June 11, 2022

Audits and reports issued by the New York State Comptroller during the week ending June 10, 2022

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following audits have been issued during the week ending June 10, 2022:

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

State and New York City Audits

Department of Civil Service: Payments by Beacon Health Options for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for Ineligible Members (2021-S-18)

The New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP), administered by Civil Service, provides health insurance coverage to over 1.2 million active and retired state, local government, and school district employees, and their dependents. The Empire Plan is the primary health insurance plan for NYSHIP, serving about 1.1 million members. Civil Service contracts with Beacon Health Options (Beacon) to administer the Mental Health Substance Abuse program for the Empire Plan. Auditors determined Beacon paid over $3.21 million on behalf of members who were not eligible for Empire Plan coverage.

 

Department of Environmental Conservation: Compliance With the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act (Act) and Monitoring and Enforcement of State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Requirements Report (Follow-Up) (2022-F-1)

An audit issued in October 2020 found DEC had established procedures to help ensure that applicable entities comply with the Act. However, the audit identified many publicly owned sewer systems that were not registered with a state alert program and were not reporting overflow events. DEC had also not followed up with potentially non-compliant facilities or verified whether events were reported in a timely manner. In a follow up, auditors found DEC made progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit report, but additional improvements are still needed, including ensuring municipalities identified in the original audit enroll in the alert program.

 

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): Assessable Expenses of Administering the Motor Vehicles Financial Security Act and the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act for the Three State Fiscal Years Ended March 31, 2021 (2021-M-2)

The acts help ensure that the operators of motor vehicles driven in New York possess adequate insurance coverage, or are financially secure, to compensate those persons they might injure or whose property they might damage as a result of an accident. DMV is responsible for tracking the expenses of administering the acts and assessing these expenses on insurance carriers. Auditors found the expenses for administering the acts for the three State Fiscal Years ended March 31, 2021, averaged $23.7 million a year.

 

Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS): Oversight of Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) (Follow-Up) (2021-F-24)

An audit released in August 2020 found that while OCFS generally had established controls to ensure it is conducting program and fire safety inspections for certified RHY programs and facilities, it did not always conduct inspections within established time frames, and supporting documentation was not always complete or provided in a timely manner by or to program staff after the conclusion of an inspection. In a follow-up, auditors found OCFS made some progress in addressing the problems identified in the initial audit report. However, improvements are still needed.

 

Office of General Services (OGS): Efficiency of Warehouse Space (Follow-Up) (2021-F-20)

An audit issued in 2020 found that OGS had reduced leased warehouse space by 434,266 square feet and realized a cost savings of $1,699,020 from Jan. 1, 2014 through March 29, 2019 as part of the state’s Warehouse Consolidation Initiative. However, OGS had not yet reduced any state-owned warehouse space and an inventory of all state warehouses did not exist. In a follow-up, auditors found OGS has been limited in its efforts to consolidate warehouse space, due in part to OGS shifting its priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was able to implement the audit’s six recommendations.

 

New York City New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD): Identifying, Reporting, and Providing Services for Youth at Risk of Sexual Human Trafficking in New York City (2021-N-2)

The 2014 federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act requires the screening of children within the child welfare system for potential sex trafficking and the timely reporting of sex trafficking incidents to law enforcement. It also requires data collection on sex-trafficked and at risk youth. DiNapoli’s auditors found ACS officials failed to support that they ensured staff and providers screened children to identify sex-trafficked victims or at-risk youth. They also found that DYCD does not have procedures requiring its providers to screen youth for indicators of trafficking.

 

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT): Controls Over Revocable Consents (Follow-Up) (2021-F-28)

A revocable consent is the grant of a right to an individual or organization to construct and maintain certain structures on, over, or under city streets and sidewalks in exchange for fees. An audit released in September 2020 found DOT did not bill and collect the correct amounts for the consents, did not comply with all procedures, and did not ensure that structures requiring revocable consents had one in place. In a follow up, auditors found DOT had made some progress addressing the issues identified in the initial report.

 

School District Audits

Greenville

 
Lansing

 
Onteora

 
Wheelerville Union Free

 
Peekskill

 
South Seneca

 
Trumansburg

 

In addition, an audit that sampled 20 school districts found they did not provide mental health training to all staff for the 2020-21 school year by the State Education Department’s deadline of Sept. 15, according to State Comptroller DiNapoli. However, the COVID pandemic has delayed district training programs. 

The Comptroller observed that “School personnel are often the first to notice if a student is having mental health challenges, and they need effective training to help them understand the signs and symptoms early on. 

"Failure to do so can have devastating consequences for students, staff, families and communities. Unfortunately, my office has found much of this vital training is not taking place. School districts should follow SED guidance so everyone from the superintendent to the substitute teacher is properly trained to identify problems. Our nation is facing a mental health crisis, and we need to help our students.”

 

Municipal Audits

Town of Danby

 
Village of Delhi

 
Town of Frankfort

 
Town of Sanford

 
Town of Webb

 
City of Yonkers

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Track state and local government spending at Open Book New York. Under State Comptroller DiNapoli’s open data initiative, search millions of state and local government financial records, track state contracts, and find commonly requested data.

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