Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

 

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Office of the New York State Comptroller

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Office for People With Developmental Disabilities
Use of Employees and Employees' Relatives as Vendors (Follow-Up)


Issued: September 28, 2012
Link to full audit report 2012-F-4

Purpose
To determine the extent of implementation of the seven recommendations included in our original report, Use of Employees and Employees’ Relatives as Vendors (2007-S-90).

Background
Our initial report, issued December 20, 2007, reviewed payments to vendors or individuals for home maintenance and repair services and for respite care/sitter services between January 1, 2005 and November 30, 2006.  Our objective was to determine whether the Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office (Central NY DDSO) was complying with State law when it used employees or employees’ relatives as vendors.

Our initial audit found that some of the vendors hired by the Central NY DDSO to provide maintenance and repair services at the group homes were relatives of employees at the DDSO.  We examined 113 of these transactions and found that, in most all instances, there was no indication other vendors were given an opportunity to provide the services and no assurance a reasonable price was paid for the services.  Also, documentation in our sample of home maintenance transactions often lacked important details making it difficult to determine what kind of maintenance or repair work was supposed to have been done by the relative-vendors.  Also, we found some of the sitters hired by Central NY DDSO were also full-time Central NY DDSO employees. One of these employees was fraudulently paid on numerous occasions for providing sitter services at the same time that she was being paid to perform her regular duties. 

Key Findings

  • Office officials have made significant progress correcting problems identified in our initial report. Five of the seven recommendations have been fully implemented. One recommendation is no longer applicable and one other has been partially implemented. 
  • Officials made considerable progress ensuring transactions comply with NYS Guidelines, especially when vendors are related to agency employees.  However, we found one instance where a vendor, who is related to several Central NY DDSO employees, was hired and paid over $12,000 over three years.  The procurement of these services were split over several different purchase orders to avoid competition.

Key Recommendations

  • Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest
Physical Plant Procurement Practices at Central New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office Report 2007-S-136


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Melissa Little
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236