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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases State Audits

February 14, 2014

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the following audits have been issued:

Tuition Assistance Program, New York Career Institute (NYCI) (2013-T-1)

Auditors determined that NYCI’s certification procedures are appropriately designed and were substantially complied with during the audit period for the transactions tested. There is not a high risk that a significant number of students certified for TAP are in fact not eligible for awards. Nonetheless, tests did disclose 30 awards totaling $27,964 that school officials certified in error.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA): Capital One Bank Accounts (2011-S-49)

Auditors identified 15 MTA bank accounts that were established at Capital One Bank and were not on the MTA's list of authorized bank accounts. As of Feb. 29, 2012, these accounts had a balance of about $3.8 million. The accounts included 13 that were opened by a property management consultant hired by the MTA. The two others had been opened by New York City Transit Police. The accounts were established for appropriate business purposes but did not appear on the list of authorized accounts because of lax MTA oversight and non-compliance with procedures. The transactions processed through the accounts opened by the consultant were for appropriate business purposes. However, about $39,000 of the account expenditures took place without evidence of required competitive bidding. Also, about $35,000 of rental income due for acquired properties had not been collected. Auditors also found the consultant spent $773,621 more from the accounts than it should have.

Office of Children and Family Services, Youth Facility Chargeback Rates to Localities (Follow-up) (2013-F-28)

An initial audit report issued in March 2012, examined whether chargeback rates used by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) were calculated appropriately, and whether OCFS had been collecting the appropriate reimbursements from localities. Auditors found that OCFS calculates juvenile facility chargeback rates correctly. However, OCFS has been deficient in revising its rates in a timely manner, as well as in billing and collecting millions of dollars in required reimbursements from localities. Auditors found OCFS had not collected at least $40 million that should have been billed in prior years. In a follow-up report, auditors found the agency made considerable progress in ensuring all costs are accurately included in the calculation of the annual chargeback rates. Additionally, OCFS has made considerable progress in pursuing outstanding receivables and has been annually revising rates as required.

New York City Department of Education (DoE) Management of General School Funds (Follow-up) (2013-F-33)

An initial report, issued in June 2010, found that the New York City Department of Education’s (DoE) John F. Kennedy High School had poor controls over its general school fund bank account. In addition, auditors concluded that the school principal had not established basic accountability for student funds and that DoE’s guidelines had been ignored. In a follow-up, auditors found Kennedy officials have made limited progress in correcting the problems we identified in the initial report. Of the eight prior audit recommendations, two have been implemented, two have been partially implemented, and four have not been implemented.

New York State Health Insurance Program, Selected Payments for Special Items for the Period July 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2012 (Empire BlueCross and BlueShield) (2013-S-28)

The New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) provides health coverage to active and retired state, participating local government and school district employees and their dependents. The Department of Civil Service contracts with Empire to administer the hospitalization portion of the Empire Plan, which includes coverage for inpatient and outpatient hospital services. Hospitals may be entitled to additional payments for special items (such as implants, drugs, and blood) that are not covered by the standard fee schedules. From July 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2012 Empire paid more than $63 million for 39,993 claims for special items. Auditors found Empire did not have adequate controls to ensure special items were paid according to contract provisions. As a result, Empire made a net overpayment of $898,541 on 96 of the 100 claims tested.