Office of Mental Health

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Office of Mental Health
Review of Travel Card Expenses
(Issued: 01/16/2014)


Purpose
The objective of our examination was to determine whether all the travel expenses incurred by the Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) Director of Suicide Prevention (Director) were appropriate and made in accordance with New York State travel rules and regulations.

Background
According to the New York State travel rules and regulations, the State will only reimburse actual, necessary and reasonable business expenses for employees traveling on official State business.  We identified questionable travel card expenses the Director incurred on March 11, 2013.  Based on these questionable transactions, we reviewed all the Director’s travel incurred during the period May 1, 2010 through November 30, 2013.

Key Findings

We found the Director certified $4,666 in inappropriate or unsupported travel expenses on vouchers and expense reports.  In doing so, the Director certified those travel expenses as “just, true and correct” on 38 travel vouchers and expense reports.  Based on her actions, the Director may have intentionally claimed inappropriate travel expenses for personal enrichment.  These actions include falsifying travel times to obtain meal reimbursements to which she was not entitled, falsifying a departure location to claim reimbursement for mileage she never traveled, and failing to provide documentation to support questionable expenses.

This matter has been referred to the Albany County District Attorney’s Office for further investigation.

Key Recommendations

  • Obtain sufficient appropriate evidence to verify the unsupported travel expenses and recover any overpayments identified.
  • Train OMH supervisory staff on how to properly review travel vouchers and expense reports prior to approving and submitting them for payment.

For a complete copy of Report 2013-11-002, click here.
For a complete copy of the Agency’s Response to Report 2013-11-002, click here.


Division of Contracts and Expenditures
Bernard J. McHugh, Director of State Expenditures

Phone: (518) 474-4868 Email: stexpend@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Contracts and Expenditures
110 State Street, 10th Floor; Albany, NY 12236