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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

March 31, 2015

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

State Board of Elections (BOE): Localities’Procurements of Paper Ballots (2013-S-36)

The New York State Board of Elections and local boards of election need to work collaboratively in the procurement of paper ballots to avoid millions of dollars in unnecessary costs. The ballot procurement processes used by the 13 Local Election Boards audited resulted in significant unnecessary costs. Auditors estimate that the local boards visited could have saved, in the aggregate, about $10 million during the audit period by competitively procuring ballots and by using sound historical data to project the numbers of ballots needed.

City University of New York School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS): Procurement Card and Travel Card Purchases (2013-S-39)

CUNY SPS charged over $500,000 in advertising services to its state-issued procurement cards instead of contracting for these services, as SPS purchasing guidelines require. For fiscal years 2009 to 2011, SPS used a procurement card to purchase a total of $283,701 in printing services from one vendor instead of engaging in the competitive bids process for printing services in excess of $5,000, as state law requires. A state-issued travel card was used to purchase several meals from New York City restaurants for employees who were not on travel assignments as well as to pay for the office’s holiday parties. The travel card was also inappropriately used to pay for lodging and airfare totaling $6,546 for seven persons, five of whom were not SPS employees.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): Motor Vehicle Financial Security and Safety Responsibility Acts: Assessable Expenses for the Two Fiscal Years Ended March 31 (2014-S-42)

DMV administers the Motor Vehicle Financial Security Act and the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act. These acts help ensure that the operators of motor vehicles driven in New York State 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. Auditors found that for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2012 and March 31, 2013, net assessable expenses for the acts totaled about $20.3 million and $18.9 million, respectively, and that DMV is reporting its assessable expenses accurately. However, DMV lacks written policies and procedures for identifying which expenses are assessable.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA): Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) - Selected Travel Expenses (2013-S-77)

MTA’s travel policy directive does not clearly state all the requirements or procedures the staff need to take with regard to travel related transactions. This has caused the LIRR to incur higher than necessary travel expenses. Employees did not return unused cash advance monies within the time frame required by the LIRR Travel Policy. LIRR officials also did not perform any analysis for personal vehicle usage but do perform a cost benefit analysis when determining whether to purchase a new vehicle.