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Comptroller releases state audits

ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office released the following state agency audits:

Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), Controls Over Cash Advance Accounts (2013-S-52)
Auditors found that at one OCFS facility, cash receipts from a small café, which is part of a training program for residents to learn to operate a small business, are commingled with advance account funds prior to transfer to the state treasury. In addition, the same person signs checks, maintains the check register, and reconciles the bank account. Auditors also found that as a result of increased credit card usage, the activity in the Home Office Advance Account, with an authorized balance of $25,000, has declined from approximately $57,000 of reimbursements for 282 travel advances in 2011-12 to approximately $9,000 of reimbursements for 65 travel advances in 2012-13.

Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), Selected Personal Service Contracts (2011-S-53)
ESDC adopted procurement guidelines governing the need, award and monitoring of procurement contracts as required by law. Auditors found ESDC officials were not in compliance with many of these requirements for certain personal service contracts. Auditors also found that ESDC officials did not enforce several contract terms with some vendors. As a result, there is diminished assurance that the contracts with two personal service contractors for nearly $3.9 million were necessary, appropriately procured and monitored to ensure service delivery.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York City Transit Paratransit Division - Access-A-Ride Accident Claims (2012-S-12)
Federal law requires the MTA to provide transportation services to individuals with disabilities. New York City Transit's Paratransit Division supplies this service through a network of 14 carriers under contract. The service is known as Access-A-Ride (AAR). Carriers are required to immediately notify the Paratransit Division of any accidents/incidents and provide a written report within 24 hours. Auditors found the number of reported accidents increased from calendar year 2008 through calendar 2010, but declined in calendar year 2011. However, carrier incidents of $1,000 or less are not all reported as required. Similarly, car service providers did not report accidents as required under their contract, and the Paratransit Division did not maintain information about these accidents. Auditors also found carriers' drug and alcohol testing needs to be better documented.

New York City Department of Finance, Controls and Accountability of Court, Trust and Bail Funds (2013-N-1)
The Finance Department could not accurately account for court, trust and bail funds. For example, Finance's Court Assets Tracking System reported a balance of $296.7 million, while the bank and investment firm that held the money had a balance of $299.1 million. Finance stated that the difference was due to Alternative to Incarceration program fees it withheld, but could not provide the details to support the amount. The department also could not demonstrate that it applied the full, correct amount of interest to the court and trust accounts. Auditors also found bail funds were not accurately accounted for because the computer system did not include fees due the city for certain abandoned accounts. Court orders to pay out Bail funds were not always processed timely resulting in underpayments to sureties and to the city and incorrect abandonment of funds to the state.