ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office released the following audits:
New York City Department of Education, Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning and Maintenance
in New York City Public Schools (Follow-Up) (2010-F-25)
In the initial audit report auditors examined whether the New York City Department of Education (DoE) implemented a program that was in compliance with state legislation requiring the purchase and use of environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products in public schools. Auditors found that DoE was a year late in complying with the law because the chancellor’s office did not inform its Division of School Facilities of required actions. Auditors also determined that 42 of 191 cleaning products listed in the new catalog did not qualify as green products. In addition, 34 of 163 products ordered and received at the school facilities visited were not green products. DoE officials have made progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report. However, some of the schools visited during the follow-up review continue to store and use cleaning products that are not in compliance with the legislation.
Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Administration of Contingency Contracts
OPWDD uses third-party Service Providers to provide day-to-day Community Residence Program (CR) services. The CR program is funded primarily by Medicaid. There is no appeal mechanism for the rates approved for the CR program. As such, OPWDD established a process for "contingency contracts." In essence, OPWDD will reimburse providers for any CR program deficits they incur as a result of deficient Medicaid reimbursements. OPWDD officials developed CR program guidelines establishing the circumstances under which contingency contracts are appropriate, and time frames providers should follow when submitting their requests for contingency contract monies. During the period April 1, 2007, to May 10, 2010, OPWDD approved 88 contingency contracts corresponding to $20.7 million in associated payments. OPWDD officials processed provider requests for almost $1 million in contingency contract payments that were submitted significantly beyond allowable time frames. Supporting documentation for these requested reimbursements was not available for verification. More than $100,000 in reimbursed expenses incurred during years for which records were available, were either unsupported or inappropriate. In addition, OPWDD officials do not perform their own verification of CR costs.
Tuition Assistance Program - Higher Education Services Corporation, Touro College (2010-T-1)
Schools receiving TAP payments must certify student eligibility. For the three academic years ended June 30, 2006, Touro College certified almost 30,000 TAP awards totaling $54 million. Auditors reviewed a random sample of 200 TAP awards from that period, as well as other awards outside the three-year period. Auditors determined that Touro College was overpaid $313,665 because school officials incorrectly certified students as eligible for TAP awards. Touro’s records did not demonstrate that four students met the minimum educational requirements for enrollment; two of whom had graduated from foreign high schools and two others from private schools not approved by the State Education Department. Touro also certified one other student for a seventh TAP award, although eligibility under the student’s associate’s degree program is limited to six terms.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Security Controls over National Directory of New Hires Data (2012-S-9)
The office is responsible for supervising State programs that provide assistance and support to eligible families and individuals. One of these programs is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. As part of managing this program, the office obtains directory data to verify program eligibility information. All state agencies that process this data must demonstrate a strong security posture, and must comply with security requirements established by the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Office of Child Support Enforcement. The office has taken sufficient actions to comply with all applicable federal requirements for securing directory data.
Department of Health, Overpayments for Services Also Covered by Medicare Part B (2010-S-50)
The department’s eMedNY computer system did not have controls to detect improper crossover claims submitted by certain providers. Nearly 259,000 Medicaid claims for Medicare Part B coinsurance were processed and paid incorrectly during 2008. In each case, the health care providers reported inflated Medicare Part B coinsurance amounts to Medicaid, enriching their Medicaid reimbursements. As a result, the department overpaid these providers $8.5 million. Not all service bureaus had a system in place that would allow providers to review their Medicaid claims prior to billing them. One service bureau who prepared claims on behalf of several providers submitted 30,000 claims to Medicaid with improper Medicare Part B information. This resulted in overpayments totaling $1.2 million.
Department of Agriculture and Markets, Electronic Ticket Sales at the 2011 New York State Fair (2011-S-37)
The electronic ticketing system worked as intended, and was properly installed and operated by Strates Shows Inc. to provide appropriate security over the system and the sensitive data it contained. Midway sales and related commissions due under the contract were also properly reported, calculated and paid to the fair in a timely manner. Even though inclement weather from the remnants of Hurricanes Irene and Lee caused overall Fair attendance to decline by about 8 percent, midway ride sales actually increased. For the 10 days when weather was not a factor, sales rose by $250,000; an increase of 13 percent.
Auditors found the increase in revenue was due in large part to the effectiveness of the new system in reducing opportunities for fraud and abuse.