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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

December 5, 2018

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

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC): Oversight of the Pesticide Reporting Law (2017-S-57)

Tests of samples of pesticide application and sales data entries found that they were reasonably accurate based on the certified applicators’ and sellers’ self-reported data. However, there are some inaccuracies in the database.

Gaming Commission: Equine Health and Safety (2017-S-77)

The commission’s director has implemented new measures to improve its practices to promote equine health and safety in New York state. However, auditors found the commission could better document daily operating policies and procedures; improve how incident information is recorded in the Equine Breakdown, Death, Injury and Incident Database; and ensure adherence to drug testing requirements.

Higher Education Services Corporation: Oversight of the STEM Incentive Program (2017-S-75)

Auditors found HESC did not always ensure that applicants met Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program eligibility requirements. Auditors tested a random sample of 271 award recipients at the three universities that received the most program payments (SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Buffalo, and SUNY Stony Brook) and found that HESC made $81,198 in payments on behalf of 20 recipients who did not meet the program requirements.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services: Awarding and Oversight of Statewide Interoperable Communications Grants (Follow-Up) (2018-F-27)

An initial audit issued in July 2017 examined whether the division awarded contracts to entities that met eligibility requirements and provided adequate oversight of Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant (SICG) awards to ensure grant funds were allocated and spent for intended purposes. Auditors concluded that the division awarded SICG funding to qualified recipients in accordance with its requirements. However, auditors identified process deficiencies in the areas of monitoring and documentation that could increase the risk of inappropriate use of funds. In a follow-up, auditors found the division has significantly addressed the issues identified in the original audit. Of the three prior recommendations, all three were implemented.

Homes and Community Renewal, Housing Finance Agency (HFA): The 80/20 Housing Program (Follow-Up) (2018-F-18)

An initial audit report issued in May 2017, concluded that, based on the rents charged for our four sampled developments, the proper number of affordable units were made available to low-income tenants. A review of the files for a sample of 43 low-income tenants found that the developments used "reasonable judgment" in determining eligibility. However, some problems were found. In a follow-up, auditors found HFA has made some progress in addressing the issues identified in the prior report. Of the three recommendations, one was implemented and two were not implemented.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority: Long Island Rail Road (LIRR): Maintenance, Inspection, and Testing of the Event Recorder System (2017-S-8)

Auditors determined that the LIRR has a maintenance and inspection program for its Event Recorder System; however, it was not always in compliance with the program. For example, from Jan. 1, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2017, there were five months when the non-functioning ERS exceeded the 10 percent “effective maintenance standard” established by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Queens County District Attorney’s Office: Oversight of Persons Convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (2018-F-9)

An initial report issued in July 29, 2016 found that while 9,604 offenders overseen by the office received court orders to install an ignition interlock device (IID), only 1,952 (20 percent) did. Auditors also found material non-compliance with the office’s protocols to minimize the risk that offenders would drive vehicles without IIDs. In a follow-up, auditors found the office has made significant progress in addressing the issues identified in our initial report.

State Education Department (SED): Bank Street College of Education: Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2017-S-5)

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, auditors identified $585,047 in ineligible costs that Bank Street reported for state reimbursement. These ineligible costs included $338,175 in personal service costs, $246,707 in administrative overhead costs, and $165 in other than personal service costs.

State Education Department (SED): Security Over Critical Information Systems (Follow-Up) (2018-F-17)

An initial audit report issued in July 2017, found that although SED had taken a number of steps to secure its critical information systems and associated data, there was still a risk that unauthorized persons could access these systems. In a follow-up, auditors found SED officials have not made significant progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report. Of the two recommendations, one has been partially implemented and one has not been implemented.

State Education Department (SED): NYSARC Inc. – NYC Chapter: Compliance With the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2017-S-47)

For the three fiscal years ended June 30, 2015, auditors identified $1,311,070 in reported costs that did not comply with requirements for state reimbursement and recommended such costs be disallowed. These ineligible costs included $791,114 in personal service costs and $519,956 in other than personal service costs.