Capital Asset Management

Issued Date
February 12, 2024
General Services, Office of


To determine whether the Office of General Services is adequately overseeing selected State agencies and related entities to ensure that they have proper inventory controls in place to safeguard assets and that they are properly reporting capital assets. The audit covered the period from April 2020 through May 2023.

About the Program

To fulfill its mission of delivering a broad scope of critical services for State agencies, the Office of General Services (Office) provides essential support services for the operation of State government. Under Chapter 405 of the Laws of 1981, the State is responsible for establishing and maintaining custody of a comprehensive capital asset reporting system that allows for monitoring and reporting of the State’s capital assets. To improve controls, financial reporting, accountability, and operational efficiencies in managing these assets, the State established the Statewide Financial System Asset Management Module (SFS AM) to house and maintain capital asset information in a single master file, providing auditable information in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. SFS AM is used by State and agency managers to effectively budget, account for, and control the acquisition and disposition of the State’s capital assets.

Within the Office, the Bureau of Capital Assets (BCA) acts as a service bureau to agencies by monitoring and coordinating SFS AM capital asset inputs, assisting agencies in the management and maintenance of their asset data in SFS AM, and distributing reports. Each State agency has a property control manager responsible for gathering, entering, and maintaining accurate information within SFS AM related to the capital asset activity at each of their sites. BCA developed and made publicly available a Capital Asset Policy and Procedural Manual for State agencies to understand their role and responsibilities for maintaining capital asset information in SFS AM. Each State agency is asked to annually certify the value of their capital assets in SFS AM on March 31 as part of the State’s annual statewide financial statement audit. To further verify the accuracy of SFS AM capital asset inventory data, BCA conducts periodic physical inventory site visits (site visits) to State agencies.

New York State has a significant investment in capital assets, totaling $112.2 billion as of March 31, 2022 with the Office's reporting obligation at $18.6 billion. Capital assets include land, land improvements and land preparation, buildings, construction in progress, infrastructure, equipment and library books, artwork and historical treasures, and intangible assets. According to the Office, 55 State agencies use SFS AM and are required to report their capital assets to the Office. All other State entities that do not use SFS AM report their capital assets to the Office of the State Comptroller.

Key Findings

  • BCA is not adequately overseeing capital assets reported by State agencies to ensure that these agencies are properly and timely reporting capital assets. For example, BCA has not established adequate policies and procedures for its site visit process, as our site visits to 17 sites (at 12 different State agencies) found the following:
    • 224 capital assets went unreported in SFS AM, including forklifts, a ticket booth, garages, and dump trucks.
    • 16% (156 of 994) of capital assets had incorrect or missing data in SFS AM, such as the description, location, cost, or other key pieces of information required to locate, identify, or report on an asset.
    • 3% (32 of 994) of capital assets reported in SFS AM could not be found or verified during our site visit. The capital assets that could not be found have a total value of $6.7 million and include a snowplow, sheds, and laboratory equipment.
  • BCA cannot ensure the quality or completeness of the capital asset data in SFS AM or that every State agency required to report their capital assets to BCA is actually reporting for all sites. For example, we found 5,461 instances of properties where the address was marked as State owned in tax parcel data but does not appear in the SFS AM data.
  • BCA officials do not take timely, proactive actions such as running reports from SFS AM or performing analysis on SFS AM data to provide the Office with valuable data to monitor and identify potential data inaccuracies or trends.

Key Recommendations

  • Augment existing processes by including more effective methods to ensure agencies that are required to report capital assets to the Office are properly doing so.
  • Develop and implement procedures to provide continued support, such as detailed risk-based guidance and trainings, to ensure agencies are aware that capital asset data needs to be accurate, complete, and updated timely.
  • Take proactive action to identify capital asset data inaccuracies reported in SFS AM by enhancing internal processes such as data analysis.

Nadine Morrell

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director
: Nadine Morrell
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236