To determine whether the costs reported by Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) on its Consolidated Fiscal Reports (CFRs) were reasonable, necessary, directly related to the special education program, and sufficiently documented pursuant to the State Education Department’s (SED) Reimbursable Cost Manual (RCM) and the Consolidated Fiscal Reporting and Claiming Manual (CFR Manual). The audit focused primarily on expenses claimed on QCP’s CFR for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019 and certain expenses claimed on its CFRs for the 2 fiscal years ended June 30, 2018.
About the Program
QCP is a New York City-based not-for-profit organization authorized by SED to provide a full-day Special Class program and a full-day Special Class in an Integrated Setting program to children with disabilities who are between the ages of 3 and 5 years. For the purpose of this report, these programs are referred to as the SED preschool cost-based programs. QCP also operated other SED-approved programs: Evaluations and 1:1 Aides. However, payment for services under these programs is based on fixed fees. During the 2018-19 school year, QCP served 147 preschool students in the SED preschool cost-based programs.
The New York City Department of Education refers students to QCP and pays for its services using rates established by SED. The rates are based on the financial information QCP reports to SED on its annual CFRs. For the 3 fiscal years ended June 30, 2019, QCP reported approximately $14.8 million in reimbursable costs for the SED preschool cost-based programs.
For the 3 fiscal years ended June 30, 2019, we identified $257,297 in reported costs that did not comply with the requirements in the RCM and the CFR Manual, as follows:
- $123,328 in non-allowable compensation costs associated with a licensed physician. According to the CFR Manual, the cost of physician services is non-allowable for SED preschool cost-based program reimbursement purposes.
- $87,262 in non-allowable other than personal service (OTPS) expenses, including:
- $44,661 in affiliate dues expenses that were not necessary or directly related to the SED preschool cost-based programs;
- $38,991 in ineligible OTPS costs, including expenses reported in the incorrect reporting period, food for staff, fundraising, lobbying, and other expenses that were insufficiently documented; and
- $3,610 in expenses resulting from a duplication of services.
- $36,208 in staffing expenses that were in excess of the approved staffing ratios.
- $10,499 in Executive Director compensation costs that exceeded the allowable limit of one full-time equivalent employee.
- Review the recommended disallowances identified by our audit and make the necessary adjustments to the costs reported on QCP’s CFR and to QCP’s tuition reimbursement rates, as warranted.
- Remind QCP officials of the pertinent SED requirements that relate to the deficiencies we identified.
- Ensure that costs reported on annual CFRs fully comply with SED’s requirements and communicate with SED to obtain clarification as needed.
State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director:Kenrick Sifontes
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236