December 25, 2021

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following audits were issued during the week ending December 31, 2021

Audits issued during the week ending December 31, 2021

Click on the text highlighted in COLOR to access the complete audit report.

STATE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS): Oversight of Chemical Dependence Residential Services (2020-S-49) - OASAS is responsible for certifying residential services and issuing operating certificates. A program’s eligibility for certification is contingent on the results of an OASAS inspection. Auditors found OASAS is not adequately monitoring programs, is not meeting the recertification review requirements, and many programs’ operating certificates are past their end date. 

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC): Management of Invasive Species (Follow-Up) (2021-F-16) - An audit issued in July 2020 found that while DEC had been active in establishing programs to address invasive species, improvements in its oversight, monitoring, and communication relating to boat inspections, permits, and early detection and assessment of invasive species could strengthen its ability to mitigate the spread of invasive species. In a follow-up, auditors found DEC made progress addressing the problems identified in the initial audit report. However, additional improvements are still needed.

Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Lead Contamination of State Armories (Follow-Up) (2021-F-22) - An audit issued in September 2020 found that the division had generally established adequate controls to ensure that the federally funded areas of all armories were tested for lead and that necessary steps were taken to address remediation when high levels were detected. While the division’s controls provided reasonable assurance that the public was not being unnecessarily exposed to lead at most armories, in certain instances, more could be done. In a follow-up, auditors found the division has made progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial audit report. -  

State Education Department (SED) (Preschool Special Education Audit Initiative): Life Skills Home Training Tutorial Program for Preschoolers Inc. – Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2020-S-37) - Life Skills is a New York City-based not-for-profit organization authorized by SED to provide full-day Special Class, half-day Special Class, and Integrated Preschool Special Education services to children with disabilities. The New York City Department of Education refers students to Life Skills and pays for its services using rates established by SED. For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2018, auditors identified $278,815 in reported costs that did not comply with the requirements for reimbursement. 

State Education Department (Preschool Special Education Audit Initiative): These Our Treasures, Inc. (TOTS) – Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2020-S-60) - TOTS is a New York City-based non-for-profit organization authorized by SED to provide preschool special education services to children with disabilities. The New York City Department of Education refers students to TOTS and pays for TOTS’ services using rates established by SED. For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2017, auditors identified $182,856 in reported costs that did not comply with the requirements for reimbursement.    

MUNICIPAL AUDITS

Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency – Project Approval and Monitoring (Tompkins County) - While the board evaluated projects prior to their approval, board members should improve the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency’s efforts to monitor businesses’ job performance and tax exemptions. Officials did not obtain required documentation to support project owners’ self-reported job performance. As a result, the board has no assurance the reported job performance information is accurate. The board did not ensure payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) were billed and paid in accordance with PILOT agreements. As a result, a business was underbilled $78,600, a business was not billed for its agreed upon PILOT totaling $18,900 and another business was overbilled $873.

 

Town of Attica – Payments to Not-for-Profit Organizations (Wyoming County) - The payments town officials made to not-for-profit organizations were not always for appropriate purposes, properly approved or supported by sufficient documentation. Officials used public funds to make donations or impermissible gifts totaling $47,400 to various local community organizations. Officials also paid nine claims totaling $30,150 before board audit and approval. In addition, officials did not ensure sufficient documentation was included with 16 claims totaling $52,550. 

 

SCHOOL DISTRICT AUDITS

 

Longwood Central School District – Overtime (Suffolk County) - District officials did not appropriately approve and document overtime for non-instructional employees. As a result, there is an increased risk that overtime costs totaling $774,499 were more than necessary. Auditors found the Board of Education did not adopt written policies to ensure that all overtime hours worked were pre-approved, adequately recorded and incurred only when necessary. Non-emergency overtime was also not generally preapproved in writing. In addition, officials did not maintain documentation to justify compensatory time earned.

 

New Rochelle City School District – Information Technology (Westchester County) - Officials did not establish adequate controls over network and financial application user accounts to prevent unauthorized use, access and/or loss. In addition to sensitive information technology (IT) control weaknesses which auditors from the Comptroller’s Office communicated confidentially to officials, auditors found officials did not adequately manage network user accounts as 84 former employees/vendors had active user accounts. Auditors also found 35 generic user accounts that had never been used and were unnecessary. In addition, officials did not ensure district procedures were followed to communicate financial application user account changes to the vendor.

 

Schuylerville Central School District – Medicaid Reimbursements (Washington County) - The district did not maximize Medicaid reimbursements by submitting claims for all eligible Medicaid services provided. Claims were not submitted and reimbursed for 382 eligible Medicaid services provided. Had these services been claimed, the district could have realized revenues totaling $6,375. The district also lacked adequate procedures to ensure Medicaid claims were submitted and reimbursed. Service providers did not document all service encounters in the Medicaid billing system.

 

Spencer-Van Etten Central School District – Information Technology (Chemung County, Schuyler County, Tioga County and Tompkins County) - District officials have generally taken adequate steps towards helping to ensure computerized data was safeguarded through managing user accounts, providing adequate training and adopting and distributing a written information technology (IT) contingency plan. However, certain sensitive IT control weaknesses and audit recommendations were communicated confidentially to officials. District officials agreed with the audit results.

 

Three Village Central School District – Financial Operations (Suffolk County) - District officials did not provide appropriate oversight over financial operations. District officials did not properly assign administrative and user access rights to the financial software. Officials also did not establish an electronic banking policy or adequate bank transfers or electronic payment procedures nor did they segregate the treasurer’s duties or provide adequate oversight. In addition, district officials did not present all claims to the claims auditor for review and approval prior to payment. At least $37.9 million in claims were not reviewed or approved, as required, prior to payment. Officials did not ensure $43 million in claims are processed through the normal accounts payable process. The treasurer controlled most aspects of these transactions rather than the accounts payable department. Therefore, there was no segregation of duties.

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