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

State Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits

July 24, 2018

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

State Education Department: The Network for Children's Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapy (CTN) (2017-S-79)

For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, auditors identified $707,677 in ineligible costs that CTN reported for state reimbursement. The ineligible costs included $668,259 in personal service costs, including $511,672 in overstated personal service costs for special education itinerant teachers (SEIT), and $39,418 in other than personal service costs, which included $13,574 in insufficiently documented expenses and $13,491 in related-party lease expenses that exceeded the owner's actual cost.

Erie County Medical Center Corp. (ECMCC): Employee Incentive and Bonus Payments (2018-F-06)

An initial audit report, issued in January 2017 found ECMCC did not properly administer certain incentive payments made to its employees. For the audit period reviewed, auditors identified $76,254 in incentive payments that should be recovered from employees because they were not justified under the terms of the relevant incentive plan, were distributed in error, or were miscalculated. In a follow-up, auditors found ECMCC has made progress addressing the issues identified in the initial audit.

Environmental Facilities Corp. (EFC): Monitoring the Green Innovation Grant Program (2017-S-19)

Auditors found EFC monitors some aspects of the projects by frequent communication with grantees, receiving progress photographs, and reviewing fiscal documentation to monitor project progression.
However, EFC's on-site monitoring of the projects auditors sampled frequently occurred later in the construction cycle than EFC's goal of between 50 and 75 percent completion. Also, EFC does not perform site visits after project completion to determine if the grantee is properly maintaining the project and has installed the required signage.

Homes and Community Renewal (HCR): Office of Rent Administration (2018-F-3)

An initial report issued in December 2014 found the office had not established criteria for how long it should take to assign, address, or resolve tenant complaints. Records showed that a significant number of tenant complaints may have been unresolved for anywhere between one to four years, taking an average time of 6.7 months just to assign an incoming complaint to an examiner, among other findings.
In a follow-up, auditors found HCR has made some progress in addressing the issues identified in the prior report.

Department of Taxation and Finance: Personal Income Tax (2018-BSE8-01)

Auditors examined personal tax refunds processed during the calendar year January 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2017. During that time, the department processed almost 7.7 million refunds totaling over $9.5 billion. Auditors stopped 10,414 refunds totaling almost $36.7 million and sent them to the department for follow up evaluation and appropriate action.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR): Taxable Travel (2018-BSE7-01)

Auditors examined travel expenses of a HCR rent inspector incurred during calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016. The employee's official station was New York City, and all of his assignments were within 35 miles of his official station. According to state regulations, employees are not in travel status when their work locations are within 35 miles of their official station. Therefore, the employee was not entitled to reimbursement for expenses to travel from his home to his work area. HCR was required to report the commuting expenses as supplemental wages of the employee, but did not. As a result, we determined the employee incurred $3,543, $2,556, and $1,838 in personal commuting expenses during 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.

New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. (HHC) (2017-N-2)

Auditors reviewed files for a random sample of 200 direct hire and 98 temporary nurses from five HHC facilities or organizations to verify that these nurses were properly screened prior to being hired and were continuously monitored after hire. Of the 200 direct hire nurses in the sample, 41 (21 percent) had not been fingerprinted. Of these, 38 were hired before 2002 – when fingerprinting became required. For direct hire nurses, various background checks were not completed before hire. None of the facilities followed HHC procedures for maintaining documentation of all screening checks. Further, there was no evidence that HHC reviewed background check documentation, as required. Performance evaluations were not completed for 25 direct hire nurses, including 24 at a single facility.

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