colorto access the complete audit report.

Department of Agriculture and Markets: Oversight of the Farm-to-School Program (2020-S-9) The department needs to improve monitoring of both program expenditures and recipient performance to ensure recipients use funds as intended and achieve program goals. Auditors reviewed 21 (of 45) program contracts totaling approximately $2.27 million, of which $1.71 million had been expended as of February 2020. They found about $1.17 million (68 percent) in expenses for 17 contracts either lacked sufficient documentation to support expenses paid or were not authorized under the contract. 

City University of New York (CUNY): Compliance with Payment Card Industry Standards (Follow-Up) (2021-F-2) An audit issued in December 2019 found that CUNY had fallen short in providing its colleges with sufficient guidance and direction needed to ensure campus-wide compliance with payment card industry standards. In a follow-up, auditors found CUNY has made progress in addressing the findings identified in the initial report, but more needs to be done.

State Education Department (SED): Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center Inc. –  Compliance with the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2020-S-20) The center, a special education provider located in Erie County, provides preschool special education services to children with disabilities who are between three and five years of age in western New York. The center is reimbursed for these services through rates set by SED. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, auditors identified $272,526 in ineligible costs reported by the center for reimbursement. SED also failed to offset $307,735 in Medicaid fee-for-service revenue received by the center when calculating its tuition rate. As a result, the center received $216,451 in excess public funding reimbursements. 

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC): Compliance with Executive Order (EO) 95 (Open Data) (2020-S-11) EO 95 established an open data website for the collection and public dissemination of publishable state data maintained by state entities. Auditors found DEC has taken steps to meet the requirements of EO 95

Department of Motor Vehicles: Allocation, Billing, and Collection of Expenses of Administering the Motor Vehicle Financial Security Act and the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act (Follow-Up) (2021-F-3) An audit issued in December 2019 found that, in general, the department was appropriately allocating, billing, and collecting nearly all expenses related to administering the Motor Vehicle Financial Security and Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility acts. However, it could better ensure the accuracy of its allocation and billing practices. In a follow-up, auditors found the department has made some progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial audit report and has partially implemented its two recommendations.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) - Bus Company: Fare Evasion (2019-S-7) MTA officials also did not provide assurance that Fare Enforcement and Worker Safety Program was effective in achieving its goal of reducing fare evasion losses below 2017 levels ($150 million). Instead, the MTA estimated that it lost more than $300 million to fare evasion in 2019. Certain aspects of the transit system contributed to increased fare evasion and much of the fare evasion and payment signage auditors observed was defaced, misleading, not prominently displayed, or not translated into the appropriate language for the neighborhood.

Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD): Accountability and Surplussing of Vehicles (Follow-Up) (2021-F-1) An audit issued in August 2019 found OPWDD lacks sufficient controls over fleet vehicle management to ensure that all vehicles are properly accounted for, that vehicles are used for official state business only, and that Developmental Disabilities Services Offices are properly surplussing vehicles following a process that is fair and complies with state requirements. In a follow-up, auditors found OPWDD has made some progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report, but improvements are still needed.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ): Selected Aspects of Leasing Practices for Real Estate Department, Aviation, World Trade Center, and Leasing of Properties (2019-S-9) PANYNJ did not realize revenue of $8.3 million from four leases at the World Trade Center (WTC) during the period June 2014 through November 2019. This amount included money due to PANYNJ for utilities, amounts due when tenants terminated their leases early, and other percentages of revenues specified in leases. PANYNJ leased seven external spaces for its use within a half mile of 1WTC at a cost of $15.9 million, despite the fact that 1WTC was not fully occupied at the time. During a review of two sampled airport system leases, auditors found that a property leased from a municipality for future development of Newark Airport was later sub-leased to a private business for a for-profit purpose. 

Workers' Compensation Board: 2019 Annual Audit (2019-WCB-01) The board processed more than 580,000 claims totaling nearly $732 million from its four special funds in 2019 - the Uninsured Employers Fund, the Special Fund for Disability Benefits, the Second Injury Fund, and the Fund for Reopened Cases. Auditors identified 1,208 errors totaling more than $4.28 million as part of daily audits. In addition, they identified 917 product code errors totaling nearly $3.85 million.

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