New York City Board of Education

Division of School Facilities Repairs and Maintenance Program Needs to Be Accelerated to Alleviate the Disrepair in City Schools

The New York City Board of Education's Division of School Facilities (DSF) is responsible for the repair and maintenance of all public schools. In 1993-94 the Board spent $359 million for the maintenance of its schools, and plans on spending $336 million in 1994-95. The work performed by DSF is based on requests from school custodians and performed by DSF's skilled trades workers or outside contractors. We found that DSF's tardiness in completing work has contributed to the deterioration of physical conditions in the schools. The Board estimates that it will cost $7.8 billion to return the system to a state of good repair. We found that as of July 1993 there was a backlog of 51,000 outstanding work orders, 56 percent of which were over one year old. We found that many schools contained hazardous asbestos two to four years after the problems with this substance were first identified. We also found that timely action was not taken regarding Violations issued to the Board, and that the Board's records do not match the issuing agencies regarding the number of Violations issued. The Board generally agreed with our recommendations. A-18-93