Dormitory Authority of the State of New York

 

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Dormitory Authority of the State of New York
Mission Statement and Performance Measures


Issued: June 13, 2014
Link to full audit report 2013-S-13
Link to 90-day response

Purpose
To determine whether the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York is achieving its performance measures and properly reporting on the results. The audit covers from January 1, 2010 through June 28, 2013.

Background
The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (Authority) has two primary lines of business: construction management and debt issuance. It assists a variety of public and private institutions with various projects that involve financing, designing, constructing, and/or rehabilitating buildings, including the acquisition of equipment. The 2009 Public Authorities Reform Act (Act) included requirements to increase the transparency of operations of public authorities. The Act requires public authorities to develop a mission statement and performance measures for evaluating their operations. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 the Authority reported on 13 performance measures that it has established to show how well it is accomplishing its mission. These measures are organized around three major goals: on-time and on-budget construction projects, timely and fairly priced debt issuances, and customer satisfaction. To measure customer satisfaction, the Authority asks many of its clients to complete a customer satisfaction survey.

Key Findings

  • The Authority did not meet its targeted performance level for customer satisfaction for 20 percent of its customers, particularly in the areas of project design and construction. Also, construction clients expressed concerns about the timeliness and cost of projects.
  • With respect to debt issuances, 43 percent of survey respondents indicated they were less than satisfied with the cost of debt issuance, and 12 percent rated timeliness less than acceptable.
  • Debt issuances appear to be priced fairly, based on the Authority's method of reviewing secondary market trading data. Debt issuances appear to be issued in a timely manner after accounting for factors such as market conditions.
  • The Authority collects data on change orders, including the reason for the change and the impact on the project schedule and/or budget. However, it needs to analyze this information better to identify common problems and to develop corrective action plans that could eliminate, or at least minimize, recurrence of such issues.
  • Reports to the Authority's management and the Board compare the actual project end date and cost with the latest formal projections, not the baseline figures established when projects are initiated. This type of analysis can make projects that are significantly delayed appear to be on time. For example, for one of the five completed projects we examined, the schedule went from 21 months late when compared to the original baseline end date, to seven months early when compared to the latest projection.

Key Recommendations

  • Identify the causes in cases where customer satisfaction did not meet expectations, especially in areas of cost and timeliness, and take appropriate actions to address them.
  • Analyze change order data to identify patterns and prepare an action plan that includes appropriate steps to address common problems that result in change orders.
  • Revise reports to Authority management and the Board to include the baseline end date and budget, as well as the latest projected end date and budget.

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

None


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Carmen Maldonado
Phone: (212) 417-5200; 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